What Is Proximity Marketing?

Malcolm Tatum

Proximity marketing is a type of marketing approach that involves targeting marketing efforts on a specified geographical location. The idea is to tailor the advertising so that it is of interest to consumers who live and work in the area. Typically, proximity marketing relies on data regarding the use of wireless devices within that area, making it possible to identify specific consumer groups and customize the advertising to appeal to one or more of those groups.

Businessman giving a thumbs-up
Businessman giving a thumbs-up

Collecting the data used in proximity marketing often involves tracking the use of wireless devices to connect with the virtual world and execute specific types of activities. Those activities may involve generating a map for use in traveling to a specific location, buying tickets to an event taking place within that area, or using technology to find restaurants or other points of interest within a city or town. The data is captured and evaluated, then used to generate advertising that is aimed at those end users. The advertising may be in the form of text ads, appear as banner or pop-up ads on specific localized web sites, or even take the form of email advertising if email addresses are captured as part of the process.

In many instances, proximity marketing makes use of an opt-in process to build a receptive consumer base. With this application, users are provided the opportunity to grant permission to receive advertising that is targeted to their particular likes and dislikes. This approach is generally more appreciated by consumers that the random receipt of unsolicited advertising, and tends to increase the chances of actually generating sales. Once a consumer has consented to receive the advertising, he or she may also be afforded the chance to indicate additional interests that are also taken into consideration when designing and selecting ads for distribution throughout the local area.

Since proximity marketing is all about the creation of advertising that is relevant to a given geographical area, this approach can be especially helpful for local businesses. In some cases, this approach can help increase consumer awareness of businesses and products available in the local area, prompting consumers to support those businesses rather than purchase similar goods from outside the area. Thanks to the relatively low cost of advertising on the Internet, local businesses can often make use of this option even if there is not a lot of money in the advertising budget. From this perspective, proximity marketing can help to stimulate the local economy and help preserve an equitable standard of living for more of its residents.

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