Innovations in technology are transforming retail marketing strategies. One of the most promising developments is proximity marketing, an approach that leverages location-aware technologies to drive return on investment and garner priceless consumer insights through the secure broadcast of rich media marketing messages.
However, it's important that retailers make sure their proximity marketing strategy respects consumer privacy. Consumers today are increasingly tech savvy, and they're hyperaware of how businesses track and use consumer data. This is especially true of marketing campaigns involving IP data tracking, where businesses can compile databases containing highly private and sensitive consumer information. Consumers are rightly wary of those practices, particularly in light of high-profile controversies in which consumer data was compromised or used in an unscrupulous manner.
Consumers and consumer protection agencies have also taken action to combat unwanted SMS messaging, setting the stage for more stringent guidelines designed to protect consumer privacy. World-renowned brands have settled lawsuits to the tune of tens of millions of dollars for engaging in unwanted SMS messaging. The damage to a company's brand can be just as costly.
Proximity marketing can be an excellent alternative because it's possible to deploy it in a way that respects consumer privacy and anonymity 100 percent while still delivering valuable metrics retailers can use to drive ROI. One technique is to establish a proximity marketing strategy based on the Bluetooth broadcasting standard at a retail location. This enables the system used to contact Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones that enter its limited range and broadcast a query asking mobile phone users if they'd like more information on a special offer.
Once consumers opt in, retailers can then transmit coupons or engage prospects with interactive marketing messages. The important thing is that whatever type of campaign is used, consumer anonymity is preserved in this scenario because no sensitive data is harvested from the phone, transmitted via broadcast, stored, analyzed or correlated. This is essential to building consumer trust. The only way to ensure that these rigorous privacy standards are upheld is to use a proximity marketing solution that makes privacy a key part of its design.