Local and Proximity Marketing: differences and complementary potentials

Local and Proximity marketing, or local and proximity marketing: for many people they are synonymous, but in reality we are talking about two different – though complementary – marketing strategies. Let’s see them in detail!

Local Marketing

Local Marketing is the set of all sales strategies that aim to attract to the store the inhabitants of the neighborhood or city in which it is physically located. The target geographic area is therefore large, and it must be precisely because the ultimate goal is to attract potential customers.

There are several media that can be activated within such a strategy, and they can belong to both traditional marketing-such as billboards, dynamics, etc., i.e., so-called Out of Home (OOH) -and web marketing, mainly with mobile campaigns. The synergy between OOH and smartphones is very important for creating emotional connections between people and brands: communication with the user begins offline, and then continues online – on the brand’s website or social channels – thanks to mobile notifications.

So there are several advantages of this strategy: local marketing allows you to create a loyal customer base that is physically present in the immediate vicinity of your business. It also enables the creation of “mind maps” around which people’s consumption habits revolve by making them become regular customers, which is why it is very effective for neighborhood businesses and restaurants.

Proximity Marketing

When we talk about Proximity Marketing, on the other hand, we are referring to a strategy that targets a target audience that is “physically” present at a precise moment in a defined and well-defined geographic area, even on the order of tens of square meters. These users are reached by notifications directly on their smartphones.

In this way, it is possible to intercept the potential customer at the very moment when he or she is about to purchase a given product or service, offering content in line with purchase intentions. With the right timing and relevance of the message, positive results in terms of conversions are very likely.

The geographical target area is small compared to a Local campaign, precisely because we are acting on an audience that is already potentially interested in my service and therefore just needs to be converted. In addition, again unlike Local Marketing, Proximity can only be implemented through specific technologies: RFID, NFC, proximity audio, motion capture, eye tracking, iBeacon to name a few.

The user deemed to be on target is engaged through push notifications and in-app banners. In the case of in-app banners, the user must be interacting with the smartphone in order to view them, whereas with push notification, the interaction can also take place at a later time. This technology allows monitoring the customer journey of more than 10 million people in Italy and to deliver content to them that is contextual to their location through geolocated notification, which can occur in real time or in deferred mode, for example, a few hours after their site visit. Truly a new marketing frontier, opening up many opportunities!


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