Everywhere you turn on the internet, you find banner ads, native advertising, click bait, video ads... and that’s not even counting the traditional advertising people see offline. There’s never been more advertising noise demanding the attention of today's consumers.
Getting noticed in such a blizzard of marketing messages can seem almost impossible. For traditional brick-and-mortar businesses such as retail shops and restaurants, it seems like an even more challenging task.
Wi-Fi marketing can provide a solution. It has the benefit of providing a real-time marketing channel for a brick-and-mortar business that can lead to highly successful segmented email campaigns, while also generating consumer engagement that improves customer spend, frequency, and their overall experience.
How Wi-Fi Marketing Works
The general idea is quite simple. Wi-Fi marketing commences when a customer logs into the Wi-Fi connection at your physical location. Rather than entering a communal password, they are required to enter an email address, or login with a social media account to access the internet.
The email or social media information is then stored in your system for future use, which we’ll discuss later. Some systems can discover the user’s email address if they choose to log in with their social account, and vice-versa.
The marketing can begin instantaneously. The page a user lands on immediately after logging in, known as the Wi-Fi landing page, can deliver any message or offer you want your customers to see. You can offer a coupon they can use instantly, promote an upcoming special, ask for social media follows, promote your mobile app or loyalty program, or any number of other options.
But that’s just the beginning. You now have the ability to automatically create a large database of customer contact information and behavior data. And through segmented email marketing, you can communicate with customers in a way that increases engagement and benefits both your business and your customers.
The Importance of Customer Engagement
While cutting through the advertising noise is difficult, customer engagement provides the key. Using engagement tools like loyalty programs, exclusive location-based offers, and in-house promotions, it’s much easier to establish a genuine connection with your customers. That connection is what today’s consumers are craving, and can lead to better brand interaction through targeted email campaigns, social media channels, and community apps.
This inevitably leads to what store owners across the globe consider to be the Holy Grail of business: repeat customers. It’s far better and less expensive to retain existing customers than chase after new ones.
The Most Effective Customer Communication Channel
Email continues to be one of the most effective ways to reach customers. Recent studies and examples show that email still has a better success rate than any other form of marketing in getting a positive response from customers. By having your customers’ email information, you can easily send them special offers, such as a discounted membership or free products, if and when they reach certain milestones.
The possibilities are endless once you have collected their contact information and behavior data, and established a trusted communication channel through email.
Wi-Fi Customer Analytics and Behavior Data
Every wireless device has a unique identification code called a MAC address. It’s kind of like a social security number for your device. The best Wi-Fi marketing platforms are able to identify each device whenever it comes within range of your Wi-Fi signal, whether they log into your Wi-Fi or not.
Using your in-store Wi-Fi sensors, you’ll have the ability to track each customer’s first-time visit, return rates, dwell times, popular visit times, and so much more. And if they do log into your Wi-Fi, your Wi-Fi marketing platform may associate all past data to a specific email address or social media account and collect even more data on the customer, building detailed customer profiles without you having to lift a finger. This allows you to then segment your customers by metrics like age, gender, or birthday, and generate highly targeted email campaigns.
Some platforms will also seamlessly integrate with your POS, allowing you to accurately discover things like segmented per-person averages and customer lifetime value.
Making it All Work Together
All of these things can help you craft much more targeted email marketing campaigns for your brick-and-mortar locations. And unlike other marketing techniques, you’ll be able to actually know for sure if your customers are coming back to your store and redeeming your offers based on these marketing efforts.
Offering Wi-Fi access at your place of business and integrating with a Wi-Fi marketing and analytics platform is the key to tapping into this high-potential marketing strategy. Even if you don’t think of your business as being “online,” technology can still work for you in attracting—and retaining—loyal customers.
About the Author
Allen Graves is the Senior Marketing Manager for Bloom Intelligence, a Wi-Fi Marketing Automation and Customer Analytics company based in St. Petersburg, Florida. When he is not busy chasing the latest shiny digital marketing objects, he can usually be found in or near the water enjoying the Florida sunshine.More Content by Allen Graves