You know the saying that there is no such thing as a free lunch. The same is true when it comes to Wi-Fi. It’s become so common to jump on a network - for free - after quickly clicking “I agree” to the terms and moving on to the task at hand without reading the fine print first.
What you are agreeing to more often now is the ability for the organization providing the wireless Internet access to gain data – your Facebook profile details, your email, your phone number. It can be a good thing. The intent is to provide customers a more personalized experience. Customers can get coupons or rewards for products or services while still standing in line – or the next time they're driving by.
I recently got an inside look at one of the solutions powering the service designed primarily for restaurants and retailers at an international technology conference I attended. The founders of Turnstyle, only in their 20s, shared how their new Wi-Fi marketing platform provides business owners real-time analytics on who is in their establishments. It includes everything from demographics to interests.
They charge by the access point and the fee to get started can be quite low, making it easier for even small businesses to implement the solution. Marco just started piloting it for a retailer to better understand the possibilities and applications for businesses with this proximity marketing solution. Turnstyle allows the organization to customize the access point landing page to their brand.
Here are some of the uses and benefits for business:
- Push out coupons for an item as the customer walks by it. This enables organizations to draw customers to new items or promotions in real time.
- Provide coupons for complementary items. A customer who comes in for a coffee, for example, could get a coupon for a scone. Businesses can track redemptions by customer and send coupons, promotions or alerts on other potential products of interest based on previous redemptions.
- Better understand customers’ buying preferences and patterns with a variety of data provided through graphs, charts and infographics. This enables businesses to go beyond Point-Of-Sale data to identify opportunities to grow.
- Identify the best customers and how often they visit. Then build a loyalty rewards program to encourage repeat customers.
- Interact with customers with personalized email and text messages while they are on-site or away.
- Build marketing lists to further execute marketing campaigns. Businesses gain either an email or phone number for every individual who accesses the Wi-Fi network.
This solution is an example of the next generation of technology that meshes the rising opportunities of social marketing, proximity marketing and Big Data. When executed well, it helps businesses encourage repeat customers, increase revenue and design more personalized and effective marketing campaigns.