Pull 2015: Proximity - Joining online and offline | DMA

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Pull 2015: Proximity - Joining online and offline


The online world is encroaching on the real world, and marketing leads the charge.

Chris Arnold, founder of Creative orchestra spoke to editor of Mobile Marketing Magazine Dave Murphy and Tom Perrett, head of Aviator and International at Kinetic Worldwide about notions like Near Field Communication (NFC), beacons and many of the new ways we can take the offline online.

If you live in London, Arnold pointed out that if you have travelled the tube with a contactless card, then you have used NFC. It’s already become a mass medium. What about the other new technologies?


According to Murphy, the opt-in element is much more explicit with beacon marketing. “If someone is in your store, as I understand it, they will need bluetooth switched on and need your app on their phone. The challenge is not to over-egg the messages and spam people. Bluetooth has been associated as a spammy channel, and it could be the same all over again.

“I thought for a long time that if you hit people on mobile, you need to hit them with something useful or entertaining,” he said.

Perrett agreed. "You need to give something of value. As we move towards a more automated environment, there is the opportunity to give something useful," he said.

"But there is a fine line between intrusive and helpful. In October in New York there was a backlash against 500 beacons installed there. Consumers were worried. We need to ensure the spam element is not used, as it had been in bluetooth and email."


Perrett said there was a, “Shift in the way retail space is used. We are getting into area where delivery is so quick there is not much of a difference between buying in-store and online. Shops will be showrooms, there to interact with products.

“Some people don’t want to meet with a salesperson,” he said.

Murphy said lots of work was already underway in this area. “We have interactive window displays at TopShop and Adidas, magic mirrors for Burberry, NFC with Grolsh bottle tops. There is lots of good creative stuff being done.”

He said many retailers were, “terrified by showrooming. Why not let people use Wifi but take them to a site to thank them and offer them something worthwhile? The shop will change. John Lewis already allows you to use barcodes to buy online while in the store,” he said.


Murphy said mobile had a great deal of possibility, but few used these possibilities. “There are so many things a phone can do that a laptop can’t. You can call, take pictures. Most ads I see are just banner ads,” he said.

Perrett agreed, saying, “Good ideas are coming from startups and young people with fresh ideas. The technology is there now, it’s just our imagination stopping us.

For proximity campaigns using beacons, Perrett said he had seen good uplift by making ads relevant. “Campaigns do not have to be complicated,” he said.

“We are guilty of looking at the technology and then using it, rather than looking at the business need,” he said.

With proximity marketing likely to take off after a few false-starts, it will be fascinating to follow the developments in this area over the coming years.

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