Just 1% of brands in the UK are not contemplating an investment in proximity marketing through trials of technology like iBeacons and NFC, according to a new study. 

PerformanceIN has overseen a number of examinations of location-based targeting over the last year, and new research on 500 companies across the retail, hospitality and leisure industries shows that nearly all (99%) have considered this as a possible inclusion for their marketing plans. 

Airspace, the study’s commissioner, said that 22% of the group were looking to invest in the next three months, with an additional 57% plotting this to come within three to six months. 

Money could be an object to their ambitions, however. Larger companies – with 3000 employees or more – were more likely to have an investment lined up within the next six months than smaller companies – with between 500-1000 employees – when comparing response rates of 77% and 71% respectively. 

Retailers lead the pack

Previous demonstrations of proximity marketing have focused mainly on applications for retailers and shopping centres. US department store Macy’s announced last year that it would be rolling out iBeacon devices to all of its stores nationwide following trials in San Francisco and New York.

Airspace found retailer adoption for location-based targeting to be at a similar level in the UK, as 80% of brands were planning an investment by June of this year.

Furthermore, with just 2% of the group failing to put a time scale on their planned adoption, a degree of accuracy could be taken from the findings. As the stats revealed, three to six months is still the preferred target.

Known benefits

Airspace was also able to provide reasons as to why so many companies are viewing proximity marketing as a priority for 2015. 

The ability to push out deals to customers was of high importance (68%), with similar levels of response coming in very similar areas – such as distributing special offers (56%), vouchers (50%) and giveaways (47%).

Airspace stressed that while these were important qualities, proximity can play a part in a much wider range of roles within a selected environment.

“For the visiting customer, benefits don’t just come in the form of deals or offers or extra content, but from the improved store layouts or extra staff that the in-store analytics might have brought into play,” notes in the study read. 

“For the locations, whether it’s a chain of 600 cafes or a single football stadium, the technology is going to help them learn more about what we as visitors want, how we like to ‘be’ in-store and ultimately what will make us convert a visit into a purchase. Becoming more loyal to the brand in the process.”

Ian Malone, CEO at Airspace, added: “This research neatly matches our own conversations with high street retailers and other high footfall locations, who feel they need to act now.

“Brands that utilise proximity marketing to deliver relevant, contextual messages will see an upturn in conversion rates and arguably more loyal customers. Even the brands that use the technology simply to understand their customers better will gain a competitive advantage over those without access to the rich data and insights delivered by proximity networks.”