What is Proximity Marketing: What Types and How does it Work?

Nowadays the number of mobile device owners is constantly increasing. The abundance of smartphones and tablet PCs in combination with modern mobile technologies gives manufacturers more opportunities to advertise and promote their services or products. Today, proximity marketing technique is one of the foundations for creating a concept of individual customer service. On the one hand, it allows the company to create more comfortable conditions for visitors to the store, on the other hand, it provides retail networks with the analytical data necessary to create targeted messages based on customer preferences (cluster analysis).

What Is Proximity Marketing?

Proximity marketing includes an opportunity to influence the target audience and to offer products exactly at the moment when potential consumers are in close proximity to the point of sale or provision of services. It is possible to attract attention through interactive displays, screens, or even directly through a mobile device. Proximity marketing or hyperlocal marketing is the type of targeted advertising that covers the target audience in specific territorial limits. So, the area of the display and mailing mobile advertising can be limited to the outside of the quarter or even several hundred meters.

Bluetooth marketing is one of the elements of proximity marketing campaigns. Bluetooth marketing can be considered the result of the evolution of direct marketing, from which it borrowed the basic principles, only the way of delivering information to recipients changed. The delivery of messages occurs with the help of special software or hardware on any Bluetooth supporting devices. In this case, the recipient of the message has the ability to refuse to receive it or to completely disable the reception of any messages. Thus, messages are delivered only to users who gave their consent and are not intrusive as spam and SMS sendings. The main feature of Bluetooth marketing is the limited access zone to users, so in normal conditions, Bluetooth devices transmit information for a distance of not more than 100 meters. This limits the widespread use of this technology and makes it most applicable in large supermarkets, banks, business centers, where there is a large population of people at short distances.

Types of Proximity Marketing

There are several types of proximity marketing depending on the technology used:

  • sending advertisements to mobile devices over the Bluetooth network,
  • Wi-Fi or SMS messages,
  • distribution of special offers,
  • digital coupons or promotional codes,
  • interactive digital scoreboards,
  • QR or barcodes.

How Does It Work?

Thanks to the technology of proximity marketing, it became possible to communicate with customers in real time. This can be a push-notification with a discount coupon at the very moment when a person shows interest in the goods on the shelf he is looking at.

To a certain area of the store, Bluetooth sensors are installed, which are able to detect the location of a smartphone located in the range of the sensor. Thanks to the sensors and the specialized application installed in the device, it is possible to send notifications and messages, depending on the location of the buyer. The customers of the store need only download and install on their mobile device a specialized application.

The technology of proximity marketing allows companies to learn ways how to enrich the sensory perception of information by a person. This "augmented reality" gives shops of organized large-scale retail trade the opportunity to communicate with customers through special coupons and additional information about the products, thus amusing shoppers and allowing them to conduct promotions for certain brands.

The technology of proximity marketing allows companies to meet the consumers' need for detailed information about the store's products. These can be recipes for the preparation of specific products, videos that illustrate the use of a particular technique, references to literature on services or ethical and social aspects of production. The specific application also allows users to read QR codes, providing access to a wide range of multimedia content to obtain even more information about the product in the outlet.

The opinion of visitors, the routes of their movement around the store and the items they pay special attention to today are of great importance for providing conditions that will be attractive to buyers. This is becoming possible through the use of proximity marketing technology to collect data, which allows companies to track the paths and trajectories of customers' travel, learn their habits and preferences, and seek dialogue with each visitor at the most appropriate time for it. The technology of proximity marketing allows companies to communicate with visitors by offering them something that will be interesting to them, for example, interactive reviews and electronic coupon codes.


For the consumer, the appearance of this type of marketing made it possible to independently choose which advertisement to receive, or completely refuse it. Now interacting with the brand, the consumer receives tangible benefits in the form of free games, prizes, and gifts, etc. Bluetooth advertising takes into account the interests of not only the brand but also ordinary consumers, thereby distinguishing it from other means of marketing impact.