Have you noticed that ads are becoming increasingly more personal and relevant to you? This is because of a marketing focus shift from globalization to personalization which targets people directly rather than selling products to mass audiences. What I mean by this is that businesses are striving to create advertising, public relations and marketing content that will reach consumers as they are showing interest in specific products.
This requires brands to use data analytics to monitors online traffic. For example, say I was going camping in a month. I start looking online for destinations. The next step is looking for camping gear. Once I start looking for outdoor apparel and outdoor cooking gear, a company like REI who is using data analytics to personalize the advertising, would see that I would also potentially be looking for a tent or a sleeping bag. So that company would send me specific advertisements to direct me to them, normally offering some kind of deal or a coupon. This has been a common marketing tool, which is why Google analytics and other software like it have become so widely used. The new data that people are collecting is based on mobile data that all transmitted from our phones. This allows companies to target use wherever we go, but this can be a good thing.
So how is proximity going to play an increasing role? With all the mobile data out there companies can track your every move as scary as that might sound. However, if you are in a mall and you have a shopping history at urban outfitters and you walk within a certain distance, Urban outfitters will have programs to send you specific offers that appeal specifically to your purchasing history. Some people say this is an invasion of privacy, but I would argue that as long as you use the Internet you accept that you are being tracked, and if you don’t accept it there are hundreds of anti-tracking applications, which can be downloaded for free. Google even offers one called Adblock-Pro. As companies begin to use proximity based marketing tactics, advertisers and public relations specialists will have to find ways to exploit this new trend and use it to increase the reach of a PR or Ad campaign.