The combination of WiFi analytics and WiFi marketing tools has quickly become one of the most powerful ways for brick-and-mortar small businesses to engage with customers to keep them coming back and spending more.

Knowing exactly who your customers are and how they behave at your establishment becomes relatively inexpensive and easy with a WiFi analytics and marketing platform. The data collected can then be used to create and launch targeted brick-and-mortar marketing campaigns with real-time, measurable ROI.

How WiFi Marketing Solutions Work in Brick and Mortar Businesses

This post will break down these systems and explain just how valuable they can be.

What is WiFi Analytics?

Brick-and-mortar establishments have long been at a disadvantage to online businesses in terms of customer data collection. Until now, the only way to get accurate customer data was to spend a lot of money for a third-party to survey your customers. This was expensive and only gave businesses a “snapshot in time” of a small sample size of customers. Fortunately, WiFi analytics can resolve this issue for businesses of any size.

Every mobile device – smart phone, tablet, laptop, smart watch – has a unique identifying number called a MAC address. When WiFi is activated on the device, it is constantly sending out a signal as it looks for a WiFi access point.

At the same time, WiFi access points are constantly looking for signals from WiFi-enabled devices. That signal contains the device’s MAC address, which is how the customer will be identified from that point forward.

The device and its MAC address are logged into a database and at that point, specific details can be measured and tracked about that device. These anonymous details include things like:

• First time visitor
• Repeat rates
• Dwell times
• Day of week/hour of day

These metrics are valuable in terms of being able to get a clear picture of your establishment’s foot traffic and loyalty rates. You also have the ability to compare different stores to each other, and at whatever date range you specify. This allows you to see trends and results of many types of marketing campaigns.

Advanced WiFi Analytics

The metrics above can be collected, stored and viewed even if your customers do not log into your WiFi. But the real power of WiFi marketing comes when your customers do log in.

When they see your WiFi network on their device, they will attempt to connect. This brings them to a WiFi landing page, or captive portal, that will require them to enter information prior to accessing the internet. Typically, they will need to enter their email address and possibly their name. At this point, the system will associate all previous data from that device to a new customer profile.

If the customer logs in using a social media account, such as Facebook, then the system can discover other information from that social media website, such as birthday (age) and gender.

You’ll then have the ability to see demographic information and behavior data of your individual customers, and at this point you can begin segmenting them into different groups based on this data. This is known as WiFi marketing, and allows savvy marketers to ideate, plan, and launch engaging, highly-targeted marketing campaigns.

WiFi Marketing and Customer Engagement

In today’s ultra-competitive brick-and-mortar marketplace, it is imperative to not only be top-of-mind to your customers, but to engage with them effectively to build credibility and customer loyalty. With no data to base your messaging around, you’ll be practically guessing as to how and when to speak to your customers. Basing a marketing campaign on a gut feeling, or intuition, can be devastating for a business.

The best marketing campaigns are built around solid, accurate data. And they are targeted to specific audiences. This is what today’s consumers expect from a brand they are going to give their business to. They want to see deals, promotions and events that are tailored to their specific lives, and will see right through a marketing message that has been created for a general audience.

With the data collected from the WiFi analytics piece, you can now segment your customer list into specific segments based on gender, age, behavior data, physical location, frequency of visits, or any other number of combinations. This allows you to create an extremely targeted message to send to each specific segment.

Study after study shows that targeted advertisements are up to 50% more effective than non-targeted ads. In addition, you will be able to track ROI on each individual campaign. This will allow you to optimize each and every campaign launched.

With a WiFi analytics and marketing platform, brick-and-mortar marketers can take back the advantage that e-commerce businesses have had for years. If you’re not collecting customer profile data and using it for targeted marketing campaigns, you’re quite literally leaving money on the table, and are at-risk of becoming irrelevant to your customer base as your competitors begin to invest in these kind of tool sets.

Our guest author Allen Graves has been on the front lines of digital marketing for over 15 years. Previously a bartender and server, Allen has recently steered his career toward working with Bloom Intelligence and brick-and-mortar small businesses, utilizing WiFi marketing to help increase customer acquisition, spend, frequency and satisfaction.

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