Tracking technologies are all around us. When we simply go outside, we don’t always realize that each step we take and each activity that we perform can be traced and retrieved, if needed.
Whether we like it or not, we deal with it on a daily basis (unless your lifestyle resembles Tom Hanks’ in Castaway).
A lot of companies have started to take advantage of the ever evolving tracking technologies and employ them in their day to day activities. Some of the pioneers that benefitted from these technologies (aside from governmental and military agencies) are trucking and logistics companies. They started using this technology to track their fleet and equipment, automate task assigning and dispatch, promote driver safety and increase overall efficiency of their business processes.
Innovative ways to lure customers to your business
Tracking technologies are increasingly penetrating other business segments and are quickly gaining popularity in retail. Increasing competition and thrive of retail companies to lure all passersby to their businesses are forcing them to try different means, often quite innovative in their nature. Additionally, classic marketing campaigns are not as effective as they used to be because modern consumers are tired of companies simply meeting their needs. Businesses are forced to come up with new and innovative ways to target their potential customers, boosting the demand for their products or services; otherwise, customers start to simply turn to the shop next door.
Parking Guidance solutions appeared on the market a while ago. Find-my-car types of applications were introduced and gained quick popularity by users since they assisted in finding an available parking spot and locating their vehicles after the shopping was over. The solutions have then started to be used for commercial purposes by parking facilities, incorporating the use of hardware devices. Those solutions are still being employed around the world. Some of them feature license plate recognition technologies and sensors counting incoming and leaving vehicles to gather data and further analyze it with the end purpose of maximizing revenue and efficiency. A great example of such solutions is Park Assist, developed by the TKH Group.
Parking guidance software with indoor positioning technology
Parking Guidance Software solutions are starting to be combined with additional functionality to bring additional value to end users and provide retail shops with effective and innovative way to communicate with their existing and potential customers. The solutions are usually provided by shopping malls or parking facilities completely free of charge and are monetized by the revenue received from build-in advertisements. A very good example of such a solution is Parking Guidance and Sales Boosting Tool by OCSICO.
Besides regular car tracking functionality, applications can now include such features as graphical guidance to places of interest and customized location-based advertisements that are becoming helpful and well-desired by modern consumers.
How does this work
Once a user downloads and installs the application, a quick 5 question survey appears. From this point on, the user’s profile is created and is constantly being updated. Even if the person doesn’t fill out the survey, the program is continuing to trace all performed activities: what advertisements or coupons are usually acted upon, which areas of the shopping mall are mostly frequented, etc. Customer preferences can also be retrieved from Google+, Facebook and other social media that the person uses.
With a precise customer’s profile built, the app starts to utilize personalized marketing approach (also called one-to-one marketing or segment-of-one marketing) to send customized push notifications, reminding the user about tomorrow’s sale event at his favorite shopping store, for example. It can also send a push notification when the user approaches a store that might be of interest based on the user’s preferences and previous shopping behavior. The ads become more personalized with each use of the program and each shopping trip, engaging the customer and making shopping experience pleasant and productive.
Typical user experience
The use of the software is simple and intuitive. When approaching a parking lot of a chosen shopping mall, the user performs the following actions:
- Scans a barcode at the entry to the parking lot with his smartphone.
- Downloads and installs the guidance app.
- The software then guides the person to an available parking spot and remembers the location to guide back to the vehicle after the shopping is over.
- The customer gets out of the car and is guided towards the nearest shopping mall entrance.
- During the walk, targeted advertisements, promotions or coupons are displayed on the screen of the device or the monitors that are in front of the customer’s eyes at the moment of walking towards them.
- Once the customer is inside the mall, advertisements are shown depending on the current physical location or the customer’s preferences.
- If something catches the eye, the user can touch an icon and be guided to the chosen store.
The use of such solutions brings utility and savings in terms of time and money spent, which are so much loved and appreciated by modern consumers. At the same time, consumers learn about new products and stores that they never considered before, increasing sales and building loyal customer’s base for businesses of all types. In other words, it’s a win-win situation for both the consumer and the retail business. These software solutions are very unique and innovative, with only a few developers that supply required knowledge and experience.
Modern indoor positioning technologies and personalized marketing are two powerful items that work like magic when blended together. They can provide all kinds of businesses, including small retail shops, with innovative ways to building long-term relationships with their customers. Marketing campaigns become narrowly targeted and effective as never before.
The customers are also happy, knowing that their favorite stores are paying attention to their needs and desires. Additionally, the advertisements they receive are not viewed as spam any longer. Instead, they become helpful, friendly and desired remainders that bring a smile to the viewer. That is what I call innovative marketing at its best!