Small businesses have a vast range of technology solutions available to solve any problem — and new solutions are being introduced every day. The question is, are they right for your business? To help you decide, "Would You Use It?" explores these technologies and how they can help your business.
Is your business ready to try location-based marketing? Using geo-data, location-based marketing helps brick-and-mortar establishments reach nearby, highly targeted customers in real-time on the devices these consumers most frequently carry: their smartphones and tablets. One such location-based marketing service is iSIGN Media. For the past seven years, iSIGN has focused on the value of location-aware services and their added benefits, such as data collection, processing and analytics.
ISIGN has developed a patented technology that discovers mobile devices and delivers targeted, relevant and timely messages to those users within a selectable range of 30 to 300 feet (9 to 91 meters). Message delivery is on an opt-in basis and uses a mobile device's built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi services, with nothing for the consumer to install.
To target customers, iSIGN measures both device discovery and device user behavior. This provides retailers with the ability to profile both crowd and individual device user behavior. You can also send users targeted messaging based on previously accepted messages, and you can use crowd behaviors to schedule promotions and better understand retail location traffic patterns, preferences and marketing success. [Read related article: 5 Location-Based Mobile Marketing Tools for Small Businesses]Alex Romanov, CEO of iSIGN Media Credit: Image courtesy of iSIGN Media
Alex Romanov, CEO of iSIGN, discussed with Business News Daily why small businesses should use location-based marketing and how iSIGN can help these businesses reach their advertising goals.
Business News Daily: What problem were you hoping to solve with this technology?
Alex Romanov: Today, advertisers are trying to maximize the impact of marketing campaigns while operating on reduced marketing budgets. One way to accomplish this is to leverage shoppers' use of mobile screens. Shoppers are viewing these screens the most consistently and are the most impressionable for purchasing when in proximity of goods or services being promoted.
BND: Why should small businesses use this type of solution?
A.R.: Small and medium-sized businesses are unable to fund the use of expensive app-based proximity marketing. Moreover, these technologies have proven ineffective due to consumer reluctance to find, install and launch these apps. iSIGN technology requires no user installation and [relies on] simple promotional content development using standard graphic development tools. Low cost, local graphic and Web developers are all that is required to prepare and launch promotions.
BND: Which types of businesses can benefit most from iSIGN?
A.R.: Small and medium businesses will appreciate the low cost of deploying iSIGN technology. Large businesses will appreciate the advantage over applications, and iSIGN's technology also acts as a source for big data, describing individual device and crowd behaviors.
BND: What do you think are iSIGN's most important features for small businesses?
A.R.: Low cost. Delivery of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi messages to consumers can be a fraction of a penny in busy environments.
BND: What is a real-world example of how iSIGN has helped small businesses?
A.R.: Convenience stores with gas bars within the Midwest have measured dramatic increase in promotional acceptance and corresponding foot traffic into the store, as well as credit card sales and overall sales.
BND: What makes iSIGN different from that of your competitors?
A.R.: Traditional app-based proximity marketing has proven expensive to develop and ineffective due to the considerable user steps required. Traditional text message marketing has proven to be unfriendly and expensive for consumers. ISIGN technology is simple and inexpensive to deploy. It is consumer friendly with its inclusion of user opt-in. ISIGN has the only all-weather Bluetooth/Wi-Fi proximity marketing solution that can double or triple the consumer audience size when compared to solutions that must be installed indoors with limited reach to nearby consumers.
[Check out the best text message marketing services on our sister site, Business.com.]
BND: What are some misconceptions people have about using this type of technology?
A.R.: That it is intrusive. Users opt in to both discovery and messaging through control of the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on their devices. Moreover, no user information is discovered on devices, only attributes of the device itself.
BND: What do you think is the biggest challenge to implementing this technology?
A.R.: Retailer awareness. The technology is quite new and requires that we explain its benefits and how it differs from traditional alternatives.
BND: What types of support do you offer to help business overcome that challenge?
A.R.: We have become very good at retailer partnering. We work with a number of retailers and retail technology distributers to assist them in deployments and maximization of our technology. We also install in conjunction with other marketing technologies, such as digital signage, and can assist retailer partners with how best to launch campaigns that incorporate both signage and proximity marketing.
BND: Where do you see the future of this technology going, and how can small businesses stay ahead?
A.R.: Content delivered in proximity will become richer. Retailers, restaurant operators and others will include Wi-Fi–delivered content that includes games and videos and even apps.