What is WiFi Marketing?
WiFi Marketing is an umbrella term for many technologies coming together to leverage the opportunity of guests requiring a WiFi connection. Being connected is vital and WiFi is one of the best ways to stay connected. The starting point of WiFi Marketing is offering Free WiFi to guests and ideally capturing their data while they connect. If you would like to skip all the detail and just get started with WiFi Marketing then check out our WiFi Hotspot Marketing product. If you are not ready and would like more info first then please read on
Types of WiFi Marketing
There are many uses cases in the general WiFi Marketing realm and we will explore the most important ones in more detail below. To simplify the WiFi Marketing picture we have created general segments under which the majority of the use cases will fit.
Using Guest WiFi to capture customer email and demographic information for the purposes of marketing to them directly. Typically integrates with other CRM services like Mailchimp
Collection of tools and feaures used to detect customer presence and behaviour. Data is typically anonymised and can help store owners understand their customer beahviour
Integrating with review sites such as TripAdvisor and Google Reviews to increase the review count and enhance online visibility and reputation
WiFi Marketing Use Cases
There are many use cases included in the WiFi Marketing area. Some of them belong explicitly to one of the categories above, some cross between both and then there are some that are unique and solve their own unique problem. We will walk through these use cases one by one below
Probably the highest value, and the building block of many of the other use cases is the capture of a verified email of your customer. We all know that data is the new gold, so it makes sense to take the opportunity and capture email on WiFi
While not necessarily a use case, it is an important value add. Every industry will have their own CRM favorites and they represent a valuable and lasting resource. Integrating your WiFi data capture directly into your CRM is an important automating step
Guest Behavioural Data
Not to be confused with anonymised data which we explain later, this is the classification of the known user in your CRM. Examples of data you should have include:
- Last Visit – Date that guest was last in venue
- Visit Frequency – Measure of customer loyalty
- First Seen – The date the user was first seen in the venue
If you are employing WiFi Marketing in a large venue like a hotel or a shopping centre, then it may be important to know what part of the venue they utilise. For example, guests who only visit the Spa at a hotel will likely not be interested in conference room rates and vice versa. Profiling guests by where exactly they use in your venue is important
The ability to change the WiFi signal provides the opportunity to segment users by the WiFi they connect. Consider the case of a conference centre, where there are different events each week. This use case would allow a specific event to be created and for all the data captured during the event to be segmented into a specific database for re-marketing
Footfall Counting and Dwell Time
WiFi Analytics create the opportunity to collate anonymized data to build an accurate picture of the number of people visiting a venue. As each and every person carries a phone, they can be counted as they come in and out of a venue. It can also be used to establish how long users typically stay in a given venue. In larger venues, these measures can be broken down into smaller units by generating the same data for each smaller part of that venue.
User Journey Flow
WiFi can also be used to learn about how users move throughout your location. While encompassing many of the footfall counting and dwell time above, it goes a level beyond and will detect and display traffic flows, as users move from one zone to another. For example in a shopping center, such a system could map the customer journey as the enter, then as they move through the center and finally as they leave.This use case is worthwhile to understand how guests move your venue and may prompt adjustment to change guest behaviour if desired.
Beacons are in the sphere of proximity marketing and although they can work independently of WiFi, they typically form part of the same installation. Beacons are placed in multiple locations in a venue and they will send an alert to a users phone as soon as they come within a certain distance. While being amazing technology with lots of potential, it is limited by the fact that a user must have a dedicated app already installed on their phone.
Social Check In
This involves requiring a WiFi user to check in to a venue on Facebook or a similar social platform. This sounds great in theory as a venue would get loads of check ins and increase their online exposure however there are a few major downsides. Firstly, users do not like being forced to check in to a venue so you can expect a lot of resistance. Also, many users do not have social accounts and typically use email. The best way to optimize this opportunity is to present the guest with the option to check in while offering a reward, like a discount in return.
Automating Online Reviews
This is possibly the best application of WiFi Marketing currently available. It involves integrating the WiFi Hotspot Service with popular online review sites like TripAdvisor. This integration will let the review sites know that a user has been in a particular venue on a given date and they will then send them an invitation to leave a review of their experience. This is a really powerful application of data and can result in significant improvements in online ranking. MyPlace Connect are doing some exciting work with review integrations so watch this space
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WiFi Marketing Considerations
This is undoubtedly a very exciting space with lots of potential. A lot of the features here will depend on the type of WiFi equipment a venue has installed. MyPlace integrates directly with UniFi which is a very good fit for hospitality. It is also important to note that users in general would prefer if they didn’t have to register for WiFi and give details so you will need to strike the balance between ease of access and how much data you get in return. Some services, like MyPlace only ask the guest to register once and only once. They get free WiFi just like home and all the marketing still happens in the background
WiFi Marketing - A Space to Watch
WiFi Marketing and proximity marketing in general is a really exciting space. If you own or help to market a bricks and mortar retail or hospitality venue then you should get as much data on your customers as is possible. Online companies are way ahead when it comes to this and unfortunately bricks and mortar stores, especially hospitality are way behind. The data is there, waiting to be used – just take the first step!
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