Sarah Ortman, Associate Director/Marketing Communications at The Clorox Co., discussed this subject at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2016.
More specifically, she argued that attempts to tap proximity marketing – which aims to provide hyper-targeted and relevant messaging tailored to a consumer's precise location – must begin from the view of the customer, not the brand.
"When we put our plans together, I try to put myself in the shoes of a consumer or a shopper. You're not always ready to pick up that unit in store: the drink, or a box of cereal, or the canister of wipes," she said. (For more, including further tips for marketers, read Warc's exclusive report: Clorox gets close to consumers with proximity marketing.)
Beacons are a case in point. These small pieces of hardware can engage in automated two-way communications with a smartphone to discover if an individual has a particular app open and is opted in to receive brand messages.
Given the potential for alienating customers that would result from sending them irrelevant content, Ortman recommended focusing on audience interests rather than technological capabilities.
"From a retail standpoint, as shoppers, consumers want to get in and out really quickly," she said. "So I think it has to solve a real consumer or shopper need.
"Is this a 'surprise-and-delight' reward? Do you want to highlight news? Do you want to bring somebody back with an offer and a repeat visit?"
Similar logic is at work as with Brita Infinity, a wifi-enabled water pitcher that tracks how much liquid passes through the reservoir to automatically determine when a new filter is required, thus reducing the burden on consumers to zero.
"With the Brita systems, you have to change your filter. It's recommended every 90 days or so but, of course, people forget; there's a lot of slippage there," Ortman said.
"So when a certain amount of water goes through the reservoir it auto-replenishes. You don't even have to think about it, and a new filter shows up, delivered by Amazon."
Data sourced from Warc