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16 Mar 10:00 GMT / 06:00 EST

The Drum Digital Transformation Festival launch

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Gordon Young
Editor-in-chief at The Drum

An app store for the proximity marketer: brands granted access to new service

Advertisers perplexed by the intricacies of proximity marketing could be set for a reprieve with the launch of a service that promises to let advertisers choose their proximity partners in a way that’s as easy as choosing apps from an app store.

The platform, dubbed Proxbook, is effectively a directory of proximity solutions providers (PSPs), giving marketers a single point of entry to tap specialists in beacons, GPS, NFC, WiFi and more. At a most basic level, Proxbook will collate all the contact details and service information for PSPs that choose to be listed on it. Going forward it will directly connect people

In a market with over 300 PSPs, accessing this knowledge has proved difficult for advertisers with some unsure what technologies will sharpen their proximity marketing and have consequently slowed their investments in the discipline. Coca-Cola, Kraft and Papa John’s have talked up the potential of proximity technology like beacons to elevate precision marketing but admit progression toward that level of targeting is slow due to a lack of knowledge on how to implement the technology at scale.

“There are more specialised PSPs than ever before, whether that’s by vertical or technology, but the lack of transparency means its hard for brands and retailers to find the right fit for their strategy,” said Thomas Walle Jensen, co-founder and chief executive of Proxbook’s creator Unacast.

“We want [Proxbook] to be the starting point for brands and retailers looking to deploy a proximity solution because up until now that lack of transparency has limited the growth of the industry. The [proximity] technologies are great but there’s a missing link between that and the brand’s strategy.”

The launch comes amid a shift in attitude toward proximity marketing and how it can propel personalisation. Recent initiatives from Unilever,Tesco and Transport for London suggest a greater willingness to use technology like beacons to explore new revenue streams as they come under tougher pressure to get more from their media investments.

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