Iconiction hits home with hyperlocal marketing

With big name retail customers such as Chevrolet, Givenchy, and Crate and Barrel, Iconiction has created campaigns that are both targeted and informative.

What started in May 2014 as a company to help startups in the Gulf Cooperation Council with their marketing needs has now utilized one of the hottest marketing trends of the year, hyperlocal advertising. 

“The campaign is around a specific physical location,” Sebastien Marteau, founder and CEO of Iconiction, recently told Gulf News Journal. “As a retailer, you will fish only where your fish are. So you will be very targeted and very specific about your advertising.”

Dubai has become a hotbed for mobile hyperlocal advertising with a smartphone penetration of more than 73.8 percent of the population.  Dubai has a presence of 55.7 international retailers, making it the second most important international shopping destination globally only behind London, according to the 2015 edition of "How Global is the Business of Retail" released by CBRE. For Marteau it only seemed natural to try to connect these brands to customers.

“Being able to engage with customers is really important,” he said. “So what we offer is a different set of technology that will drive people to stores. This is something really important. All retailers are looking to get footfall to their stores, are looking at driving brand awareness and discovery for their brands for their services and promotions in certain areas.”

Hyperlocal advertising has proven extremely successful for the Iconiction team. While traditional banner advertisers offer 0.2 or 0.3 percent click proliferation for applications and 0.5 percent for websites, they have 1 percent of people clicking on the banner to go to a specific landing page.

Marteau and his team work with almost 7 million mobile applications to advertise their brands. They setup a perimeter of 1,640 feet around a major shopping center such as Dubai Mall, and are able to send out targeted advertising and promotions for brands in the mall to customers near the stores.

Most important, he said, is the information this innovative marketing can provide his clients. Everything can be measured, he says, unlike traditional advertising venues such as print, television or radio. Customers have access to who is clicking through the ads and who is responding to the campaigns.

Iconiction also is working on technology to add to stores that will allow retailers the opportunity to measure footfall in and around the store through Wi-Fi triangulation. Smartphone users who have enabled hotspots on their devices will be asked if they want to join a network. By joining the network, they’ll be offered promotions and coupons to the store they are in, and retailers in turn will be able to improve displays and store offerings based on the proven demographics of their customers.

While much of hyperlocal advertising’s relies on customer trust and their willingness to share information, there is little doubt for Marteau that it is the wave of the marketing future.

“Clearly mobile is becoming the primary platform with an audience,” he said. “What we provide is a solution for brands and retailers to better engage on mobile with their customers.”

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