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How Increased Wi-Fi Access is Changing the Game for Digital Marketing

Long gone are the days of using an old fashioned desktop computer to access the Internet. Whether we’re underground riding the NYC subway or way up in the sky in an airplane, we’ve come to expect Wi-Fi access no matter where we are.

Our Wi-Fi addiction has become so extreme that, according to research carried out by Vala Afshar, Chief Digital Evangelist at Salesforce, 75% of people surveyed said that one week without it would leave them grumpier than one week without coffee. But stats like these are no surprise– all it takes is merely observing a public location with free Wi-Fi to see how pervasive our addiction has become.

This harsh reality begs the question– what impact does our obsession with Wi-Fi access have on digital marketing?

More Advertising Opportunity

Because we really need to be bombarded with more advertisements…more Wi-Fi access means more advertisement opportunities. For example, recently LinkNYC launched their initiative to repurpose all NYC payphone booths with innovative, high-tech Wi-Fi kiosks. And while these new kiosks greatly benefit New Yorkers by granting them a variety of mobile amenities, it has created a new platform for advertisers, as well. And big companies are not wasting any time in getting their brand up on these new kiosks; so far, Poland Spring, MillerCoors, Pager, and Citibank all have ads in rotation. As more kiosks pop up, more companies, both large and small, will be able to advertise on them. David Etherington, chief strategy officer at Intersection, a partner company in this project, says the plan is “to allow advertisers much greater strategic and creative flexibility—for example, dayparting and hypertargeting” to both online and offline users.

Close the Gap Between Online and Offline Consumer Profiling

Widespread Wi-Fi access grants retail marketers the ability to use their data analytics more effectively. Offering free Wi-Fi in the store gives valuable insight into customer behavior such as footfall, duration of visit, and frequency of visits. By examining and comparing in-store, online, CRM, and POS data, a company can create consumer profiles that lead them to present their content in the best way possible. In-store Wi-Fi enables a business to tailor their marketing strategy directly to consumer behavior. Bridging the gap between online and offline user behavior has been one of the most significant challenges since Web 2.0’s overthrow of traditional marketing strategies, not to mention it helps a company leverage their data to improve customer engagement and, ultimately, increase sales.

Offer Free Branded Wi-Fi to Generate Leads

Sound too good to be true? Then you don't know the lengths people will go to for free Wi-Fi. Social media Wi-Fi hotspots are growing more and more popular because they allow businesses to generate leads when customers connect to their designated Wi-Fi network. To connect to "FREE WiFi-Company name," customers have to log in via one of their social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) or by email. And once they do, they're redirected to a company's custom landing page and voilà– their information is now stored in the database. Public Wi-Fi hotspots are a win-win situation for both consumers and businesses. Why not take advantage of this brilliant marketing opportunity and exchange free Wi-Fi for customer information? Set up your company's Wi-Fi hotspot ASAP to start generating leads effortlessly. 

It's no secret that Internet access, specifically free Internet access, is changing the game for digital marketing. People love free things, people love Wi-Fi, and people really love free Wi-Fi. Especially you, millennials. Capitalize on people's Wi-Fi addiction by implementing free Internet access into your overall marketing strategy. It's a no-brainer. Make sure your business offers the best possible Wi-Fi experience to your customers because not only will the pay off be worth it, but you'll also collect all the more data to verify that it was. 

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