Editor’s note: Today’s guest blogger is Kristan Hamill, CEO of the proximity-based marketing company Kocomojo. Read how Kocomojo uses Google Maps APIs to help businesses build customer loyalty.

Access to real-time location data has opened up new ways to interact with and better understand customers and customer behavior. With the Kocomojo web dashboard and mobile SDK, marketers can create campaigns inside their own applications or third-party apps based on real-time customer locations and behavior. Since geo-targeting is becoming one of the most powerful ways businesses can connect with customers, we partnered with Google Maps Premier Partner Dito to build our Kocomojo proximity-based marketing platform, KocoConnectTM using Google Maps APIs.

Beacons (Bluetooth low energy devices ) broadcast their location to nearby portable electronic devices, allowing smartphones, tablets and other devices to perform actions when in close proximity to beacons. This gives marketers the ability to promote at close proximity in the range of three to fifty feet with accuracy up to three feet. You can read more about beacons on the Google Developers website.

When we combine geofences with beacon technology, marketers can create sophisticated geo-targeted and hyper-local boundaries that trigger campaigns on the mobile phone. These campaigns can direct customer foot traffic and help businesses interact with customers who are near or on premises. And the KocoConnect platform is beacon agnostic, working with iBeacon, Eddystone, and proprietary beacon protocols so that marketers using it have options when selecting beacon hardware.
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The Google Maps JavaScript API allows us to insert maps into our Web dashboard, so clients can instantly visualize their data and make informed decisions. With the Kocomojo analytics tools, marketers can measure engagement rates, user preference on A / B tests, and promotion performance over time or within any particular boundary, making adjustments to campaign strategy as needed. People intuitively know how to use Google Maps, so they can quickly focus on the work that needs to be done rather than spend time learning a new interface.

The Google Maps Geocoding API and the Google Maps Drawing Layer let our clients draw a boundary around their stores to define the area in which they want to make offers to nearby customers. The same approach can be applied to building campaigns in remote areas, giving clients the flexibility to send targeted messaging to select neighborhoods and demographics.

When their customers are inside those boundaries, they’ll receive an offer or message on their phones. The boundary can be as small as a quarter mile or as wide as ten miles. The offers don’t have to be just for special sales — companies can also use them to build brand loyalty, for example, offering rewards for visiting a store a certain number of times or promoting an exclusive event.

When building proximity marketing campaigns in iOS and Android, we use the Google Maps Geocoding API Web Service. For iOS, we use the Google Maps SDK for iOS, and Android uses the Google Maps Android API.
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With the Google Maps APIs, we’re just starting to scratch the surface of what proximity-based marketing will eventually do. But even today, the results are phenomenal. Proximity-based marketing delivers a 60 percent engagement rate, which means that people respond to 60 percent of offers sent to them. That’s extraordinarily high. While that number may drop over time — new technologies often have the highest engagement rates when they’re first introduced — it’s clear that marketing that incorporates user’s location is here to stay, with benefits for both consumers and businesses.