Guest Post by Mike Perrone: Get Real ROI on Guest WiFi

5/29/19

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By Mike Perrone, CEO of SocialSign.in

Consumers view connectivity as a right, not a privilege and Wi-FI and connectivity are basic commodities at this point. So, knowing this, how can a company investing in this technology (guest WiFi) measure its return on investment? Too many companies set out without a clear business case for Wi-Fi and then struggle to measure its return on investment and other associated costs like helpdesk personnel, licensing fees, etc. An easy way to justify offering free guest WiFi is to use WiFi Marketing software – through that, you can promote corporate marketing objectives, gain valuable insights on visitor behaviors, enhance the customer experience, and create relationships rather than just check off a box in the list of amenities for the commercial space.

So, what is the benefit to the commercial landlord? Why not just let the retailers or tenants install this service? On the surface, it seems easier and more cost efficient for the tenants to do their own leasehold improvements, however, this thought process fails to see how these improvements build valuable data assets for the commercial landlord. Owners have common goals with their tenants like; increasing visitor satisfaction and foot traffic, which results in higher store sales and overall revenue. WiFi marketing is a channel to help reach those goals.

Commercial landlords also have their own distinct goals - separate from their tenants - to increase property values and future lease rental rates. The information gathered from WiFi Marketing can be a huge digital asset for both goals. How valuable would it be for commercial landlords to tell future tenants, “30% of your foot traffic are millennials that like J Crew?” Or that “a significant portion of your Wi-Fi audience are from two counties over?” It’s these types of matrices that can give a landlord new insight into their properties and make a big difference in being able to manage the property more efficiently and effectively. As a landlord, being able to understand foot traffic patterns and the people walking through the property, can determine which types of tenants an owner should be accepting to maximize profits.

There are four different kinds of WiFi experiences. The first option is an open Wi-Fi network, which allows visitors to access the network by simply selecting the network. It’s the easiest for customers to use, but many people don’t trust open networks due to security issues and there are zero opportunities to interact or build relationships with visitors.

A second model is the simple sponsored splash page, which can help commercial venues stay on brand and collect email addresses but doesn’t offer any personalized marketing or a touch point to connect with their visitors.

The third model is the general advertising experience, which is typical when using outsourced hardware. It allows businesses to collect data on visitors, but not control the message as the advertising network belongs to the hardware company. The marketing is not personalized and can be perceived as spam.

Finally, the most data-driven solution, the personalized marketing experience. Statistics show that 62% of local business customers spend more time in store if WiFi is available (Source: iGR), and businesses who offer free WiFi to boost sales numbers have a success rate of 72% (Source: iGR) Visitors sign in with their email or social profiles and are taken to a personalized experience curated by the sponsor of the Wi-Fi. This helps owners stay on brand and creates a unique opportunity to connect with visitors at a moment where they are most receptive to interaction. The system remembers the user by name the next time they visit, further building that relationship and enhancing the shopping experience.

Each of these interactions can be followed by a transactional email to the landlord. These emails provide the landlord with the information they could use to improve the experience for the visitor as well as the tenant while gathering intel to increase their bottom line – providing the most significant return on investment for Guest WiFi.

Wi-Fi may be the most requested guest amenity, but it is also a conduit to the largest addressable audience that a brick and mortar business has its foot traffic. This audience can be larger than its website traffic or social media presence combined. If done correctly, Wi-Fi onsite marketing can turn a commodity into a revenue generation channel and create a valuable digital asset. The question that businesses need to answer is if they want to merely provide Guest WiFi or create a new lead generation channel that collects high-quality 1st-party data.

At SocialSign.in we’re passionate about WiFi Marketing, the capabilities of the software and what it can do for businesses. If you’re interested and want to learn more - you can contact us @ info@socialsign.in.

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