Wi-Fi – A new tool for marketing

4 May 2016


Wi-Fi traffic is exploding! In 2016, the number of Wi-Fi connections made from a mobile device will be greater than those transiting over cellular networks*. Furthermore, according to iPass, there will be 325 million public Wi-Fi hotspots in 2018, compared to the 48 million already installed in France in 2014. Yet will we be able to exploit all this potential? What can we do today with Wi-Fi, apart from proposing a web connection?

To the question: “Are there still any underexploited marketing usages for Wi-Fi?” the answer is yes, not least due to the fact that its usages are still in their early days, and some such as monetisation or data analysis are still underexploited or entirely unexploited by marketing departments.


Wi-Fi as a source of revenue

Today it is possible to generate revenue with your Wi-Fi network and in this way offset its operating costs. To do this, many solutions exist such as Premium services, roaming or sponsorship and advertising. The latter solution has the advantage of maintaining free Wi-Fi for users. In order not to impinge upon the user experience and customer satisfaction, operators will need to put in place mechanisms with the least possible intrusive formats. Today it is possible to manage efficiently the advertising interface whether over the connection portal (static image, video, mailing) or the web browser (via web injection).


Wi-Fi: the new tool for customer intelligence

Marketing departments also underexploit Wi-Fi for their campaigns and data gathering. With the explosion in Wi-Fi traffic, Wi-Fi represents more than ever a major communication channel. It can be used for collecting behavioural information about users via connection portals, Wi-Fi equipment and devices (smartphones, etc.), and to process and analyse this information with a view to launching targeted marketing campaigns. With the new authentication modes via the social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), it is also possible to enrich the data collected on people who connect to the Wi-Fi portal. The collected information has the merit of being reliable, when compared to information deriving from forms filled in by users.


Thanks to this information, companies can then get in touch with users via email or the social networks. The objective is to provide useful content for both parties: a free Wi-Fi connection for the user and, for the company, a distribution channel and an audience for its promotions. Thanks to this customer intelligence, the marketing messages become more targeted and relevant. It is also possible to create geo-located marketing campaigns by coupling Wi-Fi with a localisation platform, and sending messages according to the user’s position.


Possessing a Wi-Fi infrastructure is becoming increasingly a key vector for intelligence and customer satisfaction. When coupled with other existing technologies such as iBeacons and connected things, Wi-Fi becomes a data source and a medium for improving the marketing strategy and the customer experience.



*according to a Cisco VNI 2015 study

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