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Today, more and more stores and businesses are offering Wi-Fi access as a courtesy to their clients and as a way to increase interest and traffic. While free Wi-Fi is itself a huge draw for many potential customers, you also shouldn't overlook the valuable data that you can collect by analyzing the Wi-Fi usage patterns at a business. Find out why any good advertising agency should encourage its business clients to adopt a Wi-Fi analytics and marketing platform.

Tracking Customer Behavior
By monitoring the devices that connect to the network, Wi-Fi systems allow businesses like restaurants, cafes and gyms to capture information about who visits their locations, how long they stay and how often they return. This information can be combined with sales data that describes what these customers are purchasing and which locations they tend to frequent.
The very act of providing free Wi-Fi seems to encourage sales at a business. According to a 2014 survey of small businesses by Devicescape, providing free Wi-Fi has positive effects on customer behavior: After introducing free Wi-Fi, 62 percent of those surveyed said that customers spent more time at the business, while half said that customers spent more money.
Targeting Valuable Customers
Once you've begun to track customer behavior based on Wi-Fi access, you can break your customers down into particular audiences and select those that are most interesting to your business. Wi-Fi analytics and marketing platforms give users the ability to analyze customer data in real time and to identify valuable customer segments.
Businesses looking to launch targeted marketing campaigns would be wise to collect email addresses from people accessing their guest Wi-Fi network. For example, customers who used to visit the business often but who have stopped coming to the business can be identified based on Wi-Fi access patterns and targeted to receive a special offer. Meanwhile, customers who have visited infrequently but who have made large purchases in the past can be enticed back to the business with membership in a customer rewards program.
Building Marketing Campaigns
As the first point of entry for many customers, the Wi-Fi login screen for a business is a priceless location for all sorts of advertising, discounts and special offers. Wi-Fi analytics and marketing platforms allow users to create a variety of marketing campaigns and track results at the individual customer level in real time.
Apart from collecting email addresses, businesses can harness the power of "social Wi-Fi" by asking customers to like or share their brand on social media, gaining valuable exposure. Requiring Wi-Fi users to log in through a social media account also provides you with valuable demographic information, like gender, age and location. Businesses can show advertising from external companies on their Wi-Fi login screen for a profit or display their own promotions to individual customers based on their past purchasing behavior. Combining Wi-Fi access patterns with big data from your sales, marketing and advertising departments is the ultimate coup for advertising and marketing agencies.
Final Thoughts
The more you know about your customers, the better placed you are to serve their needs in the future. Much more than just a way to draw in clients, business Wi-Fi networks have become an invaluable source of data about customer demographics and behavior. Advertising and marketing agencies who help their clients implement and utilize Wi-Fi analytics and marketing platforms get immediate visibility into how well their campaigns are working and can deliver a new level of transparency and accountability into their client relationships.

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