Proximity matters

Proximity? This is what you think about first. But what things do we think about first? The answer is simple: the things that are most relevant to you. The more “proximate”, the more relevant.

Thus, there are four types of proximities:

          1.     Spatial proximity

If something is closer to you in physical space, it becomes more important.

Example: Big news in your neighbourhood or big new in the other town?

         2.     Emotional proximity

If we have stronger emotions towards something, this emotional object will become more relevant to us.

Example: you like a certain model of car. Chances are you are more likely to buy this car to other car model than identical (or even slightly better), but with which you don’t have emotional connection.

          3.     Probabilistic proximity

If something if more probable, it is more likely to grab your attention.

Example: Win 400euro with probability of 60% or 600euro with probability of 40% – which would you choose?

          4.     Temporal proximity

If something is more close to you in time, you will pay more attention to it.

Example: 4 tickets to Summer Olympic games of 2012 or 6 tickets to the Summer Olympics 2016?


The relevance of proximity in Marketing is easy concept now that we defined it: make you products / services “more proximate” to your potential customers, by, for example:

  • Making your products more locally available, to increase spatial proximity
  • Creating a personal interest in products to increase emotional proximity
  • Dividing, reducing and simplifying the product in order to increase probabilistic proximity (e.g., 2 litter milk for 1,5euro, into 1 little milk for 0,75 euro)
  • Making product easy to use / comprehend, to increase temporal proximity
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