Introduction This Book is about marketing, to be more exact itâ€™s about marketing using Bluetooth. All forms of advertising provide benefits and Bluetooth is no exception, in fact Bluetooth works very well alongside other forms of advertising and in some circumstances can replace some more expensive forms of advertising. Most mobile devices available on the high street today are Bluetooth enabled, and because we can connect to other phones, headsets & car kits, the majority of people have their Bluetooth turned on and visible to all. The mobile phone is our most personal of devices and we take it everywhere, with this knowledge wouldnâ€™t is be wise to Market to mobiles, imagine the benefits we can give customers, special offers, discount vouchers, information and much more, and it is free to send and receive these forms of messages So, why do many of the large companies use this type of marketing, while the majority of small businesses don't? Perhaps it could be that we have not been made aware of its potential, or in the past it has been mis-sold to us. This book is aimed at explaining Bluetooth, the power of marketing to mobiles, the pit falls, the hidden truths and the benefits if you get it right.
WHERE DOES BLUETOOTH FIT IN WITH THE GROWTH OF MOBILE MARKETING? To understand the growth of mobile marketing, itâ€™s important to understand the effectiveness of internet marketing. As the circulation of newspapers declines, and the growth of ondemand TV begins to erode the effectiveness of TV traditional TV advertising, many companies are turning to internet and mobile advertising in an effort to stay ahead of their competition. As the internet becomes more mobile, it stands to reason that mobile advertising will be the way forward for many companies. Major organisations are already allocating growing percentages of their marketing budgets to mobile marketing. U.S. mobile advertising revenues (search and display) will grow to $3.1 billion in 2013, from $160 million in 2008, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 81.2 percent The Kelsey Group, 2009 Advertising is rapidly changing. The number of diverse methods of marketing has continuously accelerated for the last decade. The trend running through these new ways to reach clients is the increasing need to identify your target market. Advertising is becoming more niche. Take advertising on Google as an example. In the early days of the internet, a banner on a search engine homepage was not uncommon. At the time when the internet was largely a business tool, it made sense to advertise business related services. Now, however, the internet is available to all. A banner advertisement would only appeal to a small percentage of search engine users.
Google Adwords changed all this, and is now widely recognised as the quickest and most effective route to market for almost any product. With Google Adwords, it’s possible to specifically target your audience through the use of keywords. Implemented correctly, this means your advertising will only be shown to people searching for your particular product – and you will only be charged when they visit your website. The more niche your target audience, the more cost effective your advertising becomes. The power of mobile advertising is in its uniquely personal feel. Mobiles are now centric to the every day lives of an ever expanding number of people. It’s now more common to see people reading a text message than a newspaper. Google recently indicated that their future plans will consider the mobile internet first. If the future of advertising is the internet, then the future of the internet is mobile, and the future of mobile marketing is proximity marketing.
"Now is the time for all of us to get behind it. What I would suggest to you here, right now, at Mobile World Congress is to understand that the new rule is 'mobile first'; mobile first in everything.. it's time for us to make mobile first the right answer.“ Eric Schmidt – Google Chief Executive Mobile World Congress 2010, Barcelona
As mobile devices become more intelligent, so will the marketing strategies employed to exploit them. The long term growth of marketing to mobiles will be based around location based services. Location based services pinpoint the whereabouts of a mobile user and respond to this location with the content delivered to the user. Part of the content delivered will be marketing messages relevant to the location. A simple example would be that when a mobile user chooses to use a search engine, and types in restaurant, they will be presented with information on local restaurants. Their location is able to be determined because of the GPS capability of their handset. Itâ€™s still only a very small percentage of mobile devices that have GPS capability, and therefore interact with any current location based services. The mobile phone market is already huge, but the capability to reach that market in a targeted manner is still not where it needs to be to maximise the potential of that market. This is where Bluetooth marketing can be successful. The potential of Bluetooth marketing is that it can bridge a gap. Bluetooth marketing fills the void that currently exists between the number of mobile users, and the time it will take for these mobile users to adopt the technology required for location based mobile advertising. This void is likely to exist for a number of years yet.
The power of advertising to mobile users within close proximity of a business is huge, and the fact that anyone receiving a Bluetooth message can be a maximum of just a few minutes walk from the advertiser ensures, if the message is appealing enough, it’s easy for the potential client to act on impulse, and quickly. Yes, there will be users to whom the marketing message may be unappealing, but the beauty of Bluetooth marketing is that there is no increase in cost because more people read the advertisement, unlike pay-per-click or SMS campaigns. Bluetooth advertising also gives small and medium sized businesses the opportunity to compete with the larger organisations in the battle for advertising space on a customers mobile. By utilising Bluetooth marketing, a business is effectively promoting the one, massive advantage they have over any competitor that may be in the potential customer’s consciousness – the proximity of the customer to the advertiser. As any business knows, the major battle is getting customers through the door. By using Bluetooth marketing effectively, a business is effectively saying, I have a great offer and I’m literally second away, and they’re saying it in perhaps the most personal way possible.
The capability to send so many different kinds of eye catching content to the mobile phones of potential customers opens up a number of exciting possibilities to Bluetooth marketeers. As the saying goes, “ a picture paints a thousand words”, and this is one of the reasons Bluetooth can be a far more powerful tool than SMS marketing for example. It’s important however to keep a sense of perspective, and have realistic expectations when embarking on a successful Bluetooth marketing campaign. One of the most significant considerations to bear in mind when creating your Bluetooth marketing campaign, is that it’s vital your message is received by as many people as possible. This should not be overly compromised by creating overly complicated or intricate content, as ultimately if few people are receiving your message then the whole exercise is futile. One of the most common errors made by businesses when embarking on a Bluetooth campaign is to create content that simply takes too long to download to a mobile. This can result in incomplete downloads due to recipients walking outside the reception area, or failed downloads due to the transmission being interrupted in other ways. The key is to keep the file size down to a level where transmission is fast, allowing the Bluetooth unit to move on and find another potential target as quickly as possible.
The Formula for success – Key element When conducting a long range Bluetooth campaign, keep the message file size below 50kb to increase the chances of more successful downloads
It’s fair to say that in a room or high street crammed with people, the percentage of mobiles able to receive a marketing message will be high, but it’s not possible for so many messages to be sent all at once. In a situation with high volumes of traffic (mobile users constantly in the vicinity of the box) it’s a good idea to deploy a campaign with a shorter message, in order to make the most of the numerous possible recipients. The distance the majority of the target audience is likely to be away from the Bluetooth unit should also be considered when planning a campaign. As has already been referred to in this book, an effective campaign should concentrate on potential recipients within 60m of a Bluetooth unit. If the majority of these recipients are likely to be on the out reaches of a boxes capabilities, then a smaller file should be considered to aid faster file transfer. Perhaps the easiest way to measure the success of a Bluetooth campaign is to measure the number of recipients as a percentage of the number of devices found. For an ongoing campaign, particular attention should be paid to this statistic on a regular basis.
The Formula for success – Key element Statistics should regularly be checked when embarking on a long term campaign, in order to ensure the maximum potential recipients are being reached.
There are a number of different measures and adjustments that can be made to increase the effectiveness of a a campaign, and these result of these adjustments will be reflected by the percentage of downloads compared to discovered devices.
An example of campaign stistics, showing number of devices found, and number of messages sent, by the hour each day of the campaign.
Ultimately, of course, the easiest way to judge the effectiveness of a campaign is to base the campaign around a unique offer or promotion, and log the number of enquiries received a s a result of the campaign. One major advantage of an ongoing Bluetooth campaign over many other marketing methods is that it is possible to tweak and adapt many aspects of the activity. Changing the location of the box, the content or even the time the message is distributed at very short notice, and with relative ease. Once it has been determined that the optimum number of downloads is being achieved, itâ€™s then possible to judge the true value of the campaign.
THE GROWTH IN EFFECTIVENESS Bluetooth marketing may be a new idea to many, but it has been in existence for a number of years. Early experiments with Bluetooth marketing were largely ineffective. The primary reason for this was the lack of people with an active Bluetooth connection on their mobiles – many mobiles didn’t have Bluetooth functionality at all. Another reason for the disappointing initial results was the lack of awareness (trust) of what was being sent to people’s phones. Many more people were fearful of ‘Bluejacking’ (the scam of accessing information on other people’s mobiles via Bluetooth) and were unaware that the content was a genuine marketing message/offer. In the early days, there was a mixture of non-colour and colour screens as well as very poor definition screens. Over the last few years, these obstacles have gradually been eroded due to a number of factors. Legislation regarding hands free driving has led to the integration of Bluetooth to over 90% of mobile devices. In addition to this, because of the dramatic rise in the number of Bluetooth hands free systems within cars, many people (over 75%) now leave their Bluetooth connection active.
As a result of the steep increase in Bluetooth based products, there are nor far more mobiles with an active Bluetooth connection than ever before
These factors have dramatically increased the target market for Bluetooth advertising. There is now a wider understanding of Bluetooth, and the majority of people that now receive a marketing message to their mobile will treat the message at face value. If they believe the content may be of interest to them they will accept. Some users will also accept the message out of curiosity. Effective campaign Valuable content
Bluetooth marketing is now more effective than it has ever been. Most mobiles now have Bluetooth functionality, and are able to receive the various forms of content that can be transmitted. On modern mobile screens the messaging can look extremely attractive, carrying company logos and slogans. Many people will have already received a Bluetooth message at some point and many of those people may have experienced a direct benefit as a result, possibly in the form of a discount or offer. There are key elements that need to be understood when planning a Bluetooth campaign, but get these elements correct, and Bluetooth can now be an extremely effective and compelling form of advertising.
Using Bluetooth as a Marketing Device There are many devices used in Bluetooth marketing the USB Bluetooth adapters or "dongles" are fairly common place, however these types of devices have limited services and need connection to a desktop or laptop. Bluetooth stand alone units and networked servers and more common practice offering high levels of usability and capture of data. The Modern Class one Marketing Devices Bluetooth is a packet-based protocol. A master Bluetooth device using OBEX push file system, allows you to send and receive files via Bluetooth. These units can in a single sweep detect up to 250 Bluetooth devices in broadcast mode, however a single unit can only communicate with up to seven devices at any one time. Once connected it sends a request to the seven devices, then waits a short time for a reply, these replies are prompted by customers accepting or rejecting messages from their handsets. Once the Bluetooth marketing device receives a reply it either sends the message (if the customer has accepted) or moves on to other devices. The unit switches rapidly from one device to another in a round-robin fashion. In short the Marketing box finds and sends requests to 7 devices (Customers mobiles), 1 of the 7 devices rejects the message immediately. While still waiting a reply from the other 6, it searches for another device, which means it is always connected to 7 devices at any given time
Opt-In Consent Bluetooth uses a process called pairing, which can be manually started by the Marketing device, generally devices need to be paired to communicate with each other. This happens when the marketing device gives customers the opportunity to actively choose to receive marketing messages from it. For this type of consent to be valid, the customers must positively indicate that they wish to receive marketing messages. The pairing process is triggered automatically the first time a device enters the Bluetooth Hotspot area, and receives a connection request from the marketing box. This request is in the way of a text offering the customer free content or information, the customer then makes the choice to accept or reject this information. If they accept (say yes) the devices are paired and information is transferred. If the customer rejects (says no) to the message, then no pairing takes place and no information is sent.
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There are a few different methods that can be adopted to target customers using Bluetooth, one method is very close range marketing â€“ this method requires the consumer to step forward to a POS stand or poster and hold their handset close to the Bluetooth transmitter. When using this type of campaign the transmission range of the Bluetooth device is turned down to work within a few feet of the customerâ€™s handset. This method is very popular with businesses because it allows them to send larger files to the customer. As the transmission distance is small between devices it is practical to send video or music downloads with ease. With close range marketing the Bluetooth device is generally housed in a light box stand with a call to action for the customer. The most commonly used method is Wide range Bluetooth marketing â€“ which works effectively in a maximum area of up to 100m from the Bluetooth device when in broadcasting mode. These types of campaigns require a heavy footfall area with a reasonable dwell time, and the device should be in as much clear space as possible (not hidden behind walls, glass or counters) if possible.
Another possible solution is to create a network of Devices (nodes) that together would stretch over a much greater distance. This could be a street, shopping mall, train or bus station location. The network consist of a Master unit that controls all other devices, so that the same messages can be sent to anyone with Bluetooth enabled devices in that area. Bluetooth Marketing devices are also portable, these units can be placed in a back pack and run by batteries, they are generally used to walk up to customers to send the message, in this scenario the customer is asked if they would like certain information and then asked to hold their phone at a specific area to the device.
Because all campaigns differ, Bluetooth technology enables the distance of the Bluetooth hotspot to be set so that various types of campaigns can be supported by setting the Bluetooth range from 100 metres to a very near distance (say 1 metre).
Supporting a campaign to maximise effectiveness When creating any type of Bluetooth advertising campaign one of the most important considerations is awareness, If you don't make the public aware that firstly they are in a Bluetooth Hotspot area, and secondly what they should do if they want to receive your information, offer or voucher, then your campaign will be less effective or even fail. By utilising strategically positioned media such as posters, banners, kiosks and advertising boards, informing the public that they are in a Bluetooth Hotspot, and instructions of the required action, e.g. if you are requesting that customer walk up to receive the information from your assigned area, them tell them in a clear way, if you would like them to keep an eye on their handset then accept a message when requested again be clear of the instruction. By using media to inform the public of your campaign it will be far more effective, and you are also giving them the option to turn off their Bluetooth on their handsets if they donâ€™t wish to participate. Kexgill student accommodation, a company that cover most of the North of England, have used wide area Bluetooth transmitters from their local offices and have also used these transmitters at fresher's days within the universities. They used posters in the windows of the local offices informing passing students of accommodation availability and costs, they also used larger light box stands at the universities.
Coca Cola ran an effective Bluetooth campaign using totems shaped as Coca Cola cans, wide range Bluetooth transmitters were installed informing the public to walk up to the units. They then used a touch screen monitors with short range Bluetooth transmitters to choose the content type to download to their mobiles. In this scenario the totem shaped can was the catalyst to grab the publics attention, and the Bluetooth transmitted message explaining the required action. JCDecauxAirport teamed up with Burger King to conduct a proximity marketing trial campaign at London Luton Airport. This campaign allowed the opportunity for airport visitors to receive 15% off their Burger King meals at the airport. They used a bill board inside the terminal to inform people to turn on their Bluetooth to receive the discount voucher. A network of Bluetooth devices was set up for a shopping mall, the coverage was the inside area, food court, entrances and car park. A total of 70 advertising boards were used to drive the message that shoppers were in a Bluetooth area, with instructions to turn on their Bluetooth and receive discounts on purchases within the mall. The above scenarios have demonstrated that to run an effective Bluetooth campaign, it is highly beneficial to back it up with visible media coverage, giving clear instructions of the desired action that must be taken.
WHAT CONTENT CAN BE SENT? Itâ€™s possible to send different kind of content from a Bluetooth marketing unit. The more information (ie. The larger the file) the longer the message will take to send to the phone and therefore the number of successful downloads is likely to decrease as people may leave the catchment area of the device before the message has fully downloaded. Here are a few examples:TEXT MESSAGE (.txt file) This is similar in appearance to an SMS message but can contain far more information and is very quick to send. For example a message containing 200 words could be sent in 1 second. This type of message is an excellent way of hitting a higher number of mobiles because of the quick download time. The disadvantage would be that you can only send basic text and therefore you can?t include any company branding. A file containing this amount of info would probably take less than 2 seconds to send to a recipient. This is an effective option, if for example, there is a need to simply welcome your customers or clients and maybe raise awareness of a special offer, or need to include a greater degree of written information in the marketing message.
MULTI SLIDE COLOUR MESSAGE (.gif file) This kind of message is the most popular as you can include photos, company logo’s and branding. The messages can be made to look eye catching, but because the images are still images the file is still quite small. Download time of a message with 3 colour slides would usually be around 10 seconds. As the message can be kept to a reasonably small size you will be able to reach customers at a reasonable distance effectively. It’s possible include photos of products and a company logo. VIDEO (3gp) It’s also possible to send short video clips. This obviously opens up many possibilities but Iusing video is only recommended if the recipient is stationary and in closer proximity to the device as video files have the longest download time (eg 20 second video can take around20 to 30 seconds to download. Video is most effective when implementing a short range campaign. Alfa Romeo in Ireland used a short video featuring U2 when running a promotion within a shopping centre. The decision of what content to choose is an extremely important one, and it’s important not to compromise the chnces of achieving the maximum number of effective downloads by trying to distribute an over complicated message or too large a file.