What is Bluetooth® advertising?

Businesswoman talking on a cell phone

Bluetooth® advertising is a means for companies to deliver advertising or promotional messages to customers who have cell phones or other mobile devices enabled with Bluetooth® technology. This is an example of proximity marketing, which allows marketers to target consumers within or very close to the company sending the messages. Depending on the type of mobile device, advertisers can deliver everything from simple coupons and business cards to far more elaborate messages. Marketing people try to maximize the impact of Bluetooth® advertising by delivering the message in an area where it will be accepted by most potential customers.

The avenues available to advertisers continue to grow in number as technology makes great strides. One of those technological advancements that really opened things up to marketing capabilities is the increased use of cell phones. Many people go anywhere with their cell phones, which are usually equipped with Bluetooth® technology, which allows them to receive relatively complex messages. As a result, Bluetooth® advertising has become increasingly prevalent in the proximity marketing world.

Advertisers using Bluetooth® advertising have the ability to identify where the signal is being sent, providing a way to decide who receives the message. As cell phones are often inundated with unwanted messages from multiple sources, advertisers should do a good job of separating themselves so their messages are heard. This may require them to do more than simply send a business card. It may require that consumers send special offers and coupons that can only be received if the message is accepted.

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There are many different techniques used by these companies that practice Bluetooth® advertising. If the advertiser wants to reach a broad spectrum of people, he can try a technique known as “shotgunning”. This occurs when advertisers simply broadcast the message to a large number of people in a public place. While this allows advertisers to reach a large number of people at once, it is also likely that the vast majority of these unexpected messages will be ignored by consumers unless the offer is extraordinary.

A more efficient Bluetooth® advertising technique focuses the message on the people most likely to be interested in it. For example, a department store owner can send a Bluetooth® message to store customers announcing a special offer. Since these people are already shopping at the store, they are more likely to be interested in the message. In some cases, advertisers can set up digital displays at target locations, telling customers to turn on their mobile devices so they can receive special offers.

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