Bluetooth marketing is becoming a vehicle of free marketing communication, letting businesses put their promotional messages directly into the hands of consumers. Some companies have already succeeded in establishing a new channel of communication with clients and know how to use it effectively. But in many other companies, marketing departments do not have any idea how to organize a Bluetooth proximity campaign well, so that it achieves its marketing goals without overspending. An Internet search on Bluetooth marketing is not likely to return enough information on this topic. As a result, markom specialists opt to plan their campaigns using the familiar promotional strategies from the “bricks-and-mortar” world which often fail such campaigns. When a Bluetooth marketing campaign fails, the cause may be one of the three most common mistakes.

Mistake #1: The "Carpet bombing" approach

Many inexperienced marketers make the mistake of blindly assuming that the more coverage they can get and more messages they can send in the same breath, the more effective their campaign will be. Sometimes this may be the case in the bricks-and-mortar advertising, but in proximity marketing it does not work. Following the "carpet bombing" approach, some marketing managers arrange for an excessively large number of transmitters and start littering phones of people with continuous trails of messages from an anonymous source.

The risk with the "carpet bombing" approach is that people get alienated by spammy offerings and are forced to switch off Bluetooth, getting out of the circus of prospective campaign participants. Obviously, the effect of the campaign goes down to zero. In contrast to this approach, an effective Bluetooth marketing campaign – one that, first of all, informs people openly that they’re in the place where a proximity marketing campaign is being run. Ideally, one of the first things the person sees around should be a Bluetooth sign that says "You have entered a Blue Zone. Activate your Bluetooth to receive special offers, promo coupons and other information".

Most customers agree that messages with promo coupons, interesting offers have value, serving as a support tool for them. But nobody likes getting messages they do not need. Therefore our second advice is to provide an opportunity for customers to preview the list of files available for download. For this purpose, you can set up an LCD display showing files to be received and perhaps Bluetooth names of phones discovered in the vicinity of the transmitter. This gives confidence to phone owners as they see the names of their phones, know who sends files and have a choice to receive your content, or ignore the offer if they are not interested.

One more important advice is to provide themed zones for delivering relevant Bluetooth content. This approach allows you to take advantage of one of the drivers of human behavior – curiosity. Practice shows that if there is a group of people with mobile phones standing close to the display with some interesting content and discussing something, it drives passers-by to come closer and take part in the campaign. Besides, seeing other people getting content to the phone helps others overcome the psychological barrier and get involved too.

Mistake #2: Avoid cheese traps

The first job of marketing is to provide the maximum exposure for a product, service or company. Remembering this rule, some marketing managers make a false assumption that the more Bluetooth transmitters they set up in the vicinity of the campaign, the better. As a result, it is tempting for some providers of Bluetooth proximity services to make use of this false idea. They offer their equipment at the price which is far less than the average market price, which can be quite attractive, but it’s just a beginning. They also suggest you rent a large number of transmitters for one place. For example, you may be lured into setting up 16 cheap transmitters where 2 devices would do well.

An opportunity to get the most result for minimal money always looks great at first since it seems to reduce your Bluetooth proximity campaign costs. However, you should consider such offers with skepticism. Firstly, 16 cheap transmitters will cost the same money as two expensive models. Secondly, the efficiency of Bluetooth marketing depends heavily on the efficiency of audio-visual interaction with customers, rather than the number of transmitters. Besides, you can achieve even better effect with minimal costs if you put transmitters in very cluttered places, like a bar, wardrobe or any other place where there are many people.

There is another reason why you should be leery of handing off your Bluetooth marketing to providers with low prices. Proximity marketing is clearly not inexpensive as it relies on technologies that require many investments on development and maintenance of equipment. If a provider of equipment for Bluetooth campaigns offers its transmitters at a suspiciously low price than its competition, it tells only one thing – you are offered unreliable equipment that, for example, cannot recognize phone models. It can get you into the trouble as customers get angry when they receive files that their phones fail to recognize or files with inadequate size. In the worst case, you’re offered faulty equipment that will fail to work correctly during the most part of your campaign.

Mistake #3: Choose your software properly

Just like it is with hardware, you should put a hard thought into choosing software. The best option is to install TextBlue Proximity Sender. This program gives you full control over your proximity marketing campaign. You can create and send a business card, coupon flyer, mobile video, pictures, animated images, audio, Java games and bar codes. The program allows you to schedule a campaign to be broadcast continuously or only on specific days or times. Unlike similar solutions, TextBlue Proximity Sender can recognize all Bluetooth-enabled phones around and send messages in the correct format, so that they are recognized by any phone model without problems.

TextBlue Proximity Sender has Wireless Communication Library in its core. This library enables the application to communicate with mobile phones and other wireless devices via Bluetooth, irDA and WiFi. The specialty of Wireless Communication Library lies in its ability to discover and connect to ANY wireless devices in the area and upload files at a very high speed. By the way, Wireless Communication Library (WCL) is available as an SDK for developers who are interested in developing their own Bluetooth marketing software.

Avoid Mistakes in your Bluetooth Marketing

In contrast to traditional methods designed for mass promotion, having a high level of customer confidence and willingness to get involved are critical in making an effective Bluetooth marketing campaign. You will need to be convincing enough to grab the attention of people, make them switch on Bluetooth and stay tuned to you during the campaign. Another important factor that creates the foundation for a successful campaign is the placement of broadcasting devices as consumers should stay within the operational range of the transmitter for the time of the campaign to be able to receive all promotional messages without interruptions. By avoiding the common mistakes we mentioned above, your Bluetooth marketing campaigns will be more efficient.