A new trend appears in the mobile marketing since the beginning of 2006 : The Bluetooth marketing, or proximity marketing.
This new tool works as a direct marketing channel to end users mobile phones. The first generation of these tools established a connection with the Bluetooth enabled phones (activated and set to visible) which are within 20 meters from a dedicated hotspot. A question appears on the screen of the phone in the form ‘Do you accept content from Alterwave ? Yes / No', where Alterwave is the name of the company willing to advertise. If the user presses Yes, the download proceeds at a speed of typ. 50kB/sec over Bluetooth. The data transfer is 100% free. A video of 500 kB would be sent in about 10 seconds.
If the user presses No, the popup disappears from the screen, and if the users does not press either key the popup will disappear when the phone leaves the Bluetooth covered zone.
This new media raises a lot of interest in the advertising and marketing industry. The kind of files that they push is images (still or animated), sounds (mp3) and video.
The risk to see the Bluetooth marketing seen as Spam does exist, but an opt-in is also possible by requiring the user to approach his phone close to a given point (typ. 1-2 meters) for triggering the download.
The challenge is now for media and marketing agencies to use this innovative tool wisely, and certainly to send value added content to the users. The Bluetooth marketing has a lot of impact on end users, so it should be used with wisdom.
Alterwave is one of the leading companies in this market.