Has Proximity Marketing Finally Arrived?

UPDATED Dec. 22, 2017 – Asirvia GO report

Years ago when I was the marketing manager for a software company, we did a lot of trade shows.  In fact, most of our marketing dollars were invested in trade show marketing.

I had looked at doing proximity marketing at trade shows to see if that might generate more prospect visits to the booth.

Proximity marketing via Bluetooth technology was relatively new 10 to 15 years ago. It involved getting a Bluetooth server and a way to broadcast the signal in a radius of 50 meters or so. That would have been enough for the show.

While not readily acceptable in the United States as any messages broadcast via Bluetooth may have been negatively received by the recipients; considered an invasion of privacy.  In Europe, on the other hand, proximity marketing was much more common.  In fact, many brick and mortar businesses implemented Bluetooth proximity marketing and hung Bluetooth signs on their businesses to signal to potential customers they delivered messages and specials to their smartphones.

Ten to fifteen years ago, privacy may have been an issue and most people here. Including myself, most did not have Bluetooth turned on. Today things are different. I have my Bluetooth turned on all the time. Many others do as well.

Enter the Bluetooth Beacon

Asirvia GO device Bluetooth markeitng

Asirvia Go cap[ture screen shot

Sample image of a Proximity Marketing Message.

I am currently testing the Asirvia Bluetooth Low Energy Beacon. This small device will transmit my message up to 100 yards in diameter from the beacon.  I can leave it stationary or carry it with me.

The Asirvia dashboard shows me how many people received the message and how many times the message was delivered.

Well, there lies the problem.  I am not sure how many times the message was actually seen on a smartphone. It currently also only works on Android phones.  Not the Apple iPhone. While there are more Android devices around, it should not leave out any iPhones; that is still a rather large percentage of the marketplace.

This past weekend I was testing it out and neither my or my wife’s Samsung Galaxy S7 displayed the message.  While my son did see a message on his smartphone screen.

The Next “Hot Thing” in Marketing

If Bluetooth proximity marketing catches on in the country, it may become the next “Hot thing” in marketing.  I hope it doesn’t go the way of the QR code which was a Hot Thing in marketing back in 2010 and then faded.

I will continue to test this out and write about my results.

UPDATE DEC 22, 2017 – Asirvia

I worked with the Asirvia GO unit and found their BLE beacon will send messages out…sometimes… and if the person that has an Android Phone capable of receiving them, they would need to swipe down on their home screen to see the message.  They may, but more than likely not, receive a notification sound.

I tried making this work on my Samsung Note 4 and while I could get the message, there was never any sound or vibration notification.  On my Samsung Galaxy S7 I could not make this work at all.

The other element I did not like about the reporting and analytics, is all it would provided is how many units the message was delivered to and not how many views or clicks.

In my opinion, this is not a value add product if the prospect for the message must take any action beyond looking at their screen. The image above that shows a home screen with a BLE beacon message was something they photo-shopped and not a real-world example.

I have canceled my Asirvia account and continue to look for the solution that will deliver an effective message via proximity marketing.

About Jeff Quandt

Jeff Quandt is an Inbound and Digital Marketing Strategist and owns On-Q Marketing LLC. He helps businesses get found in a Google Search bringing prospects to business' website to generate leads.

Then through Inbound Marketing tactics qualify the lead, nurture the lead, and ultimately converting the lead/prospect into a customer.

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