Proximity Marketing: Are Bluetooth and Infrared Dead?

Your consumers are already involved in various activities on their mobile devices, proximity marketing opens another door for them by offering a new way to reach their audiences. This gives you a higher level of interactivity that didn’t exist before. The opportunity to employ mobile marketing in public places (shopping malls, food courts, cinemas, airports) offers your customers a more spontaneous and direct way of interacting with your brand. Which is exactly what you need.

Proximity-based marketing simply means that your consumers will engage through their mobile devices within a defined range. This makes it perfect for locations with a lot of foot traffic. Now you can create an even more memorable interaction for your consumers and, by extension, motivate multiple visits and increase your return on investment. It’s actually location-based marketing, allowing nearby consumers to receive relevant information, such as welcome offers, via their Bluetooth / infrared / wireless / NFC-enabled mobile devices.

Bluetooth-based proximity marketing

This means that you can send information to your consumers who are ready and willing to receive content like coupons, videos, movies and music from your business. This content can be sent to anyone at no cost to them, as there is no interaction with the mobile operator.

With proximity marketing campaigns based on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, the technology that is already standard in almost all phones is used to send an acceptance message directly to your consumers’ mobile device. They can then choose whether or not they want to take advantage of their offers.

NFC-based proximity marketing

Currently, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are the main platforms used to transmit proximity marketing messages, however, Near Field Communication (NFC) could offer a reasonable alternative. In the future, NFC may eventually overshadow other proximity marketing communication methods and become the dominant way to run a location-based advertising campaign.

Infrared-based proximity marketing

Wireless Infrared is used for short and medium range communications. However, it is limited because it cannot pass through walls. Infrared works in line-of-sight mode, which means there must be a visually clear straight line from the transmitter (source) to the receiver (destination). It is the oldest and most insubstantial form of mobile marketing. Due to its limited reach, it may never establish itself as a leading mobile marketing choice.

However, a new infrared module developed by Frank Deicke, a researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS) in Dresden, Germany, boasts a data transfer rate of 1 gigabit per second (Gbps), which does not only significantly faster than conventional. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technologies, but also six times faster than a wired USB 2.0 connection.

This might just be the boost infrared needs to take over the realm of mobile devices and proximity marketing, but we will have to wait and see how mobile device designers and programmers react to this new technology.

Bluetooth, NFC, and infrared are all possible systems that can be used in proximity marketing. Each of them makes mobile messaging at any location measurable and accountable in a real-time environment. Proximity-based marketing allows you to track and interact with your consumers before they even set foot in your store or business using technology that goes directly to their mobile phones. If you’ve been thinking of new ways to revamp your mobile marketing campaign, don’t give up on bluetooth and infrared just yet. You may be pleasantly surprised.

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