Australian outdoor advertising company Adshel announced earlier this year that it will be introducing Australia’s largest permanent network of beacons. If you are wondering what a beacon is there is a great explanation here, but basically it is a way to push content out to mobile phones through Bluetooth connections. In order for consumers to receive these notifications, often they will need to install an app that allows their phone to intercept and interpret the push notifications. The B&T article suggests that there is enough research to show that Australians mostly have their mobile Bluetooth turned on, and that most of the reason is because people connect their phone to their car while driving.
The reading “if you love something, let it go mobile: mobile marketing and mobile social media 4X4” by Kaplan looks at the push and pull side of marketing in relation to the degree of knowledge a consumer has about a product. I’m not sure if Beacons fit into the matrix provided by Kaplan. These Bluetooth Beacon messages that are being implemented are considered push communication, as companies are pushing the content out. However, unlike text messages and advertising at the start of a YouTube video, if someone has their Bluetooth turned off they are not receiving the message. So is this still push advertising or because a customer has to essentially opt in to Bluetooth is that actually making it a pull communication? Maybe it is a mixture of both?
The other aspect of the matrix is looking at if there is a high or low degree of knowledge about the brand. This is more complicated because it depends on the person and the situation. The same message could go to two different people and one might have a high level knowledge about the brand when the other does not. In this case, can you personalise a message when you don’t know how much a consumer knows?
Another aspect to think about in Beacon technology is much in the way that people install Ad blockers and illegally download video content; if we are constantly being sent advertising to our phones, will we start to turn off our mobile Bluetooth?
Has anyone had any experience yet with Bluetooth advertising and what were your thoughts?