Become Your Own Mobile Marketing Agency, Part Two

In part one, we discussed how beneficial bluetooth proximity marketing can be, especially for small local businesses. The fact that one can incorporate a simple system into their storefront that can consistently broadcast a marketing message, or branded content for a small, one-time fee can...

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In part one, we discussed how beneficial bluetooth proximity marketing can be, especially for small local businesses. The fact that one can incorporate a simple system into their storefront that can consistently broadcast a marketing message, or branded content for a small, one-time fee can prove to be very efficient to a small marketing budget.

We also discussed the fact that once a bluetooth hotspot is installed and active, it’s simple to offer use of your hotspot to other nearby businesses and organizations so long as it doesn’t interfere with the message you’re trying to get out. For offering use of your network, you can charge a small monthly access fee, and actually turn a profit after recovering your initial costs for installing the system.

So where do you start? A bluetooth proximity marketing system consists of a central bluetooth server that holds some special software that allows it to constantly search for bluetooth enabled devices in it’s range, as well as a bluetooth “dongle” or some sort of bluetooth transmitter. The server holds the information you wish to transmit to your patrons, or the advertising message you wish to broadcast to the masses. The bluetooth transmitter is constantly seeking out available devices to connect to. When the transmitter recognizes a device, the server automatically sends a “connection request” to the mobile user asking if they’d like to connect with the server to download or access your content. If the user accepts, the server makes it’s connection with the device, and the content is transfered to the user.

There’s a slew of companies, mostly overseas, that offer one or more parts of a proximity marketing system. To purchase a complete system from most companies could cost several hundred dollars, and even more depending on the range and the amount of features. Some companies offer small servers that can be placed at kiosks and posters, and some offer elaborate wifi-based systems for easy content addition. But, what if you’re not looking for advanced features, and extended connection capabilities. What if you just want a simple solution for your small business or personal marketing efforts? What if you don’t have the time, money, and know-how to purchase the different parts of a system and put it together yourself?

The key component of the system itself is the software that power’s it’s operation. It tells the bluetooth transmitter to constantly seek connections, and when it finds an opt-in connection request, it tells the server what type of content to transmit, and whether that particular user has already received that content or not. Without this software, your solution is useless. Sure, you can purchase and download some bluetooth software to run on any computer with a USB bluetooth adapter connected to it, but it limits your broadcast area, and limits the server location to where ever your computer is located.

There’s a 100% open source (and 100% free) version of the bluetooth server software available called BlueZ. BlueZ is a linux-based bluetooth protocol stack, specifically made for use in proximity marketing systems. As with most open source software, it’s in it’s simplest form, and requires the configuration on a linux server to operate. So how in the world do you configure this?

There’s a relatively new company in California called AirCable. They produce a variety of linux-based server hardware, and bluetooth connection solutions, at very reasonable prices. They offer a product called AIRcable Server XR™, which is perfect for proximity marketing, because it comes pre-installed with the BlueZ software. The server itself comprises all the aspects and necessary components for a wide-range bluetooth proximity marketing system. Another valued feature is the fact that the server can broadcast your signal up to 30km. This is unmatched by any other solution I’ve come across.

Upon purchasing the server, all that needs to be done is the loading of the content you wish to transmit via bluetooth. Once setup, just place the server anywhere there’s a power outlet, and leave it alone. You now have a marketing tool that never needs updating, and more importantly, never needs another dime from you.

In part three, I’ll discuss opening up your bluetooth server to other businesses to allow you to recover your initial investment, and to even turn a profit, as well as incorporating affiliate offers to monetize your hotspot further.

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5 comments

  1. blunt

    your were talking about 129$ its seems thats the server is 499$ like many other product in that buziness.

    did i miss something, or you were talking about doing the server with a computer and the 129$ bluetooth emitter ?

  2. Juan Rosado

    Has part three been posted yet?

  3. iBlue

    We are an Egyptian based company and we are the sole provider of Bluetooth marketing solution in the Middle East.
    Bluetooth marketing solution is a small hardware (hard desk size) and a software that automatically send content to mobiles within 100 m.. For more details about us, kindly visit our website: http://www.goiblue.com

    iBlue not just provides you with the solution to start your marketing campaign, It also gives you the ability to build your own Bluetooth marketing solution with your own brand in…
    If you are interested in starting your own Bluetooth marketing business you can simply provide IBlue Company with you logo, your color scheme and you will get your special custom Bluetooth marketing solution.

    You have two options:

    1. Option one: Software Only:
    You will get the CD/ DVD containing your Branded proximity solution installer software that you can install on any x 86 architecture PC. The software after its installation will ask you to activate it. option one will costs you: 500 USD as a setup fee and for developing your own branded copy of the Proximity marketing software, not including the shipment of CD/DVD 60 USD per device this will be collected once for each device during activation after installation our CD/DVD as if you reinstall the CD/DVD package in the same device the online activation will be free. Kindly be noted that activation fees are to be paid in advance. you will also get full online support from us for 18 mo. as any update will be free during the 18 mo period, no annual license required no extra or hidden fees.

    2. Option two: Software and Hardware:
    You can get the software and the hardware packaged together. Installed and for plug and play. Price will go down if you purchase 10 devices the price will be 550 with your brand instead of iBlue

    iBlue has a Bluetooth mini-server that is superior to anything I have seen in the marketplace. I have tried numerous other companies and they all seem to fall short. iBlue exceeds the other companies when it comes to software. Bluetooth radios are everywhere but if you don’t go with a company that has excellent software to support your needs you’ll end up wasting your money. For more details about us, kindly visit our website http://www.goiblue.com. Or send to us at: info@goiblue.com

  4. bluegirl

    Hi. I’ve been working with a similar device that lets you send files via bluetooth to mobile phones. However, this device has a 25m range. So, I’m interested on this aircable one because it seems to reach further (100m would be great). But in our device we have some options that I don’t know if they are possible with the aircable one: I can tell the device to send file1.jpg on mondays at 13:00h, file5.3gp everyday at 15:00h and file2.jpg and file3.jpg always. It has a block list to avoid sending files to the same mobile phone all the time. It also can receive files sent with a mobile phone. Can the aircable one do this? Does it make logs of files sent, etc?? Can it send sms to mobile phones via bluetooth without knowing the phone number?

    Maybe to many questions :p

    Thanks.

  5. Giff Gfroerer, i2SMS

    Once again, watch out for Blue-Spamming. This is when you are constantly hitting up people walking by your shop with requests to download something to their handset that they do not want. This will irritate consumers, not endear them to you.

    Imagine yourself walking through a mall. Your phone continues to beep 10, 20 even 30 times as the stores are trying to send you their “next greatest offer since sliced bread”. Think that would be fun?

    Now, let’s once again take a look at HOW this is effective and NOT annoying. Take a venue specific event. Take a Hannah Montana concert where the teenyboppers are in love with her. As they walk through the door, they get a request to download her wallpaper or ringtone. Now that is effective. Follow up it with send us your phone number to get Hannah Alerts and you have a winner.

    However, being beeped at random? No thanks.

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