Shopping Malls Turn To Bluetooth For Marketing

bluehotspot.jpgA company that owns several shopping malls in South Africa recently teamed with a company called MobiBlitz, to install and maintain a network of bluetooth hotspots in nearly 72 shopping malls across the nation.

The bluetooth hotspot itself, dubbed a “MobiZone” is a full-service proximity marketing server that extends 100 meters, and networks together with other “MobiZones” to form a nationwide network operated from the company headquarters, providing flexibility for scheduling and adding content. Advertisers are able to select as many or as few “MobiZones” on the network as they require. Downloads by users are monitored in real-time, allowing for content to be changed at short notice.  As Stan Katz, co-founder of MobiBlitz describes…

…Now you can literally reach the people who count and accurately count the people you’ve reached. With Mobizone there is no possibility of inflating audience figures, clients know precisely how many consumers have actually seen their message. With pressure on budgets and return on investment the watchword of the day, there is no advertising medium that offers a more cost-effective solution.

MobiZones offer more than just a mobile marketing medium.  The offer things such as a store directories, special offers, movie trailers, news, weather, travel, etc. Certain content, including an exclusive “Mobisode” from MTV, is available free of charge in all MobiZones. User can even upload their own content to the zones as well.

With the concern of unwanted advertising being pushed upon patrons is apparent, MobiBlitz vows to have taken several steps to ensure the advertising is opt-in and that devices only receive requests once. Devices will never get the same message twice, and if a user denies access, it logs the data and doesn’t attempt again for a pre-determined amount of time.

MobiBlitz is trying to create a large footprint by expanding it’s network as fast as possible. Large brands like KFC, Wrigley, and MTV are already joining, and more are on the way. It’s a smart idea, and a new angle on creating a content network to advertise to. I think it should prove to be very effective, not only from an advertising standpoint, but also for a data-collection and statistics-tracking tool for large centers, like shopping malls.