Bluetooth Proximity Marketing - Cell Phone Spam Alert
It's either a useful outreach to your customer base or a sign of the coming apocalypse. At least one company called Proximity Media has started selling advertising to Bluetooth users depending on where the user is physically. This advertising has been coined "proximity marketing" and it's becoming popular with advertisers, at least.
The idea behind proximity marketing is that an advertiser sends a wireless signal that carries an ad for a product or service to a localized area, usually where a Bluetooth user is able to take advantage of a special offer or deal. I know what you're thinking, but it's not really spam since users who don't wish to receive the ads don't have to. But it's a bit of a disturbing idea that you might be prompted to receive more advertising than usual from your Bluetooth-aware handheld device.
Using Bluetooth systems, the advertiser can broadcast its ad locally. Any Bluetooth aware devices in "discoverable" mode will receive the ad. If you don't want to receive advertising in this manner, make sure you set your device to "invisible" mode. Using Bluetooth on constant discovery mode can wear down your battery, so advertisers would be smart to tell potential recipients what locations they'll be targeting. And they better make sure they have a worthwhile offer to make to the customer.
One of the most popular uses of this kind of marketing is to broadcast savings coupons or limited deals inside a mall. This would be a great way for advertisers to get people into their store, if they had Bluetooth. Another use is at a movie theater for money savings coupons at the candy and popcorn counter, but doesn't that just promote people to leave their cell phones on during a movie?
Proximity Media says they deploy advertising to relevant people in relevant places at relevant times. Call me irrelevant, but I'll keep my Bluetooth on invisible.