Bluetooth Marketing: Use Proximity To Increase Engagement

Marketing 14 minute read 24th January 2024

If there’s one thing that always remains by your customers’ side, no matter where they are, it’s their mobile device. And even the most outdated phones have Bluetooth. That leaves no room for excuses to start Bluetooth marketing.

Of course, there’s a lot you’ll have to plan for. But you’ll gain peace of mind that your messages directly reach your customers.

Since customers will receive these messages near your store, they’ll be more likely to enter and support your business. Which basically says that marketing through Bluetooth reaps the finest results. If you want that for your business, you’ve found the perfect article.

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What Is Beacon Bluetooth Marketing?

Before we jump to the technicalities and strategies, let’s understand what beacon Bluetooth marketing is. Because without covering the basics, it might be hard for you to dive into the details.

This type of proximity marketing uses beacons with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to send targeted messages to nearby devices.

But what are beacons? These small devices with Bluetooth technology constantly try to communicate with devices in close proximity. Once they find a device with an active Bluetooth connection, they ask for permission to connect.

If the user accepts the request, they receive a push notification encouraging them to view the marketing message.

However, whether they accept the request or not is up to you. It shouldn’t look like spam and must be so interesting that the customer can’t help but click.

Once the customer clicks on the notification, a page with your informative or promotional message will open. This includes any text, images, video, or audio you want to share with your customers.

You can communicate with the device in two different ways. The first one is simple: using the Bluetooth features of the device. These allow the device to receive notifications from other Bluetooth-enabled devices. However, some of your customers might not have such devices, which will cause an issue.

Alternatively, there are dedicated beacon-aware apps that help you send targeted messages to your customers.

Bluetooth Proximity Marketing Strategies That Work in Your Favor

Marketers usually talk about two types of promotions: digital marketing and traditional marketing. While these are the main types, they have much more depth to them. Bluetooth marketing is one such depth of digital marketing.

What makes things more interesting is that this marketing paves the way for further promotional aspects. These include proximity marketing, location-based marketing, personalized marketing, and contextual marketing.

While location-based marketing works wherever the customer is, proximity marketing only works when they’re near a beacon.

Therefore, we’ll focus on 4 Bluetooth proximity marketing strategies for the sake of this article.

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1. Deals and Discounts Make the Top of This List

No marketing discussion is complete without the mention of deals and discounts. So, let’s use those to start this list of proximity marketing campaigns.

When a customer is near your venue, send them a push notification about a discount. Make the headline worth opening. Otherwise, they might not even reach your promotional messages.

For example, if you own a retail store, you can launch a limited-time offer. Send customers a notification that they’ll get a 20% discount on everything if they visit in the next 30 minutes. Since you’ve probably asked for their consent to send them notifications, it isn’t like they aren’t aware of your business.

So, seeing such an offer, they might think, “I’m already here. I might as well take advantage of this discount.”

Or say you’re a restaurant owner and notice one of your customers in the area on a hot summer day.

Send them a deal with a free drink if they visit your restaurant and spend $25. Such deals will not only make you more sales but will also encourage customer engagement.

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2. Become a Guide and Provide the Information They Need

If you act like an annoying salesperson who’s always trying to sell something, your efforts might backfire. Your customers will think you only care about your pocket and may stop visiting.

To strike a balance, become a helpful guide when you have to. Since it’s your business, you’re aware of its ins and outs.

But your customer is basically a stranger to it. If you don’t nudge them in the right direction, who will?

When it comes to proximity advertising, indoor navigation is the golden ticket to becoming a guide. While a Bluetooth connection notifies you when a customer is close, it doesn’t say where exactly they stand. So, unless they approach you, giving live guidance doesn’t make sense.

For example, shopping malls can send push notifications to customers, encouraging them to view their navigation app.

Inside, there must be proper wayfinding signages and detailed maps that tell the customer exactly where to find what.

On the other hand, museums can use proximity marketing to provide details about sculptures and displays. Deploy Bluetooth beacons near the most popular exhibits. When customers are near these parts, their mobile devices will connect to the beacon.

Send them a notification encouraging them to learn more about the exhibit in real time. By doing so, you can make customers feel welcome and turn them into loyal brand advocates.

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3. Bring Larger Crowds to Your In-Store Marketing Events

After discounts and guidance, let’s talk about the popularity of your in-store marketing events.

You’ve arranged the event to attract more people from your target audience. But are those efforts worth it if your venue isn’t brimming with customers? Therefore, you shouldn’t just promote these events before they start. Keep your efforts going even if half the program is over.

One way to do that is by using Bluetooth marketing campaigns. Let’s understand this with an example.

Suppose you’re holding a karaoke night at your restaurant. You were expecting at least 150 people.

Unfortunately, you only managed to sell 90 tickets before the event. You can make this number exceed your original expectations using a Bluetooth connection.

But for that, you’ll have to create a buzz around your event. One idea would be to turn this karaoke event into a competition and give something substantial to the winner.

However, if you want this tactic to reap fruits, don’t just inform them about the prize. Give complete details about the event and how to reach it. Also, add special instructions if you have any.

For example, you might have merged karaoke with a costume party. In this case, give proper tips on how to show up with the correct dress code.

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4. It Bridges the Gap Between Online and Offline

Lastly, let’s talk about the issue most marketers face: connecting offline and online data. Customer journeys are extensive and sometimes confusing. They might zigzag between online and offline channels before finally making a purchase.

But how would you know which of your marketing efforts was responsible for that purchase? Without this information, improvement won’t be possible. That’s why offline attribution and Bluetooth go hand in hand.

To use proximity marketing for this purpose, simply connect your beacon signals to your ads account. Let’s see how this will work with an example.

Suppose you own a gadget store. Someone visits your website and views the listing for your headphones. But they haven’t placed an order yet. They also browse some other products before closing your website.

After a few days, they see a social media ad for the same headphones they showed interest in. Let’s say they clicked on it and liked the ad. But still, they didn’t make a purchase.

Later, they visited your store, and your Bluetooth was able to recognize them. You can quickly send them an offer with a 10% discount if they purchase those headphones that same day. Since they already like the headphones, they won’t be able to resist this offer.

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What Bluetooth Marketing Software Can You Use To Make Your Work Easier?

Bluetooth marketing software can help you take advantage of this marketing approach. Bluemagnet and Estimote Beacons can help you manage Bluetooth marketing messages.

Then, it will be up to your skills to get results with Bluetooth marketing. As mentioned, this marketing strategy can deliver results. Combine that with customer preferences, and you’ve got the best circumstances for a successful marketing campaign.

However, this approach might not work for your business or be hard to implement. Plus, people might straight out refuse any unwanted notification from beacons they don’t recognize.

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