Bluetooth Low Energy for Mobile Marketing Applications
BLE (Bluetooth low energy) is a data transfer protocol developed by Nokia. It lets users share text, images, and other information wirelessly over a radius of several feet. BLE was originally introduced under the name Wibree by Nokia in 2006. It was merged into the main Bluetooth standard in 2010 with the adoption of the Bluetooth Core Specification Version 4.0.
Apple has been using BLE on its devices since December 2013 under the brand name iBeacon. Android devices with Jelly Bean, version 4.3, is supporting this technology. The rising popularity of BLE in smartphones presents businesses with newer advertising opportunities.
Apple introduced a new concept for BLE called iBeacon. In this concept, BLE device can send data packets (advertisement, messages etc., ) in a pre-defined format. This format provides following information about BLE device (iBeacon Data):
- Major Number
- Minor Number
BLE enabled Smartphones will be able to read this data and ssing this data, the mobile app can find the contextual information about the user.
It provides a great opportunity for advertisers to adopt this technology for their campaigns. They can make use of this technology to run highly targeted location based campaigns . For eg., Supermarkets can beam specific product offers as the customers walk past that particular product. Also based on past customer behaviour, it can send information about new product arrivals and guide the customer to the exact location.
What are the components that enables this eco-system?
BLE Tags/ BLE beacons: BLE beacon are small tags, which advertises iBeacon data to nearby smartphones. These are small devices and can run up to 2-3 years without any battery recharge.
Advertisers can install such beacons at specific locations and define the action that each beacon performs when in contact with mobile phones. They can provide location info, push offers/coupons, product promotion and more.
BLE vs Classic Bluetooth Marketing: The main difference with traditional Classic Bluetooth marketing and BLE marketing is the mobile app. In classic Bluetooth, information or data is pushed without the consent of the receiver, whereas in BLE a mobile app installed on the consumers phone ensures that the right information is provided to the right person at the right time for the right product/Service.
How to use Beacons for Marketing: There are endless possibilities of using BLE beacons for marketing. Location based, contextual advertising and campaigns for ensuring customer loyalty and engagement is a big feature for BLE.