You know that hackneyed and imagined Starbucks scenario where simply passing by one of their countless locations would trigger an offer on your phone? Well, mobile marketers who are strolling past the Foxwoods Theater on 42nd St. will get more than a glance at the sweeping signs of Spiderman Turn Off The Dark. If their cell phones are set to the right mode, they will get another sort of virtual Web shot out at them – promotions for the show itself.
The Broadway show and its agency Situation Interactive are using Mobiquity Networks to create proximity marketing zones around one of the busiest streets in the world in Times Square and beam offers to BT-activated users that invite them to opt-in for more. The user is asked permission to interact with the passerby (perhaps as the twenty fast-walkers behind him or her are screaming at him as he slows his pace). You can then download a 30-second video of the show, images, and even a calendar of performances with click-to-buy or click-to-call. During off hours the messages send the digital assets as well as an opportunity to buy tickets on Ticketmaster.
Mobiquity uses both Bluetooth and WiFi in broadcast units at the location. The company already has its hardware and mobile marketing programs installed in over 75 Simon Malls in the U.S. The technology requires that a phone owner's Bluetooth is turned on and that it is in discover mode. But as CEO Michael Tripeta explained to us at Mobile Marketing Daily recently, about 5% to 8% of cell phones are already in this mode in most shopping settings, they find.
Damian Bazadona, president and founder of Situation Interactive, says that the technology allows a venue owner to tap an overlooked opportunity -- massive foot traffic.
The Bluetooth model for detecting and pinging users who walk into or near a venue has been in the air for many years. But Apple's
introduction of the iBeacon model in recent months, along with iOS 7's use of BT for “AirDrop” functionality, has helped spark more interest. PayPal also recently launched a mobile payment
program that relies on in-store BT beacons.