Jul 15, 2008

Mktg - Mobile marketing now takes a bite of bluetooth

Your mobile’s bluetooth is the next big wisdom for admen and marketers. Step into a mall or temple, and your mobile complements its surroundings with local ads, special offers, merchandise, directions, aarti timings and what have you. All you need is to switch on the cell and ‘bluecasting’ takes over.While malls are making full use of this proximity marketing, as advertisers call it, retail chains, manufacturers of apparel, consumer durables and banks are also getting connected. Have faith, even temples in southern states are using it to the benefit of devotees. Coimbatore’s Vasavi temple is one such example. While companies provide discount coupons apart from freebies to lure them to their stores, temples have other things to offer. Bluecasting at the Vasavi temple, started recently, was a huge success where free wallpapers and ringtones were offered for devotees. There was more than 70% acceptance in the temple at Coimbatore where worshippers got wallpapers of Gods and Goddesses and slokas as ringtones. Worshippers who attended annual day celebrations were treated with free mobile content. “The campaign attracted huge turnout and acceptance,” says Suresh Narasimha, CEO of Bangalore-based Telibrahma Convergent Communications, which also did bluecasting during the recent IPL matches and has Hero Honda, Maruti, HSBC, ICICI Bank and Shoppers Stop, among its clients. Pune-based One-2-One Technologies did a bluecasting campaign for HSBC through Mindshare across nine airports in the country. Says Nilesh Kale, founder of One-2-One, “Our technology has been used by leading agencies in India to service brands such as Idea, HSBC, Wrangler, Lee and Disney.” Companies like his and Telibrahma see a 10-fold growth in business on a monthly basis. And why not? With the growth of mobile subscribers by 15 million users per month, admen and marketers are indeed gnashing their bluetooth to grind every opportunity. According to estimates, currently mobile marketing fetches around Rs 50 crore in revenues each year. This figure is expected to jump the Rs 500-crore mark in the next five years. And as far as the target audience is concerned, there’s no dearth of tech-savvy urban and semi-urban youth to rake in the moolah, feel advertisers. The brands get the ability to send content-rich offers to consumers without the need of a GPRS connection and since this is an opt-in technology, the advertiser requests you to switch on your phone’s bluetooth, the negativity associated with pure-push technologies like SMS is easily dodged. “There is also a viral effect as people usually share this content with their friends and family,” says Lowe executive director Tarun Chauhan.

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