A Bluetooth® marketing device is a stationary device that sends marketing texts or images to nearby Bluetooth® enabled mobile phones. The mobile phone user can either ignore or accept the incoming message, or turn off the Bluetooth® capability so it does not receive further communications. A Bluetooth® marketing device allows companies to advertise locally on devices that are within range of its signal. Some uses of this device include sending promotional offers, product announcements or special event notifications. Users who feel that the Bluetooth® marketing device is emitting spam can turn off the "discovery" mode on their phones in order to not receive further messages.
Uses of a Bluetooth® marketing device include providing users of Bluetooth® enabled mobile phones with special offers, letting them know when new products are available or informing them of an upcoming event. Some businesses also use it to send out free apps, screen savers or ring tones as promotional tools. Local businesses tend to benefit the most from this type of marketing since signals can only be sent out to users within close proximity to the device. Even though mobile phones are usually the main target of these advertisements, computers, laptops and other Bluetooth® enabled electronics can also receive the signal.
Specifications of each Bluetooth® marketing device differ depending on the brand and model, but some standard features do exist. If the device requires pairing, then the user will have to perform additional steps in order to view the advertisement. Advertisements are not stored on the mobile phone, and the frequency of sending messages may be limited. The device should be able to recognize if a mobile phone is registered to receive Bluetooth® marketing messages.
Popularity of using a Bluetooth® marketing device is increasing as Bluetooth® enabled mobile phones gain market share. The full potential of this type of marketing has yet to be reached, as it is still relatively new. Advertisement agencies and businesses are constantly developing new uses for this type of advertising, such as broadcasting a limited time offer to only those who receive a message.
Spamming is one of the major concerns of the growing popularity of Bluetooth® marketing devices. Potential for abuse by marketers is high, and the tolerance for spam is low for mobile users. Even though mobile devices typically come with the capability to avoid being discovered, users may desire most of the messages and only want to avoid being discovered by the spamming devices. Some Bluetooth® marketing devices check to make sure a message has already been sent to the device before making a new attempt, which limits users from receiving duplicate messages when passing through areas.