Sunday, 15 April 2007

[ 15. The HSBC Website | Marketing ]

[ The HSBC Website ]
Bluetooth is a wireless short range communications technology intended to replace the wires connecting portable and fixed devices, while still maintaining high levels of security. Because Bluetooth is a very widely accepted technology, almost every Bluetooth enabled device can instantly connect to another Bluetooth enabled device within range, anywhere in the world. These ad hoc networks can also be called piconets and use short range radio frequency signals to interact and communicate and Bluetooth communication has a very small power usage, around 2.5mW, and this allows even the smallest devices to be connected, although Bluetooth powers can vary, increasing and decreasing the range as well. Some industrial piconets can range to more than 300metres. One of the most common uses of Bluetooth technology is in mobile phones.

[ In Detail ]
HSBC has trialled a new form of marketing. The large branches at Canary Wharf and on Regent Street spam passers-by with Bluetooth adverts directly to their phones. The practice, often known as 'proximity marketing' [ proximity marketing ] uses a server to detect Bluetooth capable mobile phones in the area. HSBC uses the server to send phones with the facility activated a message asking users to accept a download. If the user accepts, a marketing message is displayed. The branch remembers the phone’s information in an effort not to target the same phone more than is necessary. This is a step forward in technology and a good example of putting the newest technology into a practical application, although if this technique of proximity advertising becomes too proliferant, then users could find themselves walking down any high street with dozens of messages literally spamming their phone with unwanted adverts. HSBC is also up against security concerns about the safety of Bluetooth, where “driveby hackers” can exploit flaws in the signal to steal personal information and make free calls. In addition, users could in the future also be hoarded by the branch and contacted even when not in range of the branch. There is, however a simple solution. Turn off the Bluetooth function on your phone. Another application of Bluetooth in advertising is the possibility of a Bluetooth Billboard, where anyone interested in the contents of the poster advert can hold their phones close to the billboard and choose to receive more information, rather than have it forced down their throats. Even the slight possibility of having competitions or newsletter sign-ups available by simply sending a message to a node in a shop or a billboard is possible for the future. Having the audience choose whether to initiate information would be better accepted than having them bombarded with unsolicited and the majority unwanted adverts.
This is a good example of a non-linear advertising opportunity, immediacy, portability, miniaturisation, proliferation, convenience, democratisation, vertical integration, reach, surveillance and convergence. It is true exploitation of new media technology.

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