The Bluetooth Tale


These days Bluetooth technology is getting used to as a medium to deliver advertising, and information. However this technology has its unique appeal for hospitality segment, especially the hotel business.

Having a good time with family or a great date with girlfriend has one thing in common - a decent restaurant! While talking about an up country restaurant we have to look at carefully about what all it takes to managing a restaurant.

By looking at these restaurants with an SME focused media perspective, I found these restaurants as most interesting members of MSME community. They also have resource constraints, they are also facing competition with large multinational brands, they are also finding it difficult to analyse their customer footfall and so on.  However, very few of them have looked at IT as a tool to help them.

Yes, in the urban parts of India, technology has reached to a level where it can even attract customers, influence them and make a great impact on business. The restaurant manager and owners need to get educated on this diversifying role of technology for their restaurants.

Simple and common technology like Bluetooth carries huge potential for a typical hospitality and dining set up. With proper use of this technology restaurant managers can reduce big cost of printing menu cards. Printing menu cards always costs a considerable chunk of money. “Bluetooth gives an advantage of transferring information in a limited area. This does not involve money to get shelled out from the customer’s pocket or in the case of restaurant, guest’s pocket. All that is required is just to inform the guests who are coming for dinners, lunch meetings or breakfasts to open their Bluetooth network on their mobile handset,” added Vishal Singhal of Celstrat.

Today most of the mobile handsets are coming with Bluetooth functionality and people do not mind in getting any information from this way. However, in the case of restaurants, this technology also lets the customers or guests to carry the restaurant’s menu card with them in their mobile handset.
Singhal also mentioned, “We all know the mobile is the most personal device.Any information coming through this has 100% penetration guarantee. This is the main reason why features like Bluetooth are considered as a favourite tool for mobile advertising.”

Mobile advertising systems offer the advertiser the ability to target a campaign only to users who will find it most relevant and valuable, and therefore are highly likely to respond to it by clicking or purchasing.

M Saleem co-owner of Chilli Arts restaurant gives his views on his over all business scenario with regards to the nature of his business and competition. He said, “Competition is very stiff in our business. We are competing with large food chain brands. So we are very much aggressive towards offering the best to our customers who we call guests. Since we look at our customers as guests, we want to reach to them personally.

Honestly, as of now we only convince them through serving god food in a good way.” While bringing the discussion to the adoption level of technology, Saleem added, “We do understand the role of technology iscritical as it can help us in doing our job of convincing the guests. Bluetooth as a medium could be a very interesting option to look at as it will help us in controlling our operational cost also.”

Total advertising and sales promotional budgets have been reduced and advertisers are therefore challenged to launch successful campaigns with lower budgets.

Current challenging economic realities actually make mobile advertising more compelling than before. Even though advertising budgets in general are being reduced, it remains a necessity for consumer brands.

While seeking media channels that can provide a better return on the advertising budget and eager to invest more of their budget in measurable campaigns, marketers and advertisers are starting to realize the extraordinary value and effectiveness of mobile advertising.

While addressing any technology solution like Bluetooth marketing or bluetooth content sharing, the technology provider has to make sure that it should be cost effective. While talking about urban Indian society, this is the era of shopping malls. This concept of Bluetooth marketing holds a lot of prominence for businesses around a specific location.

Mobile devices encourage and facilitate immediate user response – such as click-to-call or reply by SMS – while interest is at its peak.For example, the bluetooth enabled locations can trigger sending an ad for a business at a nearby location. According to marketing experts, average response time expected in e-mails is 48hrs,where as in case of Mobile marketing, its as low as 5 minutes.

Specific to the needs of restaurants, another business optimising technology is --online.Online presence has given tremendous results to many industry sectors. “Yes, online web presence of our restaurant could make significant impact on our go-to-market strategy. At one point of time I will be looking at having a decent website in place. Currently I am working towards building one,” Saleem said.  But having said this, website alone cannot do wonders except it gets enough marketing support. To promote the website most of the businesses are again using mobile as a medium.

A mobile interface is required to push towards online presence of any business. It should be a right mix of technology if someone is establishing online presence and looking at mobile as a medium to promote it. But the ultimate goal should have to make it operational in fewer budgets.

Anytime if some technology appeals to and typical SME set up, it has to be cost effective and less resource taking. We can only wish and hope that the new methods of promoting business should come and get adopted by the business owners, but they have to deliver results which they promise to deliver.