I’ve had a bit of a dislike-hate relationship with Bluetooth marketing over the years.
I’ve been very critical of Bluespamming – the indiscriminate blasting of a marketing message to all mobiles in the vicinity who happen to have their Bluetooth switched on, as if that was consenting to the spam. I’ve also been pretty sceptical that it would make it as a stand-alone marketing channel. And while there may be ways of legitimate opt-in Bluetooth marketing, I’m not sure that they ever provide the scale that makes things work.
Of course, many disagreed and set out to prove me wrong on all counts. I’m not aware that anyone has succeeded yet, but I’m always interested to have an update from anyone who has had an outstanding success with the channel or who has a thriving business model somewhere.
One entrepreneur who had a lot of early success was South Africa’s Petros Kondos. Sadly for him, the star which shone brightly at first eventually waned and he closed the business. However, Petros knows that there’s certainly no shame in failure – in the words of the legendary entrepreneur and investor, Vinod Khosla, “I’ve failed more times than I’ve succeeded”. And my own success in mobile marketing was built on the failure of my first foray into the industry with ZagMe.
Petros has written a warts-and-all account of his years as a Bluetooth Marketer. This includes some great case studies of success, but also specifies all the lessons he learned over the years, including what Bluespam is (and isn’t) and why his venture didn’t make it. If you have any interest in this area at all as a marketer or potential entrepreneur, this is a must-read book.
Great entrepreneurs learn from their own experiences for sure. But I think it’s especially admirable when they make those lessons public and share them with the world in the belief that it will save others repeating the same mistakes.
You can get your free PDF of Petros’s book by mailing him pk AT telkomsa DOT net or tweeting him @petros99.
Petros is moving to Toronto shortly, so look him up if you’re in the area. Or better yet, recruit him for your company or startup.