DMNews talks with Taylor Safford, president of Blue and Gold Fleet

Taylor Safford, president of Blue and Gold Fleet, discusses how his boat tour company used Intera’s Bluetooth Proximity Marketing network to sell to sightseers.

Q How did the RocketBoat Bluetooth campaign work?

A: We installed Bluetooth units in our ticket booths in San Francisco’s Fish­erman’s Wharf, and the broadcast cloud was about 50 feet around our box office. We had a sign that said, “Turn on your Bluetooth to accept a special offer from Blue and Gold Fleet,” so that was the opt-in portion.

Q: What was the offer?

A: Customers received a coupon. We used a $5 discount offer — about a 20% discount on the price of a RocketBoat tour — to test price sensitivity and see the price level at which we could drive response.

Q: What made you decide to use Intera’s proximity marketing?

A: The target for the RocketBoat, is really a younger audience, so the overlay between using Bluetooth and new technologies to attract that audience seemed like the perfect fit. The message hits them right at the point of sale, so it seemed like a good way to attract the group we were after.

Q: How did the Bluetooth program help you reach your target?

A: We’re trying to reach the 18- to 30-year-old age group — a younger demo than our other tourist services. Because this age group is tech-oriented — everyone in it carries a cell phone — it is likely to accept a message from a Bluetooth zone, especially one that might provide a financial incentive.

Q: What makes the Bluetooth approach new and different for Blue and Gold?

A: Before, we were mostly using standard print advertisements — brochures, schedules and ads in the local tourist magazines that are pretty pervasive here. We hadn’t done any electronic ads and nothing using Bluetooth.

Q: What were some results?

A: We ran the program for two weeks in October, Thursday through Sun­day. Over that, we got 300 down­loads, which is a pretty remarkable number of people. We were then able to convert 18% to 20% of those downloads into sales.

Q: Any future plans in this space?

A: Given the success of this, we’re going to look at making Bluetooth offers a standard part of our [box office] campaigns.

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