O2 customers to get text and MMS alerts when they're out shopping
Starbucks and L'Oréal have announced they are taking part in a six-month trial of mobile location-based marketing using a service from O2.
The service, launched by the mobile network this week, will send SMS and MMS location-based marketing messages to the more than one million O2 customers who are signed up to O2 More.
O2 More is an opt-in service where O2 customers can record their personal information - including age, gender and interests, such as football, travel and cinema - and receive offers from companies based on the details they've provided. O2 More customers will now also receive offers based on their location.
O2's location-based marketing works by using geo-fencing technology - provided by US company Placecast - whereby certain geographical areas are 'owned' by particular brands.
Once a consumer steps into a particular brand's area, the geo-fencing technology will trigger an SMS or MMS to be sent to them containing an offer designed to bring them into a shop.
In Starbucks' case, O2 users who have registered an interest in food and drink will get an SMS offering them money off Starbucks Via coffee at a nearby branch when they enter an area owned by the coffee company. When consumers who have specified an interest in beauty enter a L'Oreal-owned area, they will be sent an SMS with a buy one get one free offer on L'Oreal Elvive hair care products at Superdrug.
O2 will limit the number of messages sent to each customer to a maximum of one per day.
Thanks to the rise of more feature-rich smartphones coupled with growing awareness of services such as Foursquare, the location-based advertising market is beginning to take off. According to predictions by analyst house ABI Research, the mobile location-based advertising market is set to be worth around $1.8bn in the US alone by 2015.