O2 Partners With Placecast for LBS Pilot

O2 Media has launched a six-month location-based marketing pilot in the UK, signing up Starbucks and L’Oréal as the first two brands to take part in the trial. The project invites consumers to opt in to the service to receive relevant messages dependent on their age, gender, interests and their location. The service uses geo-fencing LBS technology from Californian company Placecast, whose US customers include North Face, Sonic Drive-Ins and American Eagle Outfitters.

The partnership brings together Placecast’s location-based expertise, O2’s network and customer base of over 22m consumers, and O2 Media’s strong relationships with brands and ad buyers. It enables brands to target their audiences with relevant information and offers, based, partly, on their location.

To opt in to the service, O2 customers register on O2 More and input information relating to their age, gender and interests.  When opted-in, O2 More customers are found to be within a geo-fenced area owned by Starbucks, those interested in food and drink receive an SMS offering them money off Starbucks VIA Ready Brew at a nearby branch.

When opted-in O2 More customers are found to be within a geo-fenced area owned by L’Oréal, customers interested in beauty receive an SMS offering a buy one get one free deal on L’Oréal’s Elvive hair care range at Superdrug.

Customers who opt in to O2 More receive a maximum of one SMS or MMS per day from O2 More, and can opt out of the service at any time. The service works on any mobile phone, and does not need an app. It has no impact on battery life as all detection is done as part of the service O2 provides for voice and messaging. The service is only available to customers aged 16 and over.

“O2 is one of the most innovative mobile carriers in the market, and we are pleased to be partnering with it to bring location-based mobile marketing to the UK,” says Placecast CEO, Alistair Goodman. “The service allows consumers to go about their day and automatically alerts them when they are near a special offer available at their favourite retailers. This is truly marketing as a service to consumers, not an intrusion, enabling people to connect with brands at the right place and in real-time, all via their mobile phone.”