Starbucks and UK mobile operator O2 have announced the start of a 6-month trial of O2’s new location-based mobile advertising platform.
Global cosmetics company L’Oreal will also participate in the trial.
Reaching people with “the right message at the right time” has always been a goal of good advertising. Now brands can add “at the right place” to that list of goals.
O2 Media is launching a new service which will allow brands to send out either SMS or MMS messages to consumers whenever they enter certain selected locations.
The technology for the location-based feature comes from US company Placecast, and relies on “geo-fencing” of specific areas to trigger advertising messages.
For example, Starbucks might “geo-fence” an area around each of their shops in a city. Whenever someone enters one of the specified areas, a message is sent offering a discount, or a two-for-one offer good for a certain amount of time. The goal of course is to drive foot traffic into the shop.
One very important feature is that the geo-fencing is based on information collected from the mobile network, and so does not impact the battery life or data usage charges of the consumer.
Also, the messages are only sent to O2 subscribers who have agreed to receive such messages. O2 Media has already developed an “opt-in” program called O2 More, with a database of over 1 million subscribers.
As part of the subscription each of these subscribers has provided a variety of personal profile information so that only message relevant to their particular areas of interest are sent.
Shaun Gregory, managing director of O2 Media, says: “The growth of location-based services will create a golden age for proximity marketing. It fuels a growing expectation among consumers for personalized advertising via their mobile phones that is directly relevant to their passions. This is another nail in the coffin of the old model of reaching mass audiences in one go.”