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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : October 15, 2010

Placecast partners with O2 for European geo-fences

Brands in the US have been experimenting with geo-fences, location based areas in which consumers can receive opt-in messages from retailers and brands they are interested in. This week, geo-fences become a reality in Europe as well. San Francisco based Placecast is partnering with O2, the largest mobile carrier in the UK, to deliver targeted, relevant messages to consumer mobiles.

by Kristina Knight

Sbux iPhone London - Single.jpgO2 is owned by Telefonica, the third-largest mobile carrier in the world. Through the partnership Placecast will offer location based marketing messages to O2 subscribers on an opt in basis. Consumers opt in to the platform by signing up at their carrier's website. They input gender, age, interests information and then messages are sent to them which are relevant to their preferences.

Sounds familiar? It should, the platform is modeled after the Placecast's ShopAlerts which were launched in the US earlier this year.

Here is how the platform will work:

Branded offers are sent via SMS or MMS to consumer mobiles, giving marketers the ability to reach more consumers. Coffee brand Starbucks is one of the first brands to sign on; through the platform they will be able to send messages to consumers who cross into their geo-fenced area. Messages sent may include coupons or deal offers as well as physical location.

The platform will:

• Send messages only to opt-in members
• Send messages only to consumers over age 16
• Not share customer information peer to peer
• Offer messages to consumers based on age, gender and interests

Although mobile browser and app ads are a hot commodity, more consumers are still using SMS and MMS texting over mobile browsing services. In fact, comScore recently found that nearly 82% of Europeans are texting while only about 25% are using mobile browsers and only about 24% are using apps. Games and music (24%) are also high on European consumers' mobile to-do lists.

The offering goes live Friday, October 15th when, overnight, one million opt-in consumers will begin receiving messages according to their preferences.

Tags: geo-fencing, MMS marketing, mobile marketing, O2, Placecast, SMS marketing, text messages

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