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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : January 27, 2011

UK retailers sign on to geo-fence mobile campaigns

O2's geo-fence ad offerings are expanding to include two major UK retail brands. This week geo-fenced campaigns for Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser launch on O2, the second largest mobile carrier in the UK. The expansion will allow 'You Are Here' ads for the brands to be delivered to opt-in consumers through mobile device as the consumers enter an area identified by the retailers.

by Kristina Knight

Placecast powers the geo-fencing platform for Telefonica's O2 carrier; the partnership began in October 2010 with campaigns by Starbucks and L'Oreal. O2 is owned by Telefonica.

"Location adds a whole dimension to the mobile marketing opportunity," said Shaun Gergory, Managing Director of O2 Media. "It's taking the richness of the medium and delivering something unique that customers really want. I think it will be game changing for the future of mobile marketing."

O2 consumers provide information about their age, gender and interests as well as location when they opt in to the program. There are no app interfaces or check-ins required.

Mobile's future is already hot. In Western countries, consumers are handing over their feature phones and upgrading to smartphones in record numbers. Added to that is the expanding tablet market, which many consider the future of computing in general.

A recent eConsultancy report found that European consumers are the most avid users of SMS texting services with 81% of mobile consumers texting. Specific to the UK audience, an AOP study found that 90.4% of Brits are texting, 35.5% are accessing news and 35.2% are using mobile browsers.

Just over 22% of Brits are accessing social networks from mobile phones. Added to that, the UK m-commerce movement is expected to skyrocket over the next three years. eConsultancy predicts that UK mobile commerce could reach 275 million pounds by 2013 to account for roughly 4% of the total online shopping spend.

Tags: geo-fenced ads, geo-fencing, mobile ads, mobile marketing, O2 Media, Placecast, Telefonica

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