Placecast Brings Geo-Fences to UK With Starbucks and L’Oreal

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mobiledeals_small.jpgADOTAS – When I was a boy, a neighbor installed an invisible fence for his dog, who wasn’t the most friendly. Every day I’d walk by the angry mutt barking himself hoarse, stymied by that invisible, electric border that allowed me to safely pass.

Placecast has its own version of the invisible fence, except these geo-fences don’t protect passing consumers from retailing hounds — or at least they don’t protect consumer wallets. When consumers who have opted in are within a geo-fence surrounding a participating retail outlet, they may possibly receive SMS messages notifying them of sales or detailing offers.

Now Placecast partnered with O2, the UK’s second largest wireless carrier with 22 million customers, to bring location-based marketing to its O2 More opt-in service, in which wireless customers to receive promoted messages from brands based on age, gender and interests. Starbucks and L’Oréal are the first brands to take advantage of the six-month trial period — when O2 More subscribers walk into more than 1,500 geo-fences surrounding Starbucks and L’Oreal locations in the UK, they may get a message enticing them to come in and buy.

Placecast claims this is the United Kingdom’s first location-based mobile marketing endeavor, and the largest geo-marketing campaign undertaken.

“The market potential here is huge,” commented Shaun Gregory, managing director of O2 Media, the carrier’s marketing arm. “It has already had massive success in the USA — and this is another nail in the coffin of the old model of reaching mass audiences in one go.”

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