O2 UK inks location-based marketing deal with M&S

Having already signed up Starbucks and L'Oreal in the UK to use its location-based marketing service, O2 UK has now inked a deal with the giant retailer Marks & Spencer. This latest pact will see M&S offering--via an SMS from the O2 More service--a free smoothie drink when customers enter an M&S store and buysa sandwich or salad.

The O2 More service went live late last year and sends a targeted text or MMS message to "opted-in" customers when they enter areas that have been geo-fenced by brands, retailers or service providers. The O2 More programme allows customers to register products and services of interest, and promises to send them no more than one text a day. So far, over 1 million UK consumers have opted in, out of O2's customer base of 22 million subscribers.

While M&S has only signed up for a six month programme with O2 More, its online marketing manager, Nick Fouhy told Advertising Age, "Mobile is already an incredibly important channel for us with over two million people shopping at M&S on their mobile phones last year."

Meanwhile, Starbucks has taken a more ambitious approach and geo-fenced 800 locations in the UK. While not stating what level of success has been achieved, the company used the O2 More location-based technology to promote the launch of its Via instant coffee range in October 2010.

Shaun Gregory, managing director of O2 Media, which O2 More is part of, told Ad Age, "This is another nail in the coffin of the old model of reaching mass audiences. Location adds a whole dimension to the mobile marketing opportunity... It's taking the richness of the medium and delivering something unique that customers really want."

Orange UK has also announced plans to introduce a location-based marketing service this year, but has not made public any details.

For more:
- see this Advertising Age article

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