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Brands set to target smartphone users with local deals as they shop, via free Wi-Fi

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London’s shoppers are in for a surprise thanks to a new partnership that will see mobile vouchers for nearby shops offered through free public Wi-Fi hotspots for the first time in the UK.

Spectrum Interactive, the UK’s leading independent provider of Wi-Fi, and location-based media company, Selective Media, have teamed up to launch a new offer-based media platform that will display deals to shoppers as part of the log-in pages when they connect to public Wi-Fi using a mobile or tablet device. The service will grant free access to users in exchange for simply selecting a free promotional offer from one of the service’s brand and advertising partners.

The new platform could form a key component of location-based marketing campaigns, giving brands and advertisers the opportunity to target shoppers who are close to one of their stores on a cost-per-lead media model. For example, a bookstore could entice shoppers into a nearby branch by offering a voucher for 10 per cent off purchases delivered via the Wi-Fi portal page. Shoppers will be offered unique deals or promotions from at least four promotional partners, giving the consumer the freedom to choose the most appropriate offer, and increasing the resulting conversion rate and ROI for brands and advertisers.

The new service will initially be made available across Spectrum’s “FREE Street WiFi” network, spanning some of London’s busiest locations, including Oxford Street, which is visited by more than 200 million people per year. The “FREE Street WiFi” network currently attracts around 25,000 unique users per month (from only 28 hotspots in Westminster).

Following the initial rollout in central London, plans are in place for a city-wide and national expansion, taking advantage of Spectrum’s 1,800 street payphone kiosks (of which 1,500 are within the M25).

“People have come to demand connectivity 24/7, but 3G doesn’t always live up to their expectations. Our street Wi-Fi network fills a void, offering broadband-style speeds in some of central London’s busiest areas,” commented Daniel Gray, Commercial Director at Spectrum Interactive. “For brands and advertisers wanting to get targeted messages and relevant offers directly into the hands of consumers on the move, this service represents a superb and cost-effective opportunity. Spectrum Interactive has been a market leader in monetising public internet access for 11 years, and this new media model is set to create an innovative way for brands to engage and reach their target markets.”

Chris Bull, Founder of Selective Media added: “For the first time, brands can drive sales by using local Wi-Fi hotspots to deliver mobile vouchers to shoppers who are nearby one of their stores. This is great news for London’s shoppers, who will not only be able to surf the web for free, but be rewarded with money-saving deals for doing so. The big benefit for brands is that it gives them an opportunity to target an affluent, on the go, tech-savvy young audience, who can be hard to reach through more traditional channels.”

Chris Bull concludes: “Brands are increasingly recognising the benefits of mobile vouchers and this new platform has already generated much interest from potential media partners during preliminary talks. We’re very excited to be leading the industry forward with the launch of this new platform, and can’t wait to roll it out more widely in the coming months.”

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