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M&S and House of Fraser extend mobile reach with O2 More-powered geolocation marketing service

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Marks & Spencer (M&S) and House of Fraser are rolling out geolocation based marketing campaigns with O2, which will see relevant SMS and MMS messaging being pushed to opted in and profiled consumers as they near either retailers’ stores. The service builds on a ‘Get a free smoothie’ trial run by M&S earlier in the year as reported in M-Retailing.

The service, offered as part of O2 More, the targeted mobile advertising service run by Telefonica-owned carrier O2, uses Placecast’s Geofences technology to allow O2’s servers to know when an opted in customer and their mobile phone walks within a set area around a store – within so called Geofences. More than 1.1 million O2 customers have opted in to O2 More to date.

Once consumers opt into the O2 More services, they provide specifics about age, gender, and interests, and now, location. “You Are Here” runs while consumers go about their shopping day, with no app or check-in required. The messages are an automated service, requiring no action from the consumer. Because the program is SMS-based, it works on any mobile phone – not just smartphones.

When shoppers are located in specific geofenced areas, they receive text messages from brands. Placecast’s geofence technology, combined with information around consumer interests, enables brands such as Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser to deliver relevant SMS and MMS to consumers in a more targeted, engaging, and effective way than ever before.

Nicky Fouhy, M&S’ Online Marketing Manager, says: “Mobile is already an incredibly important channel for us, with over two million people shopping at M&S on their mobile phone last year. Proximity marketing is a new and exciting mobile marketing channel that will enable us to offer value to customers and in a targeted and engaging way. We’re very excited to be involved and, with over one million consumers, O2’s ‘You Are Here’ service offers us a great opportunity to demonstrate M&S quality and value.”

Shaun Gregory, Managing Director of O2 Media, describes the power of geofence marketing: “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. I think it will be game changing for the future of mobile marketing.”

O2 first launched its location services in the UK in October last year, with Starbucks and L’Oreal as the first brands on board. O2 protects its customers’ privacy by not sharing the data with any other customers or third parties and manages the number and relevancy of all messages. Customers can opt-out of the service at any time.

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