Saturday, February 26, 2011

AT&T Launches Location-based Shopping Alerts with Placecast

AT&T will begin offering a location-based, opt-in shopping alert service that delivers special offers to consumers via their mobile phones when they are near a participating store or brand. The service works by creating a "geo-fence" – a virtual-perimeter around a retail location, event, or any geographic area – in order to deliver appropriate location-specific messages. Participating consumers receive relevant marketing messages when they are inside a geo-fence.

The service will initially be available to AT&T customers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco. Initial sponsors will be HP, Kmart, JetBlue, SC Johnson, Kibbles 'n Bits, Nature's Recipe and the National Milk Mustache "got milk?" Campaign.

AT&T is working with Placecast, a start-up based in San Francisco and New York, to launch the service.

The companies said that messages can be enhanced with information such as weather, traffic, and local shopping area details to more effectively engage consumers.

"We are proud to take mobile marketing into the future with this unique offering that is being embraced by consumers and brands alike," said Greg McCastle, senior vice president of AT&T Advanced Ad Solutions. "ShopAlerts by AT&T enables brands/advertisers to help link consumer engagement with activation and ultimately to the point of sale."

"Kmart has embraced technology to enhance our customer's experience and maintain our value proposition," said Mark Snyder, chief marketing officer of Kmart. "ShopAlerts allows us to deliver this value directly to our customers through innovative technology."

  • In May 2009, Alcatel-Lucent and 1020 Placecast, a start-up based in San Francisco specializing in location-based advertising, announced a partnership to launch a hosted location-based service for wireless network operators. As part of this service, 1020 Placecast leverages its unique ad engine to weave location information into highly relevant SMS or MMS messages delivered on an opt-in basis to mobile users. Alcatel-Lucent, leveraging its Geographic Messaging Services Platform (GMSP) as a hosted service, tracks opt-in subscribers' locations on behalf of the service provider and pushes mobile content to the subscriber when and where is appropriate - based on the advertising campaign developed and managed by the 1020 Placecast platform.

    Alcatel-Lucent's GMSP leverages algorithms developed at Bell Labs to create a "geo-fence" around a particular mobile user or physical location. This enables messages, promotions and ads to reach subscribers at the most appropriate time and place. When a mobile phone user crosses a given "fence," it triggers the delivery of an SMS text message or multimedia message that is relevant to that individual and that location, such as a promotion for a particular store, or the presence of a friend or associate in the area.

    The companies said their network service can support millions of subscribers tracked within millions of geo fences.