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Location Based SMS Coupons

November 11, 2010

What an awesome idea? Starbucks and L’Oreal are testing location based SMS coupons in the UK. Brilliant! Yes, it’s creepy to know that your phone knows where you are, but coupons are worth it, especially ones that are sent instantly and to your phone.

This is a great example of how strategic communicationers are inventing ways to continue to reach consumers since original advertising is slowly becoming obsolete. More people are keeping up with the news and reading magazines online than in a hard, paper version. So, why not attract customers through mobile advertising? Yet, Placecast (the location services platform) has taken it a step further by making the advertisements into coupons, further advancing the customers involvement.

One flaw that I see is mobile users getting SMS coupons too frequently to where they are ignored and quickly deleted.  With the testing, you’ll have to have expressed interested in an industry to receive a coupon from a company in that industry. For example, I’d had to have expressed interested in the beauty industry to receive SMS coupons from L’Oreal. It’ll be interesting to see if people change their profiles to include more or less industries.

I think the pr and advertising industry has become incredibly innovative with how our society has advanced toward a mobile and digital age. The coupons have a chance to help L’Oreal’s and Starbucks’s bottom line by quickly getting the attention of those passing by.

And it’s great to see this happening in the UK! Not everything innovative happens in the US!

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