March 15th, 2011

Kmart, Other Brands Test Geo-located Text Messaging with AT&T ShopAlerts

Promo Magazine

Some big names in both retail and consumer goods are partnering with wireless carrier AT&T to test the impact of text messages that send themselves automatically when customers come within a certain distance of the marketers’ store locations.

The launch of AT&T’s ShopAlert offering earlier this month comes as a partnership between the carrier and geolocated marketing agency Placecast. It’s the first time the carrier has offered a location-based messaging platform to its marketing clients.

Kmart, JetBlue, S.C. Johnson, Hewlett-Packard and pet food brands Kibbles ‘n Bits and Nature’s Recipe will all test the ShopAlert platform, which will be available to AT&T end-users in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles to begin with. The national Milk Mustache “got Milk” campaign will also take part in the ShopAlert pilot.

The platform, build on Placecast’s technology, sets up “geo-fences” of various sizes around the target locations selected by the marketer. Once an opted-in user brings his mobile phone into one of these perimeters, an SMS message is automatically triggered and sent to the recipient.

While brands participating in the pilot would not specify the kinds of offers they will make via the ShopAlerts program, AT&T Ad solutions vice president of ad product innovation Danielle Lee said the offers could include rebates or coupons. shopAlert text can also include location-specific information like weather, news and traffic.

Press reports say that JetBlue is erecting geo-fences around airports in those four markets during the month of March and pushing extra-points offers to TrueBlue Rewards users who check in on their mobile devices via the JetBlue Go Places Facebook app and who have opted in to receive ShopAlerts.

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