Geo-fencing is a new term that is starting to be used frequently in mobile marketing circles. Wikipedia describes it as, "a virtual perimeter for a real-world geographic area." When this idea is integrated into mobile phones, it doesn't take long to understand why geo-fencing is becoming a buzz term for mobile marketing.
In a nutshell, it allows users to receive automatic alerts pertaining to a specific area. Placecast is one company that is embracing this technology and using it to benefit both consumers and businesses. According to Alistair Goodman, the CEO of Placecast, the location-based mobile marketing service provides a solution for telephone manufacturers, local directory companies, and subscribers.
The solution is called ShopAlerts and uses geo-fencing technology to send users media messages. Goodman pointed out that it not only gives users the ability to discover what is happening around them, but it also gives businesses an opportunity to scale this activity.
"The key is that it's tailored to where they are and when they're there and any other preference data that they've set up," he said.
When Placecast began to integrate place and time into mobile, it actually made attempts at check-in services and apps. However, Goodman said it quickly found that these types of services drain batteries. As a result, it, instead, developed its platform off the phone and made it scalable for businesses.
Geo-fencing creates multiple opportunities for businesses to connect with consumers in real-time. Placecast works with businesses directly to help them put up geo-fences around their physical locations.
Placecast recently signed a deal with AT&T that allows AT&T customers to personalize their interests and receive alerts pertaining to those preferences on their phone. These alerts could be anything from a discounted offer to information about a nearby event.
"It's the first time a US carrier has deployed a location-based offering for their subscribers at scale," said Goodman.
Placecast has a similar deal with the UK-based carrier O2. Goodman said that the company would continue to expand its services across the world with more partnerships. He also pointed out that Placecast was "moving aggressively" in the deals space.