Placecast, the SMS-based advertising company was founded in 2005. Since then it’s been developing its text based advertisement model. With its newly announced partnership with Location Labs, Placecast has extended its reach to over 180 million US consumers.
This means that up to 60% of US consumers could soon be receiving texts from the ShopAlerts service. This service uses the Location Labs API to allow customers of Placecast to send texts, IM’s and tweets to consumers who have opted in to receiving offers based on location and shipping preferences.
This so-called ‘geo-fencing’ model has been used by the well-known brand, The North Face. Location Labs uses carrier information to work out consumer location so no extra wireless apps need to be downloaded to smartphones or other devices. This differentiates the service from others such as Shopkick which uses Foursquare or others to harvest location data.
The targeted nature of the advertising makes this delivery mode more efficient and represents better value for money for the advertiser. At the same time, consumers must double opt-in to the service and the brands that their interested so the message is far less likely to be disregarded as spam.
Exciting times for consumers and marketers but the question is whether anyone will actually opt in. As with similar services it is the number that will make or break profitability so Placecast and Location Labs will need to make sure their combined efforts attract enough users to make the venture profitable.