May 27, 2009, 12:00 AM

New mobile ad system targets consumers by location

Alcatel-Lucent and 1020 Placecast are offering wireless service providers and advertisers a location-based service that delivers via text message relevant messaging and ads to mobile consumers wherever they may be.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Alcatel-Lucent and 1020 Placecast are offering wireless service providers and advertisers such as consumer brand manufacturers and retailers a location-based service that delivers relevant messaging and advertising to mobile consumers who opt in to the service.

1020 Placecast leverages its advertising engine to weave location information into relevant messages, helping brands and advertising agencies create scalable, proximity-based marketing campaigns pushed to consumers’ mobile devices in text message formats. Alcatel-Lucent is leveraging its Geographic Messaging Services Platform as a hosted service, tracking opt-in subscribers’ locations on behalf of the wireless service provider and pushing mobile content to subscribers when and where appropriate based on the advertising campaign managed by the 1020 Placecast platform.

Consumers opt in to specific brands from whom they would like to see advertisements. Brands set up geo-fences for particular locations and track when individuals intercept the geo-fence, an indicator of geographic locations in which ads are served. Alcatel-Lucent reports interceptions to Placecast’s server. Upon receiving the location information, Placecast knows which brands that consumer has subscribed to and sends the appropriate content in real time.

Wireless service providers can, for example, offer consumers an opt-in service that sends the consumers text messages offering a discounts at their favorite retailers along their route to work. The message could include the store address, phone number, proximity to the customer and other content.

“This offering enables carriers, and the brands they support, to create a highly relevant and personalized experience for mobile users while also delivering immediate return on investment,” says Gani Nayak, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s rich communication business.

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