The pilot service, launched by O2 last October, enables brands to send text or MMS messages to O2 customers who pass by areas they “own”.
O2 customers that have signed up to the O2 More service and opted to receive food and drink messages, will be sent a text message from M&S with a unique code to claim a free smoothie when they buy any M&S Simply Fuller Longer sandwich or salad.
Nicky Fouhy, online marketing manager at M&S, says: “Mobile is already an incredibly important channel for us with over two million people shopping at M&S on their mobile phone last year.
“Proximity marketing is a new and exciting mobile marketing channel that will enable us to offer value to customers and in a targeted and engaging way.”
Shaun Gregory, managing director of O2 Media, says: “M&S have been one of the most progressive brands in mobile for some time. They are re-writing the rules for how mobile works with online and other forms of media.
“Location adds a whole dimension to the mobile marketing opportunity. It’s taking the richness of the medium and delivering something unique that customers really want. I think it will be game changing for the future of mobile marketing.”
For launch, partnered with L’Oreal and Starbucks to trial the “geo-fencing” technology developed by Placecast, which creates virtual boundaries around high-street stores or shopping centres.
House of Fraser has also joined the scheme.
Last week O2 confirmed it is to close 40 of its stores in order to invest in its top-performing shops. To offset the 250 job losses, O2 is creating 250 in-store “guru” roles to boost its customer service.