O2 is rolling out its Priority Moments scheme to make it available to almost 150,000 small merchants and medium-sized businesses as it aims to entrench itself in the UK’s digital economy.
The mobile operator has claimed that its Priority Moments scheme will give smaller businesses access to its 23m-strong subscriber base through its location-based marketing platform with large brands including Nike, Odeon and JJB Sports already launching Priority Schemes after it initially launched last year (nma.co.uk 14 Jul 2011).
The launch of the service will be supported by a £2.5m through-the-line advertising campaign with O2 drafting in the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) to promote research highlighting the obstacles faced by independent retailers.
The survey of more than 500 UK independent retailers found that 65% of participants said their stores’ footfall had dropped over the last 12 months with over one-in-six fearing they will go out of business in 2013 unless sales improve.
Ben Dowd, director of business at O2, said, “We can help consumers rediscover the hidden gems in their community. At the same time, by opening up the world of mobile to some of the UK’s smallest, most exciting independent businesses, we can help them compete with the marketing fire power of much bigger more established brands and in doing so, help them boost footfall and increase profitability.”
These findings are further backed by a study of over 2,000 consumers which found that 24% of participants visited independent shops once a week 45% saying they do so for convenience, 40% doing so to support local businesses and 27% citing the personal level of service they receive as a reason to do so.
O2’s £2.5m advertising campaign will involve various digital executions including a strong social media element focused on encouraging sign ups from local merchants. O2 has also partnered with The Guardian to create a ‘Loving Local’ series which features video content and case studies that will feature across the title’s portfolio of platforms. This will include advertorials and virtual toolkits offering step by step guidelines on how to sign up to the service.