Facebook launches Deals platform

Facebook launches Deals platform
31 January 2011 | | Marketing

In my view, one of the most exciting opportunities for marketing using the interface between the internet and smart phones is the provision of offers when a phone knows it is in a particular location. Therefore, if a patient was going past your dental practice, you could have an advert come up on their phone offering them discounted tooth whitening if they booked it now! Whilst this is a pretty weak idea, the facility certainly works better for Starbucks, imagine if you were in a shopping centre, fancied a cup of coffee, and a discount voucher suddenly pops up on your phone. Slightly freaky yes, but, also likely to tempt you to walk past Costa and go to Starbucks for your discounted coffee. Well Facebook have in a fashion started down this route with the launch of their ‘Deals’ platform, and I’m sure this will not be the last you hear of this idea!

Facebook has partnered with brands including Starbucks, O2 and Yo! Sushi to launch its much-anticipated platform Deals in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Deals is part of Facebook’s geo-location service Places, and allows brands to offer location based offers and promotions to Facebook users that “check in” to locations via the social network on their mobiles.

Brands can use Facebook Deals to offer different types of deals including a one-time discount, free merchandise, loyalty deals rewarding regular customers, friend deals when two friends check in together, and charity deals which allow businesses to donate to an organisation when customers check in.

Facebook users can also share the branded offers and promotions with friends via the social network.

Launch partners include Starbucks, Debenhams, O2, Argos, Alton Towers Resort, Benetton, Mazda, O2, and YO! Sushi.

Joanna Shields, Facebook vice-president of EMEA, says: “Facebook is built around people and sharing personal experiences and Deals is a great extension of this. By bringing valuable and relevant offers to you wherever and whenever you want them, Deals delivers a powerful experience that combines technology and location in a way that a pure online or offline experience could never deliver.”

Claire Andrews, marketing director of Mazda UK says: “Social media has always been about communicating to as wide a range of people as you want, but until now has not given any commercial benefits to consumers. Facebook Deals recognises the consumer’s appetite for a deal and brings a real financial benefit to social media use.”

On Friday, Marketing Week revealed that Argos would be among the launch partners of Facebook Deals.

Launch deals include:

Alton Towers Resort: Opening a day early exclusively for Facebook users that check in on 18 February, and offering the first 100 a free night in its hotel.

Argos: Will donate £1 to its national charity partner Teenage Cancer Trust for the first 10,000 customers that check in this week.

Benetton: will donate two pounds/two Euros to Architecture for Humanity for each check-in in one of the 3000 Benetton stores in the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain throughout February.

Debenhams: is giving away 1,000 free Benefit mascaras on 14 February.

O2: Is offering 10% off all accessories, including gaming kit in all stores and limited giveaways of Playstation3 and Xbox 360 in selected stores.

Starbucks: Is giving away 30,000 free tall filter coffees and a free piece of cake with the purchase of two.

YO! Sushi: Is giving away 2000 meals to the value of £60,000
Usher/O2 Arena: 20% off Usher’s album and a free remix throughout Usher’s tour dates at the London O2 arena

Mazda: Is offering a 20% discount on all Mazda MX-5s and a chance to win a Mazda MX-5 Miyako for consumers that “check-in” at its forecourts.

This article was initially written by Rosie Baker for Marketing Week.

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