O2 is spending £2.5m on a new advertising campaign to promote its Priority Moments for Independent Businesses service.
The service launched earlier this summer but is now open to all independent businesses, rather than just O2 customers. Businesses can create their own offers, such as multi-buy, cahsback or discounts, through an online portal. O2 customers can then access any local offers through a smartphone app.
Ben Dowd [pictured], director of business at O2, said: 'Against the backdrop of one of the toughest economic periods ever seen on the UK high street, we know that times can feel particularly tough for small business owners, who often lack the time and resources to make the most of their marketing, particularly in the fast evolving digital world. We believe that big businesses can play a key role in helping smaller players reach their full potential. Our network is our greatest asset and digital is what we do best – so with the launch of this new service, we hope to apply two of our biggest strengths to help some of these small businesses get a leg up into the world of digital marketing.'
He added: 'As a result, 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.'
The operator said it hopes the service will drive footfall to small businesses. According to new research commissioned by the company, 65% of businesses reported a fall in footfall or static customer numbers. One in six (16%) said they fear they may go out of business in 2013 unless sales improve.
According to O2, since it launched Priority Moments in July 2011, the operator's 23 million customers have saved £23m through more than 4,400 offers across over 1,000 brands.
Editor: Graeme Neill