iQ.COM, Proxio Pair for Wireless Promotion Trials

Two more companies hopped on the trial wireless program bandwagon this week. iQ.COM, an online incentive and loyalty marketing technology firm, Wednesday announced a strategic alliance with wireless developer Proxio, to test incentive and loyalty marketing programs in conjunction with Proxio’s wireless content applications.

San Francisco-based B2B play Proxio develops and distributes applications that deliver client content — such as movie listings — to Palm OS devices, based on users’ preferences and their location.

The deal will link iQ.COM’s promotional and loyalty offers with Proxio content, allowing advertisers to target wireless users based on interests, location and other criteria as gleaned from their preferences. Saratoga, Calif.-based iQ.COM will deliver targeted promotions, sweepstakes and discounts from national and local merchants to those users.

“iQ.COM’s e-marketing solutions allow us to extend the benefits of our context-aware intelligent applications to provide wireless end users additional targeted information,” said Proxio president and co-founder Janet Case. “The ability to give mobile users precisely the information they need, exactly when they need it is the end-game for wireless data access.”

The two companies hope to enlist merchants into the pilot program within the coming weeks; ultimately, Proxio is banking on being able to offer built-in loyalty programs and ads for its clients.

Other online marketers are making moves in the wireless arena as well. Promotional marketer CoolSavings recently tapped wireless application provider GeoWorks; and MyPoints and ClipACoupon have also forged a pact, which has them offering discounts through a channel on wireless content app AvantGo.

Wireless firms like WindWire, i3 Mobile and Sonata also provide technology for delivering targeted ads linked to location-specific content.

Thus far, the ability to deliver location-specific wireless ads and promotions is limited to estimating user locations by observing location-specific content, like weather conditions. But the industry expects this to change as wireless carriers move to comply with new federal regulations. The FCC recently mandated that mobile phone service must include geographic targeting, for 911 services — but the technology could potentially also be used to target ads.

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