Cisco Systems Inc. said Wednesday that it has struck a deal with Facebook Inc. to help businesses better target consumers using mobile devices.
Under the arrangement, consumers visiting a store, hotel or other business using the Cisco-Facebook service are given the option to "check in" with Facebook when they use their mobile phone to access the Internet. If they choose to do so, the consumer is given access to the business' Wi-Fi network and directed to its Facebook page for the latest on deals and other information.
In exchange, the business gets brand boost from the shopper checking in on Facebook, as well as data gleaned from the user, such as age, gender and location. That helps the business get a better picture of its customers and in some cases, allows it to deliver targeted advertisements while shopper is on site.
Cisco said a number of retailers, hotels, restaurants and other public gathering spots have already been testing the service. Retailers and other businesses have been trying for some time to figure out how to use shoppers' reliance on their mobile phones to their advantage.