As users flock to location-based services like Foursquare and Gowalla, local businesses and media organizations are beginning to use the check-in as a marketing tool for events and campaigns. Geotoko, which launched today at TechCrunch Disrupt, a platform that allows businesses to run contests and sweepstakes using location-based services.
Co-founded by Adarsh Pallian, Geotoko gives businesses a dashboard, where they can create a designated site for a promotional campaign. On the site, Geotoko will aggregate check-in and geolocation info from Foursquare, Twitter and Gowalla (and perhaps soon Brightkite and Facebook) for the businesses location along with the details of a campaign or promotion (i.e. prizes, free gifts). The business can Tweet out the link to the page to potential users, who can check-in to the locale as a sweepstakes entry.
For example, a coffee shop could create a campaign for a new drink, awarding free coffee to those who check-in. Geotoko allows the shop to manage these check-ins and have a centralized place for buzz around the promotion, where other users can see who is checking into the shop. Geotoko also offers businesses deeper analytics to see which locations are getting the most traffic and more.
It’s sort of like a Wildfire for geo-location based services. And as more businesses recognize the potential in using location-based services as a marketing resource, Geotoko’s services could be useful to be able to tap into a number of networks. Of course, Foursquare has been racking up promotional deals with media companies, but Geotoko may be a good resource for small businesses to run campaigns using geo-location. Geotoko is also similar in some ways to SnackSquare.
JC: What about MyTown’s Booyah,?
AP: We are planning to add more services as we see the demand come in.
JC: Any early results?
AP: We haven’t tested it out yet with businesses.
KG: How is this different than what the actual LBS services are doing?
AP: Our focus is on businesses and allowing them to go on a local level, and keep them happy.
RS: I’m a heavy Foursquare and Gowalla users. How do users know about you?
AP: If you follow a business on Twitter or Facebook, they’ll be able to see a promotion. We’re depending on the business to get in touch with you.
RS: From businesses, how are they going to hear about you?
AP: We are going to do a Groupon-style B2B, lots of sales people.
RS: How do I know I, as a consumer, are using Geotoko.
AP. There would be some sort of signage at a store or business.
JH: It’s important to get the consumer hook. What’s your signup to get merchants at scale?
AP: We plan to attract brands who are already active on Twitter. We are hoping their fans might hear of Geotoko.
JH: What is your pitch to local businesses?
AP: How do you bring your check-ins together-that’s an important question for businesses. how do you incentivize users?
RS: Seems like you are getting at more of an enterprise play.