As location-based services have emerged as compelling ways for businesses to interact with potential customers, there have been a flux of marketing and social media platforms that help set up campaigns. Context Optional, SnackSquare, Geotoko, Sprout Social and a number of other platforms are helping brands run campaigns on services like Foursquare, Twitter, Gowalla and now Facebook Places. PlacePunch is launching its platform in the space, and has already enlisted a well-known brand as a client.
PlacePunch, which received seed funding from Shotput Ventures, allows businesses both big and small to run their own location-based marketing campaigns that integrate with Foursquare, Facebook Places, Twitter, Gowalla and other location-based social networks.
For example, a restaurant can create a loyalty program that counts customer check-in towards rewards and coupons. PlacePunch provides a good amount of the infrastructure, including branded sign-up pages, mobile coupon delivery and analytics, to run these programs. Marketers can also run personalized messaging programs through Twitter for customers that check into their venues. So if customers check-in to your coffee shop, you could set up an recurring Tweet welcoming them.
PlacePunch also provides a dashboard of reports and analytics to help businesses learn more about their customers and venues, including demographics, time of check-ins, and more. And the bootstrapped startup has signed on InterContinental Hotels Group as a client.
Of course, the location-based services themselves could start offering ways for businesses to interact with consumers but the plus of using a platform like PlacePunch is that you can tap into a number of services from the same dashboard.