PlacePunch Co-Founder Discusses The Future of Location-Based Marketing [Interview]

Eight days after its public launch we had the opportunity to sit down with PlacePunch’s Co-Founder, Adam Steinberg. PlacePunch is a full-service location-based marketing platform for retailers and businesses to harness the power of the “check-in”. It allows businesses to set up unique marketing campaigns that use location-based services like Foursquare and Gowalla as their foundation. Learn more about PlacePunch and Adam’s thoughts on the future of geo-location below the jump.

Can you give us a brief background and history of PlacePunch? What inspired you to create a marketing platform for businesses using location-based technology?

As location-based service like Foursquare and Gowalla began gaining popularity last year, we were inspired by the opportunity to build a marketing solution that would enable to businesses to drive customers to their venues with location-based services.

We were also inspired by the power of a check-in. Fundamentally, a “check-in” is more valuable than a simple brand mention, as customers are not only evangelizing your brand to their friends, but a check-in also indicates they have actually visited your location.

We talked with many different retailers and businesses that wanted to use location services to acquire new customers, build customer loyalty or just learn how customers are “checking into” their venues.

As PlacePunch’s DNA is in marketing, we wanted to build a solution that would enable retailers to run their own unique campaigns and differentiate themselves from competitors on these social networks, but not force the end customer to have to download yet another check-in application. We also wanted to include infrastructure – like branded landing pages and analytics – out of the box.

We ended up with PlacePunch – a solution that enables retailers to easily run their own marketing programs that drive more “check-ins” to their venues through location services such as Facebook Places, Foursquare, Twitter and others.

What are the features of PlacePunch that make it ideal for businesses?

PlacePunch is like ExactTarget for location services. PlacePunch provides a complete set of marketing tools that enable both large and small businesses to:

  • Run their own unique loyalty program that rewards customers for “checking in” on any location-based social network, including Facebook
  • Directly communicate with customers that check in through Twitter and email
  • Learn more about how people are checking into their venues and analyze check-in data for their locations

PlacePunch also provides a mobile-couponing application that enables retailers to deliver rewards directly to their customers’ mobile phone and then track redemptions.

Finally, we also make it easy for businesses with hundreds or even thousands of locations to manage campaigns across all of their venues from one dashboard.

Ultimately, PlacePunch lowers the cost of entry for running location-based campaigns and enables retailers to leverage location-based social networks to drive more customers to their locations

What do you see in store for the future of location-based technology and marketing?

Location-based marketing will eventually become a huge piece of a business’s CRM. This will provide unimaginable levels of sophistication for marketing to different types of customers. For instance, you’ll be able to provide potential customers with a different offer than your most loyal customers. And you’ll be able to automatically send a tailored offer to lapsed customers.

Retailers will then be able to track, in real-time, conversions and check-ins for their promotions. Retailers will also know more about customers’ preferences. When do they like to eat out? Where else do they check into?

If email marketing made A/B testing easy, location-based marketing opens the door for instant marketing personalization.

Businesses interested in PlacePunch can register for a free 30-day trial at www.placepunch.com