Matt Crowell – Founder & CEO, GetintheLoop
Matt Crowell is the Founder and CEO of GetintheLoop, a location-based technology platform that is driving the shop local movement by connecting local consumers with local businesses across Canada through a network of local franchise owners.
Matt’s is passionate about helping small businesses and entrepreneurs through GetintheLoop and his blog, Love the Grind.
Prior to starting GetintheLoop in 2013, Matt was an Account Manager at BDC where he was responsible for building and maintaining value-added relationships with Canadian entrepreneurs and developing new opportunities to accelerate their success.
In 2010/2011, Matt spent two seasons playing professional hockey in Europe for HYC in Herentals, Belgium where he won two Belgium Hockey League titles while also leading the Dutch league in scoring.
Matt holds a Masters in Innovation from Antwerp Management School and a Bachelors of Science, Marketing from Rochester Institute of Technology in New York
What was the inspiration behind the founding of GetintheLoop? What are you hoping to accomplish through it?
It all started with a simple WordPress website and text message platform that helped golf courses market to players in the Kelowna area. GetintheLoop golfers would receive text messages with offers and available tee times. Once we started seeing success with that offering, we realized we had a technology solution that could be used to help other businesses connect with local consumers. Our mission became to establish a business model that is different from the daily deal sites, sustainable for local businesses, and built on a platform consumers loved using.
What we learned in those early days was that small business owners really needed support with digital or mobile marketing solutions to reach local consumers. We know that local business owners are busy and focused on the daily challenges of operating their business, so we designed the GetintheLoop platform to be an easy to use multi-channel marketing engine to help drive foot traffic through the door and deliver results.
How do you believe GetintheLoop is helping small businesses succeed? In what way is it contributing to the success of small businesses?
We’re making digital and mobile marketing simple and effective for local businesses so that those business owners can focus on running their businesses and serving their customers.
It starts with our passion for the shop local movement and believes that local businesses form the foundation of a vibrant community. With that in mind, GetintheLoop connects consumers with nearby businesses by providing them access to rewards, offers, and events in their community.
Another thing that makes us appealing for local business owners is they aren’t competing against Amazon or bidding on Google AdWords in order to attract customers. With GetintheLoop, small businesses pay a low monthly fee and are communicating with people who are looking for places to go eat, shop, and visit locally. We aren’t disrupting consumers on other platforms or serving intrusive ads. We have a community that comes together to support local, and the results are new customers, repeat business, and increased loyalty, particularly with our new digital punch card feature.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced since the launch of GetintheLoop and how did you overcome it?
We’ve been building this business for seven years. When we started, we were in the early stages of the mobile marketing space. Today, mobile has become an essential part of the marketing mix for small businesses. It took dogged determination, persistence, and a commitment to our vision to get us over the initial hump. We’re not just building mobile technology or a marketing platform, GetintheLoop is really facilitating and growing the Shop Local movement which takes time and patience.
What are some of the marketing strategies that you’re using that has contributed to the success of the platform?
The unique thing about GetintheLoop is we’re not only supporting small business owners and entrepreneurs, but we are also creating them. We work with hundreds of local franchise owners who purchase a community or territory to manage. They are our boots on the ground and our local champions for the platform, our retail partners, and the shop local movement. These franchisees know their local markets intimately and are truly invested in the success of our partners.
Unlike Facebook or Google, when small businesses work with GetintheLoop, there is a local Entrepreneur who is there to provide support, marketing insights, and strategic guidance. For a low fixed monthly fee you get that expertise plus someone in your community who is promoting you, and thinking about your business success.
If I were to pinpoint our secret sauce or winning recipe for success it’s the connection our local owners have with small business owners in their community and their ability to create simple and impactful digital marketing campaigns that connect with local members on the app.
With the global pandemic has had a huge impact on small businesses, it’s now more important than ever to encourage consumers to buy local. What are some of the initiatives that small business owners can put in place to encourage their clients to purchase locally? What advice do you have for them?
The biggest threat to small businesses is the proliferation of online shopping which has only been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As consumers have become increasingly comfortable shopping from their phones, we’ve created a way to get small businesses and their offers in front of consumers on their mobile devices. With less foot traffic, it’s essential for small businesses to be actively communicating and engaging with shoppers in their community. A platform like GetintheLoop helps retailers stay top of mind and build a relationship with consumers.
Aside from that, my advice to small business leaders is…keep going. I am an entrepreneur, and our company is filled with people who believe in the entrepreneurial spirit. That energy and spirit implores us to push forward, try new things, and adopt a positive attitude and outlook.
On a final note, what can you tell us about any future projects you have planned for GetintheLoop? Where do you see the platform going in the next two to three years?
We have an ambitious product development road map and we’re really excited about some of the features and solutions that are on the horizon.
We’re very excited to have recently opened our API to allow integrations as a way for other websites and apps to support the shop local movement and help us reach more people. We currently have over 75 integrations across the country and we really see this as a tremendous win-win for the integration platforms, our partners, and our company.
We are constantly finding new ways to unlock value for our retail partners and consumers in the GetintheLoop community. Our focus will be on doubling down on our ability to listen to our partners and build solutions that help solve their business and marketing challenges. I believe that will help us stay ahead of the curve and continue our growth in Canada and potentially beyond.