Despite all the lumps Groupon’s taken in the media, the Daily Deals industry as a whole is continues to be a go-to resource for local marketers who need to scout out some new leads. That’s because, for lots of local businesses, daily deals are the most cost effective way to advertise… and it really does work.
So why are there so many naysayers? Two reasons:
1.) Sometimes business owners don’t plan adequately and grossly oversell their offer.
2.) Business owners often fail to realize that daily deals offers should be accounted for as part of their marketing budget, not operating expenses.
Sure, there are some horror stories out there about Groupon deals gone wrong (see this earlier DM post), but wih careful planning and consideration, businesses can control costs, profit, and acquire long-term customers with daily deals — but it’s far from a given.
To truly maximize an offer, it’s important that marketers look at daily deals as a advertising/marketing opportunity. Though Groupon isn’t a traditional marketing model, and in some ways it follows more of a financing model, I’ll leave the operational topics like that for Ryan…
Marketers who want to rely on daily deals to get the word out need to evaluate what each model does well. Here are a couple of basic considerations about the big 3:
Groupon - Groupon’s business model (even its name) scares business owners, because it appeals to a very price-conscious set of (cheapskate) consumers. In theory, this is not the customer that most marketers want. However, Groupon offers an excellent analytics dashboard (see nearby photo), consumer protection, and even a scheduler to help marketers control their redemption rates.
LivingSocial - Still a private company, LivingSocial has the flexibility to try new offers and be more flexible than Groupon — including a travel arm and a full-priced Takeout and Delivery service. In general, LS puts off a little more of an upscale vibe that doesn’t push the mega-discounts angle as much. LS may not have the dashboard resources that Groupon offers, but LS has salespeople on the ground that actually visit businesses that they work with… another feature that will appeal to small business.
Google Offers - The benefit of Google Offers is, basically… the fact that it’s a division of Google. As opposed to LS or Groupon, Offers is such a small part of Google’s business that it can afford to play for the long-term, steering away from the more aggressive discounts that Groupon has become known for. In addition, Google obviously has the resources to create awesome mobile apps, that will help making your offers more mobile-friendly.