Sunday, April 17, 2011

Guest Blogger Derek Hall Talks about Deal of the Day Marketing

7 Things They Don’t Want You to Know About “Deal of the Day” Marketing

Businesses across the U.S. are rushing to jump on the emerging “Deal of the Day” bandwagon, driven at breakneck speed by companies like Groupon and LivingSocial, to name two of the bigger players. Undoubtedly, these arrangements drive short term spikes in business, but closer inspection reveals all is not what seems.

The crucial and often overlooked question for businesses looking to implement a “Deal of the Day” campaign for their organization is:

“Who wins at this coupon game…and at what cost?”

While working with small to medium sized businesses that are testing into this medium, I have observed several pitfalls and sand traps that can trip up even the savviest marketers.

The companies I work with bring in $500,000 to just under $10 million a year in revenue and are always looking to try new advertising ideas. Yet when it comes to social marketing, they have navigated into some unknown territory.

If your business is thinking of trying a Daily Deal concept, here are seven things you need to know before you do your deal:

1. You’re still paying for it. The average discount after a campaign (after adding in up-selling and cross-selling costs) is much larger than normal. It will lower your overall margins.

2. You don’t own the data. Daily deal companies typically keep the consumers’ data and don’t share it with the advertising businesses. Unless you have an efficient way to capture the consumer data when the certificate is used – you lose the chance to contact them in the future.

3. Think it will bring “loyal” customers? Forget it! Do your research. Recent studies conclude the national average for repeat customers from campaigns such as these is less than 20%.

4. Are you prepared for and avalanche of new customers? Expect an abnormal demand for your products and services in a short period of time. Unless the first impression is great, your business can develop a bad rap fast.

5. Keep caring for current customers. They could be casualties. They are the ones that have been loyal, and as they say, “Dance with the one that brung ya.” Unless they are receiving the same love and attention during this heightened demand – watch out!

6. Breakage – potential liability issues! “Breakage” is the term many use when a business can’t fulfill a promised coupon offer when a customer has paid for it in advance. Many government authorities are investigating complaints from consumers that can’t use the coupons. Businesses could end up holding the tab for all “unused” offers or have to put money into escrow.

7. Your company’s image and BRAND could be at risk! These campaigns can be very effective for new locations or brand new businesses with hardly any customers. BUT, if the business has an established brand – beware. Consumers are smart, and getting smarter about their choices, and they may sit on the sidelines until that ridiculously great teaser offer comes along again. These campaigns have also been used as “ATM Machines” for businesses that have struggled during the financial downturn, but in the long run overall profit margins can be severely compromised.

The top tier companies that promote these offers have a great business model and many investors can’t wait to become their shareholders. But in the long run do they have the “middleman” or their advertisers’ best interests at heart? Think hard before you Do a Deal.

Derek Hall is an entrepreneur and founder of DartzDeals based in Austin, TX. He also has over 21 years of experience in executive management in the technology industry. He has founded several very successful companies since 2005 to serve the advertising needs of local business owners. DartzDeals business model is based upon persistent advertising via smart phones, the web, personal branded apps and high end print for local businesses to use for client capture and retention. DartzDeals website is