Posts Tagged ‘Groupon’

Defining Local: Last Mile Advertising

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

After interviewing executives from a range of advertising agencies, platforms and experts including R/GA, Sears, Twitter, Microsoft, YP, Groupon, Mashable and the IAB , we found that there is still a lot of confusion around what “local” actually means.  Overall, the feeling is that the local space isn’t clearly distinguishable from advertising as a whole, but there is a strong conviction that it could and should be.

This is where we believe “Last Mile” can bring some clarity.  In my blog post on Street Fight, I define the Last Mile Advertising space and explain the three pillars that make up this space: Seek, Discover and Consider.

Check out my full article at Street Fight.

LSA|14 Speaker Spotlight: Laura Rich, CEO, Street Fight

Monday, March 17, 2014

Laura Rich, CEO, Street Fight

Today’s Speaker Spotlight features Laura Rich, CEO of Street Fight.  Laura will be moderating a panel at the 2014 Local Search Association Conference in Huntington Beach, Calif., April 27-29, and we are really looking forward to the session.

During her panel, titled, “How Digital Offers & Couponing Help Customers Find Locations,” Laura will lead panelists beyond traditional search to discuss the key way in which consumers are finding businesses: through commerce and offers.  So far, panelists include Christian Gaiser, CEO of Bonial International Group-Retale, and Ben T. Smith, IV, CEO of Wanderful Media.

We asked Laura for a sneak peek into her session and here is what she had to say:

What are the key topics you’ll discuss during your session?
We’ll talk about the oft-mentioned “Starbucks example,” where relevant mobile offers and coupons are given to consumers at just the right moment, spurring action — and how the mechanics of digital offers can make people try new locations and become more loyal.

What about your session are you most excited about?
In the wake of the daily deals rise and fall, there’s a lot of skepticism in the market about couponing.  Nonetheless, prices and sales remain the key drivers in getting people to buy things. While digital deals and offers may have taken a bad rap, there is still a lot of white space in the marketplace for those deals and offers that can bring people in to small businesses, both as new customers and as repeats.

Why is it important that attendees not miss your session?
As companies like Groupon, LivingSocial and many others buy keywords, offers and pricing increasingly become part of a consumer’s local search experience. When customers search for businesses, they are often looking for deals and comparing products and inventory. In this kind of advanced search, deals and offers become key drivers for conversion.

Click here for more information on the LSA|14 conference.

Groupon’s Deal Builder Helps SMBs Help Themselves to Daily Deals

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A few weeks ago, Groupon launched Deal Builder which is a new self-serve tool that allows business owners to create deals and offers that become a part of Groupon’s daily offering. Groupon is hoping the tool will help broaden the types of businesses using the platform, such as those not located in major urban areas outside of Groupon’s normal sales reach.

Offers that are created through Deal Builder tend to have a lower audience, as they aren’t sent out in one of Groupon’s main e-mail blasts or notifications.  While at first blush that might seem like a drawback for Deal Builder, local merchants in the past have been unprepared for the high volume of traffic that Groupon e-mails can create.

Deal Builder may also help SMBs improve their ability to connect with consumers on mobile devices.  Mobile Commerce Daily recently highlighted an SMB’s offer on Deal Builder that resulted in half of the redemptions coming from mobile devices.

Despite Social Media Examiner’s study released last year that found 80% of marketers don’t plan on using a daily deal site, Deal Builder opens the door for more SMBs to experiment with daily deals at their own pace.  The self-serve model takes away the hand-holding that was needed to create deals, takes away any sales pressure, and offers customized solutions selected by the SMB itself.

For Groupon, the tool improves its ability to house more deals and generate more locally focused content.  Similar to all the recent news related to Yahoo’s local search capabilities, Deal Builder further solidifies Groupon’s standing as a legitimate local marketing solution for SMBs.

“With the launch of Deal Builder, we now have a customizable solution for the thousands of merchants that contact us directly every month wanting to run a deal,” said Dan Roarty, vice president of product development at Groupon.

Since SMBs can’t compete with the marketing budgets of national brands, it helps to have solutions like Deal Builder that get them in the mobile ad and search space without devoting a lot of resources.  In addition, by having more control over the direction of deals, SMBs can use their local knowledge to develop customized and relevant offers.  It will be interesting to see if Deal Builder does help Groupon break into and catch on with businesses in smaller markets.

BIA/Kelsey Leading in Local: Groupon Interested in Being More than Daily Deal Site

Friday, December 13, 2013

Today 500,000 merchants work with Groupon. While that sounds like a big number, Groupon sees much greater opportunity in the space with 30 million local businesses out there.  And while Groupon is best known for its daily deals, it is interested in becoming much more than that.  As we’ve heard so many times at the BIA Kelsey Conference, Groupon is seeking to leverage its existing business into leads for other marketing services.  Sean Smyth, SVP of partnerships at Groupon, acknowledged that in order to reach their goal of becoming a platform as opposed to an event based service, it must work with other companies in the local space.

What spurred this service expansion?  It was Groupon’s experience with daily deals as a demand vehicle.  Merchants would use Groupon to drive demand for their services, but Groupon was in many cases too successful creating fulfillment issues for the business.  In order to help avoid problems like this, Groupon had to learn the business of those they were helping, and in some aspects, it had to know the business better than its owner since the merchants had often demonstrated an inability to forecast the impact of its offers. In learning the business, Groupon discovered there were so many other inefficiencies that existed within small business, many of which were areas where Groupon felt they could help.

Another driver for change was the realization that the daily deal product provided limited engagement with the merchant.  While 50% of merchants that run a deal on Groupon followed up with a second deal, that still only constituted a single digit number of engagements.  Groupon wanted to work not on driving single events, but on something that could be a constant service, a platform.

So, Groupon acquired Breadcrumb to expand its services.  Breadcrumb is a restaurant tool and an investment in the future to improve Groupon’s value chain.  Breadcrumb is on its way to being the operating system for local businesses to provide services like POS, payment services, and a reservation platform.

But as they build the supply side of their business (now a marketplace of 65,000 deals per day just in N. America), Groupon is again looking at the demand side, and that is where partners can help.  They have a partner program – a global platform where partners can incorporate or add Groupon offers and deals into their own marketing tools or services to reach consumers.  It will be interesting to see if Groupon can successfully expand the service that made it so popular.

Technology’s Impact on the Local Search and Advertising Space

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Over the past 15 years, there have been some major changes in how local businesses are found by consumers.  Today nearly 86 million people access local business information on their mobile phone (comScore-15 Miles-Neustar) and 77 million smartphone owners relied on apps to visit local content in December 2012 (Local Search Association).  The impact of technology on local search is great, but with any advancement in technology, there is tremendous opportunity.

In the video below, “local” experts from Google, Groupon, YP, Constant Contact and more talk about how technology is impacting the local advertising world and the opportunities that exist for marketers.  Here is what they had to say:

‘Search Starts Here’: Building the “Local Commerce Operating System”

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

This afternoon LSA’s Brad Carson spoke with four outstanding experts in the small business technology space: Founder of MyTime – Ethan Anderson, VP and General Manager of SaveLocal (Constant Contact) – Dave Gilbertson, CEO of hibu – Bob Gregerson, and Director of Product Management at Groupon – Sean Harper.

One theme rang true throughout the conversation: local commerce operating systems must be kept simple and be performance driven. Small businesses are starved for time, often with a very small staff juggling multiple roles. It’s critical that systems are as simple as possible, and focused on results not tactics.

Interestingly, the panelists agreed that focus on platforms like these should soon incorporate not only customer acquisition but customer retention and loyalty. MyTime’s Ethan Anderson talked about what’s to come from his platform – MyTime technology could scan a customer’s calendar to see where they have time and suggest appointment times with their dentist or doctor.

Across the board in local search the bar is being raised on how we communicate ROI. Bob from hibu said the chief asks he hears from small business owners are “help me grow,” “help me transact” and  “help me be more efficient.” With local commerce operating systems like these we must get small business owners as close to the dollars and cents as possible.

LSA Annual Conference Welcomes Influential Speakers from Google, Groupon, YP and more

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The speakers and panelists coming to our 2013 “Search Starts Here” Conference in Las Vegas include experts, veterans and thought leaders from all areas of the local search space. The biggest names in digital, mobile, social and print media will discuss many strategic and tactical topics that are driving the local search industry forward.

In addition to the great keynote speakers from Solocal Group (formerly PagesJaunes Groupe), Facebook and CityGrid, here are some more exciting subjects and speakers you can’t afford to miss:

SMB State of the Union
Greg Sterling (Opus Research)
Neal Polachek (Industry Observer)

Making Transformation Happen
Paul Plant (Radicle Consulting)

What’s Working in Mobile
Tim Garcia (Moasis)
Dan Hight (xAd)
Tae Kim (Google)
Michael Rubin (YP)

State of the Industry
Bill Dinan (Telmetrics)
Neg Norton (Local Search Association)

Print Directories in a Multi-Platform World
Matt Centofanti (YP)
Eric Webb (Marquette Group)
Dave Wolf (Linkmedia 360)
Emil Morales (TNS)

Sales Differentiation in a HYPER Competitive Selling Environment
Bob Sanders (AXIOM)

Building the “Local Commerce Operating System”
Ethan Anderson (MyTime)
Dave Gilbertson (Constant Contact)
Sean Harper (Groupon)
Bob  Gregerson (hibu)

Finally, as announced earlier, we also have some great workshops and breakout sessions with Yelp, Yext, edō, Supermedia and many more.

To learn more about all of our impressive speakers, visit our Speakers Page and don’t forget to check out the agenda for all the great content planned for the conference.  Register today and we will see you in Vegas!

BIA/Kelsey: Daily Deal Spending to Rise 87% in 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Consumers are becoming daily deals junkies – checking sites like Groupon and Living Social each day and awaiting the daily e-mail from platforms like Gilt City and Google Offers to see the latest deals in their city.

Last week, in the midst of SMB Digital Marketing 2012, BIA/Kelsey released a new report projecting that daily deals spending will rise by 87% in 2012 alone. U.S. consumers will spend $3.6 billion on sites like Living Social and Groupon by the end of the year.

BIA/Kelsey expects the daily deals space to grow an additional 23% in 2013 and projects that it will become a $5.5 billion industry by 2016.

Growth in this area presents a major opportunity for small business. Stay tuned.

SMB Digital Marketing 2012: Groupon’s Sanjay Gupta Dispels Some Common Misconceptions about Small Business

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sanjay Gupta., VP – Global Merchant Marketing, Groupon, described their approach to winning new clients for the daily deal.  He made the important point that the term SMB can be very broad – it covers a multitude of business owners from the one person kiosk to much larger, more sophisticated concerns, and each has differing needs.

His formula for reaching merchants seems to contradict accepted tropes about small businesses:

Keep it simple – everyone talks about how busy SMBs are.  Groupon has found that they may be busy, but SMBs will spend time to learn complex ideas. He addressed what he thinks are some common misconceptions about small business:

Very Concerned About Price – Groupon has determined that with trust, SMBs will pay for product/vendor stability.

Don’t Have the Time – Gupta says that merchants will find the time for critical needs.

Know it All or Not at All – maybe, but he says that Groupon’s experience is that SMBs are willing to learn.

Groupon specializes in small, “Mom and Pop”, local merchants and is winning them over through 5 main tenets –

  • Make them successful and your success will follow
  • Support – provide both sales and account support, as well as self-serve and self-prep options
  • Empower the merchant with tracking tools – a merchant center and customer interaction tools
  • Continue that support through lifecycle management
  • Align your strategy and offerings with the evolving needs of SMBs

BIA/Kelsey anticipates strong grown in the daily deals space over the next few years as large businesses enter the fray and add their loyalty programs to the mix.  Meanwhile, it appears that Groupon is continuing to reach SMBs of all sizes with a combination of new tools and traditional customer care.

Will Mobile Overtake Desktop for Local Restaurant Search?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I read an interesting post from Sherwood Stranieri over at Search Engine Land this week on mobile local search. Recent findings point to a rapidly increasing number of mobile searches in the restaurant category and it looks like mobile search may surpass desktop search in this category very soon.

In the last few months, there’s increasing evidence that mobile search activity for restaurants is growing by leaps and bounds. Consider the following:

  • Yelp recently shared that mobile usage now accounts for 40% of their activity, up from 27% in 2010.
  • According Groupon’s CEO, 30% of all transactions on Groupon’s platform are now attributed to mobile device use, and those usage levels have tripled in just one year.

Given these trends, it’s very likely that we’ll see restaurant search hit the tipping point in the next 12 months, with more mobile-based activity than desktop-based.

As you’ll recall from earlier this summer, YP, in their quarterly Local Insights Report, also found that the restaurant category was the most searched on mobile.

Take a look at Sherwood’s full article for more on mobile search and tips on how restaurants can get prepared to stay ahead of the curve.