Moving beyond the era of online deals

By: Jack Winston

No matter what the critics say (including me in prior blogs), daily deals and group discounting are a huge promotional marketing phenomenon that continues to play an important role for local businesses.  Illustrating their popularity, Groupon announced their deal volume between Black Friday and Cyber-Monday jumped 500% since last year.

That said, the space is increasingly crowded.  Giants Living Social and Groupon are getting challenged by Google Offers, collaborations between Foursquare and deal aggregators, and a never-ending supply of hyper-niche and hyper-local companies targeting very specific businesses or audiences.  The remnants of BuyWithMe, formerly the number 3 in the industry, were acquired last month after being unable to continue to fund their growth-by-acquisition strategy.  It seems that there may be some limit to 1) how many deals the market can consume and 2) how many businesses can continue to see value in promotions based on deep discounts.   Bozuko’s CEO, Jake Epstein, talked to the Boston Business Journal on the topic last week.

We have blogged before about the right and wrong reasons to explore group discounting.  The glut of deals in the industry suggest that not all businesses are discounting for the right reasons.  A few months back, Inc Magazine had a nice piece on the 10 Pros and Cons of Using Groupon.  In short, promotions based on highly publicized deep discounts can be effective in creating a one-time surge of new customers.   Beyond this surge, businesses need to design promotions that help retain and upsell their customers by creating a lasting engagement.

Creating a promotion based on a contest or game can be very effective at engaging customers.  When games are linked to social networks like Facebook, businesses can leverage the added visibility of their customers’ social graph and develop lasting communication channels to their customer base.  Bozuko lets brands and businesses create promotions based on instant win games linked to Facebook that customers play on their smartphones.  By optimizing the game experience for mobile phones, Bozuko is unique in its ability to let businesses engage with customers while they are on-location. 

See how Bozuko can work for your brand or business immediately by logging in and building a promotion in minutes.  Click here to give it a try.

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