Running an Online Daily Deal: Factors for Businesses

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 25: In this photo illu...

We’ve been thinking more about the one deal a day business model since our post last week, “Who’s Buying In to Groupon, LivingSocial & the One-Deal-a-Day Business Model,” which explored the demographics of users.

In a recent post by Barrett Lane,  a blogger for Yipit, he  looks at considerations for businesses who are contemplating running an online daily deal.  We also found a post by Jim Moran, co-founder of Yipit, which sheds some interesting light on the psychology of persuasion and what motivates individuals to act on a purchase.

Last but not least, a discussion of one day a deal offers wouldn’t be complete without looking at how engaged a business is in social networking.

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Who’s Buying In to Groupon, LivingSocial & the One-Deal-a-Day Business Model?

There’s a lot happening on the Internet these days. People are looking forward to checking their e-mails and following businesses on Facebook and Twitter all in the name of deals, not any deals for that matter, but the “one deal a day” type. One deal a day is a web-based business model in which a single type of product is offered for sale for a period of 24 hours…and operate within geographic territories.

People are not only checking their e-mails and reading online content about deals but business is reportedly up for Groupon, LivingSocial and their competitors. Techcrunch reports that people are buying coupons for restaurants, massages, discounted memberships to fitness clubs and museums, local activities, tourist attractions, and merchandise.

Marketing has always been about looking at demographics and understanding what sells in specific markets. Techcrunch states “You can tell a lot about a city by what is being bought on Groupon.” Apparently Boston residents love laser hair removal, Segways, and learning how to fly a helicopter. San Diegans are into Pole Dancing, unlimited carnival rides. Denver loves Cold Stone Creamery and Speed Raceway. Atlanta is into NASCAR and Chicagoans enjoy the Tall Ships.  The site has accumulated 3 million subscribers and currently manages roughly 40 markets. Groupon states that their customers are socially active, both online and off. 68% are between 18-34; 50% have a bachelor’s degree, 30% graduate degree; 49% are single, 33% married; 77% women, 23% men. 66% read Groupon write-ups every day and use Groupon primarily as a guide to explore their city. (see more about groupon’s demographics)

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Still Looking for the Definition: What is Social Media?

Social Media may be one of the most written about topics out there and yet what’s so interesting is that people are still looking for ways to define and implement it into our lives. Last week, Mashable asked readers to define social media and submit their answers via Twitter—which was a good idea, too, to limit the responses to 140 characters. Tweets are very effective, done nicely they make everything seem so profound!

That’s how I felt about the 20 best reader responses when I read them, which Mashable has classified with key characteristics such as: collaboration, network, conversation, sharing, etc.

I’d add to their list: Timely: Social Media is all the news fit to blog, tweet and post.

What about you? What would you add?

P.S. Tell Your Friends & Followers & Join in the Celebration of Social Media Day on June 30th!

Using Foursquare to Reward Customers

With 1 million users and counting, Foursquare is touted as the next hot social media tool.  But is there a business application?  Should marketers care, or is it just another passing fad?

Foursquare is a location-based social networking service for the web and mobile devices, as well as a game.

The mobile app, calculates your location, and provides you with a list of restaurants and stores in the area.  You find your restaurant in the list, select it, and touch “Check-In Here.”  If you are hoping to locate people, you can include a brief “shout-out” message – “mini college reunion with Rachel and Pam!” -  which quickly spreads to your friends on Foursquare, and also Facebook and Twitter.

This is just one example of why city dwellers are tapping into this new service.  In addition to this friend-finding aspect, Foursquare is also a game.  Users compete citywide to earn the most points each week.  Each check-in earns that user one point.  Extra points are earned through “badges,” awarded to the user after certain events (25 different places checked-in, out four nights in a row, etc.)

As the number of users has grown, the rewards have become more tangible.  A user becomes the “mayor” of a location if he or she has checked-in there more than any other user.  Businesses in turn are rewarding their mayors with real-world benefits.  Local bars and restaurants are offering free or discounted food and drink, and chains like Starbucks and Whole Foods have launched coupon programs for Foursquare mayors.

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Charlene Li’s ‘Open Leadership’ -Book Review

Charlene Li ‘s new  book, Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead, opens with a memorable story about musician, Dave Carroll, and his unfortunate incident when United Airlines damaged his guitar. Nine months later, when Carroll hadn’t made any progress being compensated for his guitar, he did something a little different to vent his feelings. He made a music video called “United Breaks Guitars” and posted it on YouTube. Charlene writes, “Within three days, the video had over one million views, and Carroll’s anthem became a viral sensation. By the end of 2009, there had been over seven million views and hundreds of news stories about Carroll’s experience.”

With this story, Charlene lays the groundwork for her new work about the ways in which social technology has changed the shift in power, where “individuals have the ability to broadcast their views to the world.”

Throughout the book, we learn from one example after another, how leaders need to find a way to communicate as openly as they can, and how this comes more easily for some than others. Charlene includes Open Leadership Self-Assessment tools so leaders can determine where they fall in the spectrum. She offers hope too for those who may not naturally be inclined towards openness by suggesting they start small. As she says, “It’s hard to suspend a mind-set that’s driven you throughout your professional career-it may feel completely unnatural to you and go against every fiber in your body.”

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