In a very interesting article posted in late September on Field Marketing and Brand Experience, Valassis announced a move towards making the manufacturers’ coupon business more digital. The concept of digital-clearing of coupons without requiring paper coupons to travel from point A (retail store) to point B (Often Mexico with U.S. coupons). There are tons of issues with digital clearing of coupons but also tons of benefits. It’s unlikely it will ever replace physical coupon settlement and clearinghouse functions (at least anytime soon). It’s a big step for an industry that is over 100 years old and slow to move down the path of innovation.
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Maybe they’re just being used the wrong way… In an article on i-media connection, Sean Cummings wrote a no-frills article about how QR codes are destroying the credibility of the ad industry. Ad agencies put these codes on print ads to be cool and innovative and drive consumer engagement in a digital world. However, consumers don’t get it, so what’s the point? Check out this article for a nay-sayers perspective…
In a recent release by New America, one of the largest marketing service companies to the coupon industry, SmartSource is launching a Canadian version of their U.S. coupon site on a .ca domain. I don’t know that this is super newsworthy given SmartSource has been operating in shapes and forms in Canada for years and they are a not the first or largest player in the online coupon arena. Websavers.ca is larger based on recent polls and figures. As the Canadian market makes moves towards greater acceptance of print-at-home coupons, we’ll have to see which providers win out for major CPG coupon dollars online that will drive redemptions into participating offline retailers.
OMMA global is going on in NYC with tons of interesting content related to digital advertising. It seems like many major agency people as well as brands are in attendance. Given all the recent hype around QR codes, I thought it might be interesting to check out the agenda and attend my panel at 4:45pm tomorrow at the conference. Hope to see you there!
In a recent article on wsj.com technology, it seems like many players large and small are dropping out of the daily deal space. I don’t think anybody is surprised by this. I do think that many companies underestimated the people and capital investment to scale a local advertising business in a short period of time. Just look at how long it took companies like ValPak (Cox Media) and Valassis to get to where they are today. Check out the full article here.
Next week is the Daily Deal Summit in San Francisco. The agenda looks solid with various important topics that any advocate or skeptic would want to learn about. There will likely be hundreds of companies from the deals space, although not sure there will be anybody else in attendance except for email service providers who are sponsoring. It’s my first deal conference (they’ve only been around for a year or so). Check out the agenda here.
Great article by Laurie Sullivan at MediaPost on coupons and tracking online paid search marketing to offline sales for AMF Bowling. Coupons have always been a great way to entice customers to purchase products or services. Coupons, as well as other redeemable incentives, have the unique ability to track the impact of an ad or marketing tactic on the resulting sales, either in-store or online. In the traditional marketing world of coupons, a marketer knows how many coupons she puts out there and how many are redeemed. Pretty basic math… In the online world, things get a lot more complicated. Marketers are beginning to make the necessary changes to manage their digital direct marketing efforts in the ways that allow them to measure performance relative to their more traditional efforts…
Coupons.com, the dominant player in the online coupon universe, recently announced a new round of investment of $200 million to buy out existing investors and employees and add staff. The company has sustained phenomenal growth over the past several years with the acceleration of consumer demand for online coupons, especially printable grocery coupons. They reported doubling revenues in the last year and expect 2011 revenues to reach $100 million. They have been able to capitalize on the heady market for coupon and daily-deal related investments by raising this new round of capital on a $1 billion valuation, representing a 10X forward revenue multiple over its expected $100 million 2011 revenues. This is good news for private companies in related industries looking to raise capital. Check out the full press release here.
A recent article published on PC World business center broke news about an investigation by a manufacturer’s coupon association into the fraudulent creation of internet printable coupons by a college student. The article wasn’t very informative due to confidentiality of various components of the case, but I’m very intrigued to know why a college kid would bother to create fake manufacturer coupons. I remember my college days and that would not even be on my list of daily activities that I would care about. Check out the full article here.