While Groupon may be struggling as a company overall losing 43% of it’s share price in 2014 the daily deals website still represents a great opportunity for small businesses to market their offers. That is… so long as you know what you are doing!
Groupon is undeniably a great way to promote to large numbers of people. Regrettably one British e-tailor found how just how popular the daily deals site is with almost disastrous consequences.
Alistair Cochrane runs Unique Gift Hampers a fine foods and gifts retailer based in Scotland. Alistair thought that he could use Groupon to kickstart sales. By offering a huge discount of 70 percent he thought that a Groupon campaign could bring in some extra income to the business.
Typically a retro sweets hamper would retail for around £25 but Unique Gift Hampers put together a special deal where they would sell a sweets hamper similar to these ones for a reduced price of £7.50.
Alistair was shocked when over 1500 buyers grabbed the opportunity to take the highly discounted price. It was way more hampers than the business was able to produce and they were forced to employ extra people to handle the huge surge in business. This actually meant that they ended up losing £1 on every order. Ouch!
An Expensive Mistake
Unique Gift Hampers, who have been operating for 4 years said on their blog that they would honor the Groupon offer despite it being an expensive mistake.
“We have been up all night putting together these Sweet Hampers. We will get them shipped but there might be a small delay.” they groaned. “We won’t be doing such a great offer on Groupon again!!”.
“We usually really enjoy putting together interesting hampers and baskets that make great gifts. But this time it turned into a bit of a slog and we are feeling the pain in our pockets as well as suffering from lack of sleep. Despite this Groupon deal being a bad move every single gift box that we send out of our store will be prepared to the same high standards that we have set at Unique Gift Hampers.”
“It really was a ill planned marketing promotion.” the blog continued. “Everyone is always singing the praised of Groupon but if you are not careful then you can get your fingers burned.”
No Limits To Orders
Groupon have publicly stated that there are no limits to the number of vouchers that can be sold their their deals site.
“We approach each business with a tailored, individual approach based on the prior history of similar deals,” they said.
However it’s clear that in this case something went wrong.
Daily deals sites such as Groupon offer massive leverage to small businesses, but with the leverage comes risk and you’d better know what you are doing or you could end up with a costly bill.
While the birth of the internet can be traced back to technological advances that were made in the 1960′s in my mind the beginning of the web as we know it roughly took place in the mid 1990′s.
That’s when massive changed started to happen and more and more people had a computer connected to the world wide web in their home.
It took the best part of another decade for web logging to go mainstream and become what we now know as blogging.
i.e. Individual journalism delivered straight from this here armchair into your lap without influence of any media corportation or government. And what a fantastic ride it’s been so far.
Web 3.0 ?
Now another decade or so later I feel we can truly say we have entered a further evolution of the web.
While blogging started off mainly to be about the written word today’s mainstream bloggers are increasingly making use of audio and video to create radio podcasts of personal tv shows and those bloggers that are not doing it are being left behind.
There have been more than a few examples of bloggers that have had meteoric success seemingly coming out of knowhere to build massive audiences in short time periods.
Often if you look carefully you will see that these bloggers built their following using more than just the spoken word. Some like Derek Halpern of Social Triggers make great use of YouTube to build a following whereas as others like John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire have had massive success with podcasting.
For those of you that are a little too shy to show their face online then podcasting is the perfect way to try to get in on the actions and grow your audience.
How To Get Started
Before you even start to thinking about all the technical considerations like which usb microphone you should use to record your show, you need to considered 1 very important question.
The foundation of any successful podcast or indeed blog for that matter is a well defined theme or niche.
The way to do this is to make two choice about your niche.
1 What is your sub-theme.
2) What is your sub-audience.
What do I mean by that? It’s probably best explained with examples.
A broad theme could be dogs and a broad audience could be animal lovers. You need to be much more targeted than that.
You need to choose a sub-theme like Poodle and then a sub-audience like for example breeder or people who like to do dog shows.
Your tagline is then something like… The Podcast About Poodles for Dog Breeders.
When you have correctly chosen your target suddenly you have immediate relevancy for some people. You are not relevant for most people but for a small set of people you are highly relevant and it’s easy to turn these people into raving fans.
The mistake many people make is to be way to broad in their chosen niche and they then come across and just relevant to nobody.
After than just be yourself and show your personality because these forms of media are as much about entertainment as they are information. Never forget that.