This month’s Atlantic magazine has an article called Ideas That Have Outlived Their Usefulness.
Item #2 on their list, behind billable hours, is Groupon.
Why? We’re not positive, but here’s rationale that supports the designation in our book:
1. It’s expensive, and more economical alternatives are readily available.
2. It’s never about you. Groupon has always been about using the same mailing lists for you and your competitor around the corner when it comes to schilling deals. So you are the Groupon one day, and two days later the spa down the street is up, sending deals to the same people.
3. You have very little control in a Groupon deal. Success can be a terrible thing when it happens quickly, and you may not be prepared to deal with the traffic created by a mass deal. Unless you have absolute control over how the deal goes down, there’s a very good chance your existing customers, the loyal group you’ve nurtured since they first chose to visit you, are going to suffer while you accommodate the slew of folks responding to the latest Groupon. Ironically, the Grouponers are the ones least likely to become your long-time clientele.
Yes, we’re speculating a tad here, but given what we’ve seen during our tenure in the online marketing business, we’re pretty sure The Atlantic is in line with our long-held views.