Deal companies are powerful marketing channels…remember that.

Deal companies are powerful marketing channels...remember that.

“We’ve never considered ourselves a daily deal company, we’ve viewed our platform as being broader than that…Our focus has been around local commerce and discovery, and that’s where we differentiate ourselves.”

These words were spoken by a Living Social executive when describing their newly formed partnership with Fab.com. What? Aren’t they competitors of some kind? Yes, you can look at it this way and be closed off to the marketing partnerships that may arise. Or you can place companies like fab.com and Living Social in their separate ecommerce buckets and figure out a way to leverage both audiences to benefit both types of companies. Fab and Living Social decided to focus on the latter.

Essentially, Fab.com (which once had daily deals) will be offering gift items for sale through Living Social’s network. Fab benefits from accessing Living Social’s million user database and Living Social benefits from offering their clients unique designs from the Fab store at great prices.

What BOTH Fab and Living Social realize is that Living Social is a marketing and distribution channel to attract local consumers. Fab is now an ecommerce store offering design focused products. Despite their explosive growth, they also need others forms of distribution in order to reach audiences they would otherwise not reach. Social networks are an option, but Deal companies have become an extremely effective option to reach the consumer for certain companies. There is, of course, a cost/benefit to any distribution channel, be it a social network like Facebook or deal company’s network. But make no mistake, a Deal company’s database is most definitely a marketing channel that can be leveraged.

I bring up this example because Canada needs more strategic partnerships and coo-petition amongst what others may see as competitors. Example, Beyond The Rack, HomeSav, Frank & Oak and several other “deal” based ecommerce services should partner more often with deal providers such as Teambuy, Wagjag, Tuango, Dealfind, Buytopia or others in order to impact sales even further. Heck, coupon leaders such as websaver, save.ca or brandsaver.ca should also seek out partnerships with other deal companies such as those mentioned above in order to drive more effective marketing campaigns.

All too often I have conversations with many in the industry who only want to compete, who want to be the end all and be all ecommerce or deals destination juggernaut of Canada. That ideology leads to ineffective marketing strategies and certainly passes up on very vibrant potential partnerships that can lead to increased profitability and market share.

Fab.com and Living Social got it done in the US. Here, in Canada, who will step up to the plate? Who will lead? Who will deliver partnerships that will grab headlines, give them plenty of PR and deliver sales results? Give me a call, I have a few ideas.

 

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