Mobile Daily Deal Marketing…gone bad PART 1

Marketing and distributing deals is accomplished in several ways by deal sites. Through email, having consumers go directly to the website, through partners, affiliate and aggregators, through social networks and of course through mobile distribution. Regardless of the means of distribution, consumers, for the time being, can BUY or TRANSACT in only 1 of 2 ways; either directly on the website or the increasingly popular mobile transaction. Mobile is where this post will focus.

More consumers are transacting on mobile than ever before; walking around town searching for and wanting to buy restaurant meals, last minute gifts, weekend planning while commuting on the train/bus, etc.

Deal site marketers need to realize that a mobile transaction, a mobile consumer acts differently than a consumer transacting on the web. Online marketing tactics will not be effective when marketing to a mobile consumer. The following article illustrates this point. It was written for our audience by Alexander S. Bosika, Director, Product Marketing and Communications for Admeris.

It will be published in 2 parts. The first part below focuses on a Mobile marketing strategy gone bad and the 2nd part published early next week will focus on recommendations to daily deal marketers, providing some best practices in Mobile marketing. As with everything, if you get value from the article then we always appreciate it if you shared it with those you feel can also get value from the information provided.


In the world of daily deals, execution is everything.  You have seconds to catch the attention of your prospect in the hopes they will act on your offer and buy.  If you don’t, they may come back to you at a later time or may become confused and go to a competing daily deal provider in search of the offer they thought they saw before they become absolutely frustrated and give up.  This is bad news for you, the daily deal entrepreneur, the merchant processor and the consumer that really wanted your offer.

This battle for attention is intensified when you add mobile consumers into the equation.  In the mobile world, you have micro-seconds to WIN OVER the consumer and make them BUY or you’ve simply missed the boat. Recently, one daily deal provider missed that boat completely when I ‘tested out their campaign’ using my iPhone.  Let me walk you through the use-case so that you have a clear understanding of WHY the campaign failed.

On a typical cold and wintery day in Toronto, I was rushing to catch the local transit streetcar as I was scheduled to meet an old colleague from a previous tech company.  In that rush, a street vendor handed me the Metro newspaper, a free daily that prints aggregate AP newswire articles en masse for transit riders in need of their news fix.   Once settled into a seat on the streetcar, I fumbled through the paper with iPhone in hand.  I then noticed a FULL PAGE advertisement for a daily deal vendor that caught my attention.

The full page ad contained five extremely compelling offers with the call to action statement emblazoned at the top requiring the reader to ACT as the offers were only available for 24 hours.  At the bottom of the ad, I noticed a contact number for the daily deal provider which received top billing and placement over the QR Code beneath it.  As an early adopter into all things mobile, I chose the QR code over the call centre.  I searched for RED LASER on my iPhone (it’s a QR Code reader app) and launched it.  Before I get into the analysis, let me remind you of the setting.  Its cold, I am on a streetcar, rushing towards my next meeting while seated in a chair fumbling between a newspaper and iPhone.  In a sense, I am constrained as a consumer and time-starved so my experience has to be EASY if I am to use mobile as an option.


What happened next was truly unbelievable.

I took a picture of the QR Code with Red Laser, and although there was a short-lag to redirect me to the daily deal vendor, I was directed to a landing page that could simply be described as a HUGE FAILURE. Not only did the QR Code present me with a FULL WEBSITE, not a smartphone-formatted website that conforms perfectly to the dimensions of my iPhone screen but the daily deal providers asked me for my CITY (location)!  To add insult to injury, there was no visible reference to the very offers I saw in the full page print advertisement in the newspapers that forced me to commit to the urgent call to action in the first place!  Even more painful, they were asking me to setup an account in the process!  Even worse, the ability to make a payment was painful and would require many steps to complete the transaction.

As someone who works with and develops products, user experience is everything.  Sadly, it was at this point that I simply gave up and started other tasks on the phone.


Summary Comments

  • Daily deal providers must view online consumer and mobile consumers as two different user types.  An online consumer is likely to have more time, is more comfortable, and is more likely to research and make decisions with time on their side.  A mobile consumer, however, is making decisions that are time-constrained, in a state of movement, and there is a greater likelihood for impulse purchasing compared to the online experience
  • Mobile consumers are more ruthless when they feel their experience is sub-standard and will walk away from your offer more quickly than any online consumer has in the recent past.  Execution is everything.



PART 2 will be published early next week where Alexander will share best practices on running a mobile marketing campaign for the daily deal industry.