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Affinity Solutions Offers Daily Deals Done Right

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Affinity Solutions Offers Daily Deals Done Right
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In a previous post, I mentioned several areas of innovation that will impact Loyalty Marketing in 2012. There is never room to offer a truly comprehensive list and not everything cited will necessarily become the equivalent of a marketer’s lottery ticket.

Realizing the abundance of new products and strategies introduced to market during the latter part of 2011, I plan to share a few more interesting things to watch over this first month of the new year.

As we all know, Groupon took the marketing world by storm last year, reinforcing an already dangerous instant gratification mindset among consumers. Reaction to the success of Groupon has been varied, with some marketers bemoaning the death of consumer loyalty as people seemed unable to focus on anything but 50% off a deal that needed to be purchased today.

Others soon pointed out the weakness in the Groupon model as it represented a consummate marketing “hammer”, i.e. a tool designed for one job and one job only. As a merchant or retailer, if you’re interested in acquiring new customers, Groupon seemed a great tool. Yes, you needed to protect yourself from the potential hazards of the Groupon model itself, but in our short term minded world, Groupon was seemingly too tempting for merchants to pass up.

Groupon has been moving to quiet its critics and recently introduced Groupon Rewards. On the surface, Groupon seeks to stimulate not just acquisition but repeat purchase and “loyal” customers, but as a writer at Colloquy smartly stated, “If I’m digesting this news right, this would be the equivalent of retail-store window signs announcing, “Everything 50% off in the store–spend over $100 and we’ll give you 80% off on your next purchase!”. The writer concluded by saying: “The concept seems to translate to simply an even bigger acquisition discount.”

In the midst of all the buzz over daily deals in late 2011, Affinity Solutions launched Spot ON Deals, a product positioned to “do daily deals right”.  In the company’s press release,  Jonathan Silver, President and CEO said; “Today’s daily deals programs more often than not attract bargain hunters; they don’t encourage repeat business, and they don’t allow merchants to meaningfully track results.”

To address these issues, Affinity says it will enable participating merchants to “target the right customer with the right offer at the right time, using data-driven insights to hone in on key segment and consumer spending trends”. Affinity also addresses daily deal measurement offering merchants the ability to track the effectiveness of their offers, “while deploying ‘follow-on’ offers to drive repeat purchases, loyalty and customer lifetime value.”

Today’s Take Away

There is and will continue to be heavy competition the daily deal space. The real prize is to move from a singular focus on daily deals and incorporate the tactic into a more comprehensive customer strategy that will benefit brands, their merchant partners, and consumers over the longer term.

It will be interesting to watch and see if the originators of the daily deal (Groupon, Living Social and others) will be able to bridge their product into the wider loyalty marketing space, or whether Affinity Solutions and other leaders from the loyalty marketing industry itself will be better suited to take the daily deal to the next level.


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