Not only has the world of mobile deals exploded, from Foursquare to Groupon, Dealfind and more. There has also been a shift in metrics for determining success. In the old days we would look at mobile ads and measure their effectiveness in terms of CPMs, click-throughs and such. But with the advent of location-based services, that’s simply not enough.
Many businesses are turning to new metrics such as increases in footfall; deals redeemed; and the number of friends you share deals with. I refer to this as social magnification and platforms like LivingSocial’s have been testing this with services such as their Me+3.
Whenever you purchase a deal, LivingSocial provides you with a referral link that you can send to your friends, telling them about the great deal you just purchased. If three of your friends purchase the deal by using your referral link… wait for it… your deal is free!
Alexander Muse, founder of ShopSavvy talks about it this way. “It’s about shifting the engagement from just what happens in the store, to seeking the assistance, input and even dollars of your connected social network.”
Plum District is another of the daily deals discounters; it targets mothers, specifically. The app allows for immediate social sharing of deals and products purchased. Its focus on improving the ability for users to share their experiences and discounts will also help vendors and encourage sales.
Then there’s Spread.ly, an analytics-centric service that promises to monetize social sharing. The service, which is based in Germany, lets you share stories on all of the major social networks (including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Buzz), but more importantly, it gives publishers the option to reward sharers by giving them access to coupons, discounts and other deals.
For users, Spread.ly works like most other sharing buttons from companies like AddThis and ShareThis. You click on the “like” button, enter your social networking credentials (to sign up for Spread.ly) and start sharing your stories.
Despite all of this sharing, there is still an under-explored factor in location-awareness. If a consumer were to check-in at a store and be presented with an offer and that offer was then visible to their social network, why not enable those friends to have the person on-site “buy one for them”? It still achieves the function of sharing, yet satisfies the true desire of the retailer in actually increasing sales.
Another example of how this could be used is in Miami Ad School students’ idea for a Heineken “Beer For Friends” app.
Here’s how it works: You do your friend a favor, they promise you a beer. When you check into a bar via Foursquare, your friend can make good on their offer remotely (with a Heineken, of course). The bartender is notified via the app, and you get your free brew. I’m getting thirsty already and I know a few people that owe me a beer too!
The market for social magnification is certainly in its infancy and as these platforms emerge and we look towards sharing deals within our social network, let’s not forget the power of driving actual revenue at the location.
Asif R. Khan is a veteran tech start-up, business development and marketing entrepreneur currently serving the community as founder and president of the Location Based Marketing Association (The LBMA). Weekly podcaster at This Week In Location Based Marketing every Monday. Can be found at @AsifRKhan @TheLBMA on Twitter.