Deal or no deal?

An appeal to all brands to get it right!

By Stephanie Bradshaw

Following a recent personal experience, I felt compelled to write something about the plethora of ‘deal’ sites that are now all over the web.

You know the ones… they pop up in your email inbox or social media feed offering incredible, irresistible deals on everything from drink bottles to luxury holidays.

So, what are the benefits to the brands promoted on these sites?

With such cheap deals, they can hardly be making any money, right?

The brand benefits

Deal sites work on the premise that brands (from hotels and airlines, to all manner of other products and services) are all competing for customers.

These brands turn to ‘deal’ sites to gain immediate access to a broad consumer database and priceless customer information.

They know that every new customer is a potentially valuable word-of-mouth brand advocate and a hot prospect for more ‘realistically priced’ offers in the future (known in the industry as ‘lifetime customer value’).

For many brands, this seems like a fantastic option.

However… brand beware.

The potential pitfalls

If you’re a brand marketer, it’s important to know that the only time you’ll get the benefits from this tactic is if you can deliver completely on the overall experience – and this experience begins the moment the order comes through.

If a customer has purchased a ‘Two-day Getaway’ voucher, only to discover they can’t book on weekends (regardless of whether or not it was in the fine print) their experience of your brand has been negatively affected.

If they order something, just to find out a week later you’re out of stock, or if they can’t get a booking at your restaurant because you’re not honoring vouchers on a Sunday night, it’s not just the customer who suffers…

It’s your company’s goodwill – the very thing you were trying to build.

Getting it right

It takes careful planning to offer a deal that entices, yet can still provide your brand with an opportunity to impress.

You need a deal that has as few limitations as possible.

And don’t even think about putting an offer on one of these sites if you’re going to struggle with product/service availability, postage and handling, or customer service.

Deals are a great way to introduce your brand to a wider audience.

Just remember, your engagement starts now!

What’s your experience with getting a great online deal?
Worth it or just plain frustrating? Let us know!

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