Who doesn’t love a good deal? Sites like Groupon and LivingSocial enable users to find savings on everyday needs and luxury items alike. According to author Matthew Ingram of GigaOm, some newspapers will begin providing discounts for their readers by introducing sections modeled after Groupon and LivingSocial.
The New York Times is planning to introduce TimesLimited, a section of their newspaper featuring special discounts and offers on travel and lifestyle items. However, with sites like Groupon and LivingSocial already establishing brand recognition and successful campaigns, is it too late for the traditional media to jump on the bandwagon?
Ingram comments, “As more than one Groupon observer has noted, the service isn’t exactly rocket science. It involves sending people email offers and discounts from companies and service providers, then charging a fee for connecting them with customers.” Furthermore, the New York Times isn’t the first to copy this idea.
Ingram states that Cox Media Group came up with a similar service called DealSwarm. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has “Steals” and Canada adopted the WagJag service for the Toronto Star.
So is it too late?
Although this maneuver may help save the declining readership of newspapers, it won’t be an overnight fix. Ingram says, “The problem now is that Groupon and LivingSocial have become such behemoths in the email-marketing business that they can offer a size and scale newspapers can’t hope to compete with.”
Ingram has a valid point. However, the newspaper sections will likely attract a different audience than the online sites, so it’s important for the traditional media to market to their readership. If newspapers develop their niche market and personal brand, they should be able to find success in their coupon campaigns.
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This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Michele Reilley.