Launching a Daily Deal Program for your TV Station

We wanted to share some great thoughts from a daily deal publishing partner of ours.  Our friend Sean Monzet is the Director of Integrated Media at NBC 7 San Diego, an Owner Operated market of NBC Universal. Sean has successfully implemented a daily deal and coupon program at the NBC station called The Goods.  He sat down for five minutes and wrote down a list of things he learned over the years. We hope his advice can help push your program in the right direction.

  • Don’t underestimate the importance of a strong, active email list. Always be focused on growing your email list via contests, events, etc.
  • As general rule, don’t depend on TV spots to sell vouchers. TV does work if a well-known brand is featured but will not move the needle for lesser known merchants.
  • TV can and should be leveraged to get top tier merchants to sign on with your program—that is the advantage you have over Groupon, Living Social, and other programs that don’t have access to TV audience
  • Recommend 1 dedicated seller for your deal program…do not depend on traditional TV Acct Execs to source deals…they will come in sporadically
  • Provide 2-3 new sales leads to your business development team on weekly basis. They will not be thinking of selling your daily deal program as much as you would like them to be, make it as easy as possible for them to identify strong targets.
  • Loop in your stations social media lead on your program and get him/her to post deals to the station’s Facebook and Twitter

    Sean Monzet, Dir. of Integrated Media, NBC 7 San Diego

    pages. Be sure to tag/hyperlink merchants social accounts in your posts.

  • Leverage your stations “A” programming to bring in top tier merchants: Super Bowl, Olympics,US Open, Oscars, etc. If you have avail inventory try to reserve a :15 spot for your deal program in these programs—the revenue achieved through your deal should exceed what a :15 would have brought in through standard spot sale.
  • Position your deal program as an “audience reward” program. This will help you get buy in from news, producers and promotions to get you more promo time

Two Examples of Successful Local Coupon Programs

So you want to start a daily deal or coupon program but keep hearing all the negative press about industry giants like Groupon and Living Social? We power the daily deal and coupon program software behind thousands of websites all over the U.S. and Canada and while we hear stories of struggle we also receive stories of great success.

Some of our clients are already on track to make 30K a month this year, well over their gross revenue from last year. Moreover, we wanted to share these stories of success and stop all the negativity surrounding the daily deal and coupon industry. Below are several case studies from Deal Current Network clients who took small steps in their deal and coupon program to experience big rewards.

 

blogWLNS TV 6 Lansing, aka “6 Savings” proved that bundling online coupons with additional low cost advertising is a win/win for both the client and the program. The innovative idea uses coupons as a lead in to sell additional TV spots. Customers who have never advertised on TV are given the below options to get a taste of how it can change their business.

Pricing Model:
$99 per/mo coupon only
$275 per/mo coupon + 20K online impressions/ads on WLNS.com
$475 per/mo coupon + 20K online impressions/ads & 3 TV spots (most popular option)

 

blog2

Spealo,a standalone, independent local commerce site is run by an entrepreneur who started from scratch in Chicago. She secured 44 coupons in just two months through unique promotional pricing. Local deals are offered, but as a follow-up to a successful coupon.

Pricing Model:
$50 per/mo for 1-3 locations
$75 per/mo for 4-10 locations
$100 per/mo for 11 or more locations
$10 per/mo for an independent distributor ( Mary Kay, Tupperware, Tastefully Simple, etc.)
$25 per/mo for an in home businesses–no storefront (1-3 employees, possibly a seamstress, house cleaning service)

Initial rate: free for the 1st month (client puts in their own credit card for first month then switches payment to advertiser).

Client Testimonial:

“Giving one or two months for free is working GREAT! It only takes me 5-10 minutes to do my sales pitch and fill out the form! I walk in and tell them who I am and tell them I’d like to do some free adverting for them. They are all ears! Then I go back with the Coupon Contract prior to the free trial ending so they renew their advertising coupon campaign. It’s been working GREAT!” - Heather H, Spealo.com

San Diego Daily Transcript Features Deal Current Network

Deal Current Network was featured by San Diego Daily Transcript this week.

Here is a full copy of the article, Deal Current Network helps businesses online, by Tierney Plumb

IMG_2940Deal Current Network, a private-label daily-deal software company, is giving away valuable tech tips through a campaign called Take Back Local.

Its executives are teaching local owners of businesses ranging from tour companies to yoga studios how to improve their online marketing.

San Diego-based Deal Current’s e-commerce platform for daily deals, gift certificates and coupon marketing is used by about 100 media companies nationwide, including NBC and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“Anyone who needs a deal or coupon platform,” said Jimmy Hendricks, chief executive officer and co-founder of Deal Current.

The campaign was born when Deal Current’s media clients voiced the need to educate its advertisers — small businesses such as restaurants, spas and retail stores — about online best practices.

The company’s survey last fall of 17,000 merchants revealed that many businesses are clueless when it comes to the basics of online marketing.

As a result, Deal Current decided to hold a string of seminars targeting business owners and marketing directors that have run a daily deal or coupon in the San Diego market.

“In the last three years Groupon and LivingSocial abused a lot of the merchants,” Hendricks said. “If you give people a lot of ways to run their business effectively, they will have more money to spend on things like advertising.”

In addition to learning about simple website design, seminar attendees learn how to land their website on the first page of Google, rather than paying an SEO company to do the same.

Businesses also get a rundown on the San Diego daily deal and coupon space, how to make coupons work for their business, and performance-based coupons versus flat-rate coupons.

Companies also get tips on trading services with media groups for advertising.

Prime-trade candidates include lower-margin consumer businesses, such as a boutique that can trade gift certificates in exchange for TV ads.

“Then (you) let the media company sell those to make money. We want to educate business owners that that is an option,” Hendricks said.

The first seminar, in February, had 65 attendees at One America Plaza. The landlord, The Irvine Co., offered free space.

Deal Current will move its headquarters in June from Little Italy to the nearby skyscraper at 600 W. Broadway, doubling its square footage.

Two more seminars will be held in March and April, and depending on demand, they could continue monthly.

“We feel it’s a way for us to build a relationship with people without selling them something,” he said.

The hope is that pleased seminar attendees will refer other businesses back to Deal Current and their media clients.

The campaign will be developed in San Diego for six months and then piloted in such markets as Pittsburgh or Miami, where Deal Current has clients.

“The goal is to put together a local playbook and give it to our clients for them to use in other markets,” he said.

The company’s team of 13 is looking for local sales reps to work with merchants and plans to hire software engineers in the summer.

The campaign initially launched with an “anti-Living Social and Groupon” message, but that was toned down to avoid legal fallout.

Despite Deal Current’s head-to-head competition with the daily coupon giants, the company isn’t on their acquisition list.

“They couldn’t buy us because we are technically enabling their competitors,” Hendricks said.

His company raised $700,000 last year from San Diego members of the Tech Coast Angels and Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Canal Partners, and expects to break into profitability in the next four months.

Other companies haven’t been as lucky in the crowded daily deal software segment. A year ago, Deal Current had about 10 competitors, but those numbers are dwindling.

In January, Group Commerce laid off 28 percent of its staff, according to several reports. Carlsbad-based Analog Analytics was bought by Barclays Group PLC last year and hasn’t been as heavy in the space since.

Deal Current’s remaining top competitor that also offers an e-commerce product is St. Louis-based Second Street Media Solutions.

About a dozen TV, radio and newspaper media clients are signing up each month for Deal Current, Hendricks said.

The company is considering a pilot program next quarter with restaurant rewards program Mogl.

“You can sign up for Mogl as part of buying a deal through one of our media companies,” he said. “We have a great offers product and Mogl has a great loyalty product.”

One of the challenges Daily Current faces in signing clients is the fact that online revenues sometimes aren’t a large part of the bottom line.

“If a TV station is making $50 million in a San Diego market, they are only doing half a million or $1 million in online,” he said. “So the roadblock we have is getting them to invest in the future.”

Deal Current’s selling point is they have a fully hosted service that makes it easy for the media companies.

“They are not technology companies — they don’t want to invest in support,” he said. “They want to sell advertising and products that are useful, that fit their audience.”

The companies investing online are sticking around, he said, citing The New York Times’ strong pay wall revenues.

“It showed there is value in content. Some people act like media is going to die tomorrow – it’s just going to slowly transition online,” he said.

 

                   See What Attendees Had to Say

                       Sample Seminar Content:

How To Use Google Remarketing

Have you ever noticed when you visit a big site like Zappo’s or another e-commerce site, that you start seeing their ads on blogs, YouTube, and media sites right after. That is called Remarketing.

Remarketing is the process of showing ads only to people who visited your site recently or during a set time period like the last 90 days. This process increases your brand exposure, reminds the customer of your website, and increases sales.

The great thing is it is very cost effective and makes your program seem much larger than it may be.

Advertisers and customers will both think: “Gosh, this company is everywhere. I see it more than Groupon.”

So here is some information and how to get started.

A Short Video Overview of Remarketing

Here is a short 50 second video overview of Remarketing by our CEO Jimmy Hendricks, from a recent advertiser marketing seminar in San Diego. We are piloting short 90 min training seminars to teach small businesses about online marketing, offers, and coupons.

Click on the image or here to watch the video.

Why Should You Use Remarketing?

Remarketing allows your business to look bigger than you really are. Say you talk to an advertiser, and then they visit your website, and start seeing your ads on other websites—this will remind them of you and make you seem more powerful than you really are. The same thought happens with consumers.

Also, Remarketing is very cost effective. We ran banner ads in San Diego for two weeks, targeting an audience of 25,000 people, and the cost was under $200.

Examples of Remarketing Ads

The great thing about Remarketing is your ads will show up on local websites (when those sites have ad space left) for a fraction of the cost.

Here is a perfect example of our ads on the San Diego Union Tribune. One day we had all 3 spots on a page load and our total cost from that website was about $15.

How to Get Started

Step 1: Watch the Google Remarketing video. http://www.google.com/ads/innovations/remarketing.html or on the video to the right.

Step 2: Create a Google AdWords account

Step 3: Create an “Audience” within your Google AdWords account. The video explains how to do this.

Step 4: Create 4 common banner sizes for your program. You can start with less, but these are the four most popular sizes (File max size is 50kb and sizes need to be exact):

  • 300 x 250
  • 250 x 250
  • 728×90
  • 120 x 600

Step 5: Google will need to approve the ads which typically takes 3 business days. You can email them on the third day if not approved and this speeds up the process.

Step 6: If you have more questions check out this cheatsheet http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2012/12/19/google-adwords-remarketing-cheatsheet

Take Back Local First Seminar Deemed A Hit!

IMG_2940

Yesterday the founders of Deal Current Network, Jimmy Hendricks and Patrick Dillon, spent 90-minutes teaching San Diego businesses owners how to market their business online. In attendance were media representatives from NBC 7 San Diego, San Diego Magazine, Fox 5 San Diego, Get1Free Magazine, Pacific Magazine, and San Diego Family Magazine. Small businesses owners like Laura from Pacific Nature Tours, Connie from Click Through Coupons, Tomio from AVI Technologies, Bonnie from Sanctuate, Michael from Infinity Financial Services, and Anthony from Aserenity Skin and Body were able to network with media representatives as well as gain valuable information for their business.

Hendricks, talked for about 40-minutes on simple website design and key SEO techniques get your website on the first page of Google. He also discussed, which social media profiles are a must, and how to trade your services with media groups for advertising.

“I came in here thinking I know a lot and I probably learned about eight new things I didn’t know. I highly recommend it, it was very organized, amazing presentations—these guys know what they’re talking about.” – Connie, CEO of Click Through Coupons and Marketing Director at FIT Athletic Club

Dillon, wrapped up the seminar talking about the San Diego daily deal and coupon space, how to make coupons work for your business, and performance based coupons versus flat rate coupons.

IMG_2944

“Our business does a lot of daily deal marketing and to see all the different opportunities available in San Diego was very beneficial.” Laura, Pacific Nature Tours

“I was very excited about the digital coupon section because one of the things I found the digital coupon does is it gives you incredible track-ability and flexibility. You can see where your clients are coming from and make adjustments to the coupons that are not effective for you, opposed to print and other types of media.” Anthony, Aserenity Skin and Body

Overall, the morning was a success for both Deal Current Network and San Diego business owners. Take Back Local was able to gain valuable feedback to make the next seminar on 3/29 an even bigger success.

“I highly recommend this seminar to anybody who is a business owner or marketing person. They talk about different strategies that I think are useful and things that are up and coming that you should be aware of.” Steve, NBC 7 San Diego

For more information watch us on San Diego CW6 below or visit TakeBackLocal.com

 

 

San Diego Living CW6 Features Take Back Local and CEO Jimmy Hendricks

Yesterday, San Diego Living’s Lynda Martin interviewed Jimmy Hendricks, the CEO of Take Back Local and Deal Current Network. Organized by Deal Current Network, Take Back Local is a grassroots outreach program, teaching small business owners how to profit from online advertising. The business is hosting three free seminars at the One America Plaza from 9-11am on:

Co-Founder and CEO of Deal Current Network, Jimmy Hendricks will show attendees how to leverage loyalty programs, trade for advertising, and the San Diego Coupon Network for their business. Attendees will walk away with clear actions and tracking methods to take their business to the next level. The program is partnered with NBC7 San Diego, Get1Free, San Diego Magazine, San Diego 6 CW, and over a half dozen other publishers.

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