Conversation Marketing: The Conversation is the Thing

Christine Fife

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New Potential for Deal-of-the-Day Sites

While working at my favorite co-working space, NextSpace in San Francisco I overheard two people talking about a new deal–of–the–day (DOD) site. If you read my posts in August that discussed deal–of–the–day sites, you know I have strong opinions about the use of these for small business marketing. (Check out the earlier posts: Groupon Nearly Killed My Small Business and Getting the Most from a Deal of the Day offer.) Well, I couldn’t just sit there and eavesdrop, I had to introduce myself and find out what they were talking about.

They both worked for a new company called Adility, which is something like an aggregating service for DODs. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as if the company has put a lot of time into messaging and has only minimal information about how the programs work on their website. I am in no way working with Adility, so I won’t try to create messaging for them that is clear (which they desperately need) but the idea behind the company has promise so I wanted to share it with you.

Adility’s claim is that it “connect your business with—local customers online, mobile and off-line; and by promoting your gift cards, deals and coupon.” Essentially, for a nominal monthly subscription (there is a free Lite version) a small business can create, promote and manage deals, coupons and gift cards from one location. The benefit to the small business is that they don’t have to go to multiple DOD sites to put out deals for their area via DOD websites and mobile offers and they can easily promote their deals, coupons and gift cards to their social contacts via the same interface. Adility also offers the option for a business to sell their deals to “Adility’s network of 350 local marketing companies with over 7000 sales representatives presenting your prepaid cards and coupons to local consumers through lasting, meaningful personal impressions.”

Adility has developed relationships with DOD and coupon sites allowing Adility customers to submit a deal or coupons to multiple DOD sites at one time while controlling the number of deals to be sold. The DOD sites they currently have relationships with our Coupons.com, DealOn, Deal$ter, Yidio, citybizlist, The Dealmap and myUncleVinny. When creating the deal, the Adility interface allows you to enter the geographical location where the deals can be redeemed.

Unfortunately, Adility’s blog, which is where their only real company and service content resides, makes the same claims that the individual DOD sites have been making that seem to get small businesses into trouble— chiefly that deal-of-the-day offerings are free advertising. Nothing is free. Deals done through DOD sites just do for the cost— instead of paying for advertising up front, the business offering the deal “pays” for the “advertising” in the form of lost income because the deal had to be discounted so much and the percentage per deal sold that is given to the DOD site. Read Groupon Nearly Killed My Small Business to better understand how this works.

For small businesses who understand how to offer deals through DOD sites to their advantage (I urge you to read Getting the Most from a Deal of the Day offer to find out more about how to do that) the idea behind Adility and the deal/coupon aggregation service they are offering seems appealing.

Though I am not personally endorsing Adility, I think they are definitely worth checking out.

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More Stories By Christine Fife

As I drove off to college I never would have guessed I would end up here! But it’s been a fantastic journey. My career has been richly diverse giving me an advantage over marketers who are siloed into niche positions. I strive to be a true Renaissance person—I love to learn about everything and trying new things comes naturally. My career has been no different; I’ve successfully launched enterprise software and medical device development startups, improved communications processes for the regulatory department of a major financial exchange, increased client business and product development for several international exchange program companies and founded an international educational non-profit organization. My master’s degree in Integrated Marketing from Golden Gate University gave me a broad understanding of traditional marketing best-practices, but my BA in theater gave me the skills to understand how people communicate with one another and the importance of promoting a brand in a voice that is right for the audience.