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Daily deal model brings new opportunities for B2B companies

March 31, 2011

Could daily deals be tailored for SMBs?

The consumer craze for daily deal services such as LivingSocial and Groupon has given entrepreneurs new hope in marketing to small businesses.

Daily deals platforms allow B2B companies to attract small businesses in search of discounts by offering daily offers. What’s more is that the deals can be tailored to SMB needs such as payroll services, office products and training solutions at discounts of up to 90 percent.

“Everyone talks about the deal-of-the-day phenomenon as it relates to B2C companies i.e., consumers receiving compelling discount offers for haircuts, event tickets, pet shampoos, floral bouquets, Thai food, gym memberships and more,” said Lara Albert, senior director of global marketing at Globys, Seattle.

“Each of the daily deal solutions have provided businesses with a way to reach new audiences of consumers,” she said. “There have been a few bumps along the way, but in general, providers are making strides in enabling businesses to more effectively target their ideal customers – whether that be customers in their neighborhood who are more likely to be repeat visitors, customers with specific product or service interests, customers that have already purchased in the past, or small businesses in need of their products or services.

“This ability to target SMBs opens up a new marketing channel for B2B companies. We can see that there are lots of opportunities for B2B promotions that follow the daily deals model.”

Ms. Albert said that the carriers are going to play a big role in the daily deals space, as it pertains to opening opportunities for SMBs.

And it only makes sense. Carriers already have relationships with SMBs.

Through contextual targeting, carriers can help ensure that the daily deals offered to an individual business are relevant and targeted.

“We see the mobile carrier as the optimal matchmaker for SMBs, helping them to find good potential targets, offer them relevant deals, and as a result, increase revenues,” Ms. Albert said.

Consumers are really enticed by Groupons

Whether it is carriers, or companies such as Groupon and LivingSocial, one thing is for sure. The promise of the daily deals space is all about channel and relevancy.

Daily deal platforms have the ability to provide entrepreneurs a viable new channel for reaching a large audience of prospective customers, while using advanced analytical techniques to ensure more precise targeting of their offers, per Ms. Albert.

The result is increased relevancy that drives higher participation and take rates.

B2B specialty
As more B2B companies begin to eye the daily deals space, expect new platforms that focus on SMBs to roll out.

A company called GroupPrice claims its B2B-focused platform is first to-market.

“The entrepreneur wins with the daily deal approach that GroupPrice developed in three ways – shortest time to sell, lowest cost of acquiring new customers and major reduction of the hassle of marketing to the fragmented small business market,” said Van Jepson, CEO of

“Our merchants have sold software and services that include: PR, Web design, services that enable Web sites to deliver stronger calls to action and better convert of traffic to subscriptions as well as a more trusted purchase process,” he said.

Multiple brands and retailers have launched geofences and are distributing mobile coupons via ShopAlerts by AT&T

Mobile benefits
The fact that GroupPrice, LivingSocial and Groupon have mobile platforms, further amplifies the benefits.

Small business owners have limited time to buy, as their days are spent delivering value to their customers.

GroupPrice said its small business customers say it is essential that they can find and buy in five-minute pockets of time they have scattered throughout their day.

Globys’ Ms. Albert said that mobile provides entrepreneurs an opportunity to use contextual targeting to identify the right prospective customer, and it also gives them an effective way to take the first step into mobile marketing.

“After all, the expectation for any customer that receives daily deals via mobile is that each offer is relevant, timely and of value,” Ms. Albert said. “A small business might think that mobile marketing is too sophisticated or expensive, requiring resources, systems and up-front costs.

“Entering the daily deals space doesn’t require a significant effort, or that the company has to build and market an app, for example,” she said. “In fact, there are companies today who can on-board businesses, help them set up a program and define their target customer, create a menu of daily deal offers, and then test, learn and apply.”

The businesses gain real-time insight into which offers are gaining traction versus those offers that are not, so they can continue to make changes.

With daily deals, entrepreneurs can reap the benefits of mobile marketing that the large brands enjoy but on the budget and time frame that works for the small business.

Types of offers
What types of offers work best for B2B daily deals?

Offers related to financial/accounting services, legal services, meeting venues, employee team-building activities, perks for employees such as dinners, education/training, cleaning services, IT/Web site services, marketing services, HR/recruiting services, security services, office supplies and equipment, travel services, community organizations and catering companies can all tailor their B2B offers for daily deals platforms.

But daily deals do not make sense for every business.

Ms. Albert said that the financials have to make sense.

“The most attractive aspect of the daily deal model is that businesses are making connections and encouraging trial,” Ms. Albert said. “For any new business, awareness and trial are how you get someone in the door.

“Daily deals can be an easy and effective way to draw the customer across the threshold to try a new service,” she said. “What the businesses do in terms of following that trial with great products and services that offer customers real value is what will keep those customers coming back.”

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Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor at Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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