Washington DC based Living Social is Groupon’s largest competitor, but is less well known. In today’s splintered advertising and marketing world this shouldn’t be much of a shock to anyone. Even though Living Social does more direct advertising, Groupon has had a much larger push into the mobile market, via word of mouth, social media, and product reviews. This isn’t to say that Living Social is falling behind, it just means they are playing catch up and doing it with some very clever and unique advertising and marketing strategies.
One of Living Socials latest campaigns involves using a London Cab to spread the word virally to its target audience.
The cab is fully branded with the Living Social logos on the outside, but the experience continues once you enter the cab. Once passengers enter the cab they are told they can continue to their normal destination, or toss a pair of virtual dice to be sent to a new random location where they could try one of the Living Social daily deals. The experience is sort of like the “Cash Cab” TV show, and according to Living Social they had about a 30% acceptance rate. A rate that is actually pretty high when you think about what they are asking busy people to do. I’m not sure how successful the campaign has been so far but I would bet it’s been fairly high. I know the video only shows those people who accepted the challenge, but I would think even those that didn’t talked about the experience, and or posted about it on a variety of social media networks.
There are a number of applications available for your smart phone that aggregate all of your social media posts in to one stream.
Applications like Memento organize your feeds and display them in a linear timeline, allow you to create new posts and export all of your feeds. Lynx is a new application that does something similar, but takes it a step further by having you set up an event, then invite your friends to join in. The Lynx application will then ‘collect every video, picture, text, tweet, check-in and status update a group of friends makes to produce an automatic Stream of the event and highlight video, which can then be watched and shared online.
This is a great example of a Social Networking application aiming to be helpful and provide something useful rather than a simple branded content experience.
This morning while rendering out some video, I decided to do a little web surfing and research. While cruising around Online MBA I came across this really nice infographic about the 4 big players in the online deals game. (I love the fact that they used House Industries, Sign Painter and Ad Art as their font choice).
The infographic focuses on the top 4 players; LivingSocial, Groupon, Facebook Deals and Google Offers.This shows off a really interesting comparison between the two orignal players, and the two new comers to the game. What I find interesting is the fact that Google, and Facebook are the 800 pound gorillas in terms of potential membership (Google 100-200m members. Facebook 600m plus). But regardless of user base, the real trick here will be getting people to switch from using their established application of choice and jumping ship to the new kid on the block.
In the end I think what will there is a real possibility that the market will become over saturated with multiple offers canceling each other out, or diluting the overall experience of deal hunting online which could play well for a larger organization.
As for me I am sticking with Groupon. It is where I am set up and I never really visit Facebook anymore. So unless Facebook or Google offer something really amazing I doubt I’ll jump ship to use their new service.