Tag Archives: Internet Marketing

How To Use Collective Buying Sites Like Groupon or Living Social for Events

As a former concert promoter and an event producer for over six years I have had a lot of experience marketing events. My marketing methods are increasing reliant upon digital avenues one of which in recent years are collective buying sites. Collective buying sites can be a valuable tool but they come with some very real costs and risks.

The first risk is to devalue your event. Deals are usually at least 50% off so you are instantly devaluing your regular ticket price. Many times event promoters will use collective buying sites to help when an event is not hitting the numbers on attendance. This can greatly devalue your event as customers that paid full price now see a much more attractive buy. We experienced this first hand when were a little low on signups and used Groupon and Living Social to drive thousands of people to our event. We had to put out some fires with attendees and vowed to our customer base never to do this again as people were (rightly so) put out to see our event advertised at a lower price. The event ended up in the black and was a run away hit but we likely lost customers for future events.

My personal feeling is that collective buying sites shouldn’t be used during the last stages of marketing for this very reason. However when used as an early bird strategy collective buying is a great marketing method. Namely because it relies on every marketers strongest tool: Word of Mouth. We were able to drive over 2000 people to our recent event out of the gate and created a natural buzz about the event before our other marketing hit. This is the right way to use Groupon or Living social.

The costs are that you will give up 75% of revenue with collective buying sites. You must be careful when implementing this strategy. Deals are usually half off and then you often split the revenue off the buys 50/50 with sites like Groupon or Living Social. You can ask Groupon or Living social for more than 50/50 but without a track record with them or a very attractive event they often will not do this split. The other problem is that ticket prices are the lowest during early bird registration. This makes it hard to make enough off each transaction to pay for your efforts on collective buying. One way to remedy this is to make a VIP offer. This will allow you to provide additional value to the consumer by adding in goodies (that shouldn’t cost you too much) like a free beer for 21+ or an extra t-shirt etc in exchange for a higher ticket price. This allows you to get closer to the revenue you were looking for after the fee to Groupon or Living Social. But you don’t have to take my word on the matter check out the below link for a well written article on the subject:



VSEO – Video Search Engine Optimization

Something that has been coming up a lot for me lately. Video Search Engine Optimization. Did you know that Youtube accounts for 28% of Google Searches? December 2009 – Google Sites (including YouTube) accounted for 65.7% of all searches! But what better way to go over this than to skip most of the text and use some video content? Enjoy!

A great tool that works so well I almost hate to share it…

A funny but informative look at things in regards to Google Adwords and Promoted Video…

And to catch us up. Some Basic SEO from Matt Cutts @ Google…

Q4- Online Advertising Report


For you who haven’t read it the Rubicon Quarterly report is a treasure trove of statistics and data about internet advertising. Albeit a bit self serving (rubicon is a ad network) it is a great way to look at the overall industry. I started the report with the link so you can check it out yourself. I have also included their press release on the report below:

the Rubicon Project’s Q4 Market Report Finds Shift to Online Spending Drives 34% Increase in CPMs

Demand Side Channels Must Innovate and Differentiate In Order to Thrive

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–the Rubicon Project, the Internet advertising infrastructure company, reveals exclusive insight into emerging industry trends and market shifts that occurred in the fourth quarter of 2009, along with trends and predictions for what’s in store for 2010, in the seventh installment of its Online Advertising Market Report series.

Included within the report is the latest update on the Rubicon 20 Index, a measure of performance across a number of factors (including CPM, revenue and traffic volume) on a roster of 20 of the Web’s most heavily-trafficked properties. CPMs across the Rubicon 20 Index have risen by an average of 34 percent vs. Q3 2009, due to holiday ad spending and major online traffic drivers, such as celebrity news topics.

“Based on the serious spending increases from advertisers and innovation on both the supply and demand sides of the equation in the fourth quarter of last year, we believe 2010 is going to be a strong year for the digital advertising industry. As a market, we have spent the last few years working out the inefficiencies and identifying opportunities,” said Craig Roah, COO and Founder. “As many of our partners and customers can attest, the coming year will be focused on the next evolution of the market and identifying solutions that garner revenue that’s aligned with value – driven by the shift toward a truly open marketplace with transparency and controls that satisfy publishers and their demand partners.”

Additional key forecasts and trends addressed in this report include:

Audience-based buys in the REVV™ Marketplace captured rates four times the amount that was paid for more typical content and site targeted buys;
An advertiser side push for greater control and transparency, as marketers sought control over where and when ads appear;
Properly segmented and targeted online ad inventory changed attitudes about the definition and perceived value of unsold inventory;
Ongoing evolution in the ad network market: vertical ad networks will flourish and demand partners will differentiate through innovation, retargeting, audience segmentation and verification;
Online video ad market expected to bring more brand dollars online with new ad formats and standardization of metrics and measurement.
Also included in this report is market insight from industry leaders including Patrick Mersigner, Senior Director of Interactive at CreativeLoafing.com; Rob Beeler, Vice President, Content and Media at AdMonsters; Tommy Moreno, Principal and Managing Director at The Glenroe Group; Maureen Little, VP of Business Development at Turn; Jaan Janes, CEO of Pulse 360; Eric Franchi, SVP, Business Development at Undertone; Andrea Kerr Redniss, Managing Director and SVP at Publicis’ Optimedia; Charles Curran, Executive Director of NAI; Ben Abbatiello, Senior Director, Business Development at interCLICK; and Dan Greenberg, CEO of Sharethrough.

To access the full Q4 2009 Online Advertising Market Report, as well as past published reports for free, visit: http://www.rubiconproject.com/market-intelligence.

About the Rubicon Project

Headquartered in Los Angeles, the Rubicon Project launched in 2007 with a mission to automate the $65 billion global online advertising industry. The company’s Yield Management Optimization platform, REVV for Publishers™, is engineered to accelerate revenue for premium Web publishers. Backed by $42 million in funding from Clearstone Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund, IDG Ventures and GE/NBC Universal’s Peacock Equity Fund, the Rubicon Project serves premium publishers like NBC Universal, Gannett and CareerBuilder; optimizing more than 45 billion ads each month and reaching 500 million unique Internet users. Ranked second in overall Internet reach by Quantcast, the Rubicon Project also helps ad sales channels around the world gain access to precise audience-segmented inventory, at broad scale.

This is a news report on The Rubicon Project.

Introduction Video