Babbling B’s Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Medill

This post was written for my customer segmentation class at Northwestern. I welcome your comments below, and hope to integrate your feedback into our class discussion!

Since its launch in 2008, Groupon has been celebrated, imitated, and criticized. Daily deals were already popular (think Woot.com daily deals and the popularity with technogeeks). However, Groupon created a niche and set the stage for local daily deals that could appeal to the city masses. It was so different that Groupon’s daily deal offering has been labeled a disruptive business model. Many lookalike sites like LivingSocialGoogle Offers, and BuyWithMe have emerged creating a competitive market. Even so, Groupon and LivingSocial command about 90% of the daily deal market share.

To stay ahead of the competition, Groupon has evolved from simply offering one local daily deal to offering multiple deals in cities big and small. Now, it’s going to take more than simple, city-based segmentation to engage the Groupon customer base. Below you’ll find my top 3 ways Groupon can capitalize on customer segmentation to drive business.

1. Drive customers to personalize their deals. Did you know you could fill out your profile on Groupon so you can personalize the deals that are sent to you? No? Neither did I. Turns out Groupon began personalizing deals in 2010. Surprisingly, they don’t heavily push their existing or new customers to complete their profile in its entirety. If Groupon wants to build database information for segmentation, they’re going to need to drive their customers to provide this information. They need to guide registrants to fully fill out their profile – and possibly offer further segmentation opportunities through progressive profiling.

2. Customers love to give feedback, so ask for it. When you love a deal, you buy it. But what about when the customer doesn’t like the deal? Couldn’t Groupon collect information in order to understand why an individual doesn’t want a deal? A real-time feedback mechanism could help Groupon source new offerings AND begin to personalize an individual’s experience. By offering ways for individuals to actively ‘skip’ or ‘vote down’ a deal and provide feedback, Groupon could begin omitting irrelevant offers based on past feedback.

3. Don’t just ask customers what they want. Sometimes a customer doesn’t know what they want. Groupon could mine the purchasing data to start to understand the individual’s preferences, offering similar categories, offers, and discount levels. They could even incorporate email open and click rates to understand what offers are resonating with that particular customer.

Groupon has been wildly successful since its launch, but in order to continue to lead this competitive local daily deals market, they will need to become data-driven and drive the effectiveness of their offers. After all, the founding principal was all about group activity; doesn’t it make sense that Groupon’s success could come through the effective grouping of their customers?

I know I’ve been quiet, but I’ve been BUSY! I wanted to quickly share a presentation I’m working on for an ‘inform-al’ school presentation. I really love Forrester’s Social Infographics, Technographics and the book Groundswell, so I’ll be sharing some of the ways consumers use social media and the demographic info. I think the research is really useful for figuring out how to engage with your target market. I hope you find it useful too!

Oh, and I finally used Prezi for this presentation. It was really easy, and I’m hoping it makes the presentation a little more engaging. On the downside, it doesn’t seem to embed on a wordpress.com blog, but it’s still pretty cool!

Social Media Infographics on Prezi

This post appeared on VitaminIMC – Medill IMC’s student-run blog.

No marketing communications professional looks forward to the day they must navigate a company crisis. Toyota’s recent floor mat and sticky pedal safety recalls are the most recent examples of balancing damage control with open communications. The safety recalls and Toyota’s subsequent responses open the potential for major damage to their strong brand built on safe, reliable, high-quality vehicles.

Meeting the challenge head-on, Toyota launched a comprehensive PR strategy to address the situation openly and honestly. Their website, www.toyota.com/recall, includes updates on what’s being done to address the problems and has videos with more information for consumers—such as what to do if they experience trouble braking.

Adding to the open dialogue, Jim Lentz, President & CEO of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., apologizes to customers in a video on the site, closing by saying: “Once again, I apologize for the situation and I hope you’ll give us the chance to earn back your trust.”

The newly released television commercial echoes his sincere words, telling a story of commitment and painting a picture that highlights 172,000 Toyota employees’ dedication.

But will this campaign be enough to calm consumers after months of bad news? It took nearly 10 days for Toyota to launch this response strategy, and consumer perception has dropped to a new low. If they hope to uphold their brand values, Toyota must avoid additional crises and continue to create open and honest dialogue to fuel positive brand momentum.

What do you think? Can Toyota restore the faith in their company?

The essential nutrient for healthy marketers

The essential nutrient for healthy marketers

A month or so ago, I was approached about possibly doing some student blogging for my graduate program. Well, it’s official, my post Skittles: Bite-Sized Attempt at Social Media is up! I have begun my blogging with Vitamin IMC, the student-run blog from Medill’s Integrated Marketing Communications Program at Northwestern University.

I’m looking forward to covering current business trends and stories from the IMC perspective. I’m also enjoying an intelligent and fun group that I can learn, discuss and explore blogging and social media – and attend all the fun events in the Chicago-area.

You can view the Vitamin IMC Blog at http://vitaminimc.blogspot.com, follow us on Twitter @VitaminIMC, or become a fan on Facebook.

After months of studying for the GMAT, updating my resume, filling out the application and painfully agonizing over every one of the 499 words in my Statement of Purpose, the verdict is in.

I GOT INTO MY TOP CHOICE FOR GRAD SCHOOL!

Excuse me while I compose myself, but I am so proud! I found out on Thursday afternoon that I have been accepted to the Medill School at Northwestern University for the Master’s Program in Integrated Marketing Communications. I have been looking at this program since the middle of my senior year at undergrad, but wanted to wait until I had a little more work experience in the Marketing field. I’m lucky enough to work for a company that values education and has a pretty great reimbursement program, so I figured I didn’t have much to lose by applying. Realizing that they only accept new students into the part-time program every fall, I knew being one of the 35 individuals in that class would be extremely competitive. I also knew they would be one of the LAST programs to notify me. Needless to say, every day that went by getting closer to the August 15 final notification date, I was feeling less and less confident.

BUT, I DID IT! I am excited to start a new chapter in my life and learn from prestigious faculty and classmates. Classes start at the end of September.


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