By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
Did you blink? New online healthcare marketing and advertising tools burst onto the scene faster than you can reboot your iPad. Take the business rocket Groupon for example. It’s well worth considering in elective healthcare sectors. Here’s why…
Barely two years ago there was no Groupon. But less than a fortnight ago, the online deal-of-the-day startup turned down Google’s buy-out offer of $6 Billion. Six Billion (with a cap-B) is a powerful validation of Groupon, and similar value-driven marketing channels.
The Google-Groupon merger that never happened was big news. But “the new normal” is the real marketing story, and the fuel behind the Groupon success story. The new normal is the fact that it’s now socially acceptable for someone—everyone—to shop for added value (a deal) before buying. What’s more, there’s no longer a stigma attached to shopping for deals (bargains, savings, added value opportunity). And sharing the buying opportunity with friends is an important dynamic in this new standard.
It’s a social phenomenon that applies across the income spectrum, now including upper-middle and upper income groups. Look again at the Groupon example. The social media audience that Groupon attracts is primarily young, educated female customers with money to spend on deals that often focus on the health, fitness and beauty markets.
Although Groupon (or digital coupons in general) is not for all healthcare sectors, we’ve noticed deals related to vision care, wellness/spas, hospital programs, fitness centers, dentistry, chiropractic and many others.
Groupon offers one deal per day in each of the hundreds of local markets it serves. When a certain number of people take advantage of the offer it becomes available to everyone in that group. If the minimum number is not met, no one gets the deal of that day.
Further evidence of the new normal is the immense popularity of the concept with consumers. So much so that the concept of shared deals and extra value has been copied by hundreds of other sites in the US and around the globe. (LivingSocial is the biggest.) In this wildly competitive Internet arena—one that virtually didn’t exist a couple years ago—Groupon claims 70 percent of the market and is still growing.
This new healthcare marketing and advertising strategy isn’t for every situation, but it can be a successful channel where and when there’s a good fit in your marketing mix. The new normal is about discovering the best value before buying. The benefits include new business, plus the power of referrals and repeat business.