NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- What's better for your business, a daily deal or a coupon?
The answer, of course, depends. What type of business are you promoting? Is it a start-up? A seasoned restaurant? Are you selling services or products? These are all questions a business owner must take into account when deciding the best way to get customers.
Some experts say neither, by the way.
"They both deteriorate and discount your brand in the short- and long-term. There are much better ways of trying to build traffic, such as loyalty programs, community involvement, creating ambassadors of your customers to tell your story and to do a better job of telling your story on the Web," says Tom Kelley, principal at AccessPoint Media Group. Kelley specializes in brand building for small businesses and start-ups, mainly in the restaurant and hospitality industry."Coupon and daily deals do nothing but create an environment of coupon clippers and folks looking to find the next best and cheapest lunch. That doesn't build loyalty. It actually demonstrates to the customers and your guests that your [product] can be discounted and in most cases they will subliminally think you're overcharging them," Kelley adds. In the most general sense, a daily deal is a typically a heavily discounted voucher prepaid for by consumers, while a coupon is used at the point of sale, says Kara Nortman, senior vice president of consumer businesses at CityGrid Media, parent company of Citysearch and Urbanspoon. CityGrid connects small businesses to customers by aggregating content for that business, which is then pushed out via mobile apps and Web sites where consumers will find them. On the one hand, the so-called Groupon (GRPN) effect has created a cadre of consumers eager to find deals online to interact with merchants offline. Daily deals from the likes of Groupon and LivingSocial "have a much stronger commitment vehicle," whereas coupons are a more gentle form of engagement, Nortman says.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV