Groupon thrives with unique content strategy
May 7, 2011 | 1:27 pm
At Techdirt, Mike Masnick has an interesting piece looking at the dynamics of Groupon, and how they’re able to keep ahead of competitors. You would think that there’s nothing particularly special about a coupon site, but Groupon manages to stay ahead of the competition through its execution—most notably, the snappy, humorous copy it comes up with to promote even the most prosaic of deals.
As a final aside, the quality of Groupon’s content highlights another key point that we’ve raised many times before: how "infinite goods" like content make scarce goods more valuable. In this case, the "content" created by Groupon’s writers (and, yes, this is also an example of how advertising is content) is valuable. But no one’s selling the "content." What Groupon is doing is using that good content to make the scarcity of the deals more valuable, making more people willing to buy them.
This also puts me in mind of Woot.com, the one-day bargains site which did well enough that Amazon snapped it up, which also punches up its deals with witty prose. And it makes me wonder how it might be applied to using e-books to make physical goods worth more.
Of course, we’ve already seen some companies, like Baen, doing this by giving away free or selling inexpensive copies of e-books, and even bundling them onto giveaway CDs. And a lot of e-readers bundle free public-domain content. But it feels like that sort of thing is only scratching the surface. I wonder what other potential uses are out there?