Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Next Way To Get Daily Deals: Games

GigaOm has a post today about CrowdMob. Basically, a mobile gaming platform that, instead of selling you upgraded characters or subscription fees, requires you to buy local daily deals instead. Pretty interesting idea: the customer gets what they want, but it will require a critical mass of offers, as the deal has to appeal to the purchaser. If there is only one deal, it has a limited chance of that.

Having said that, it's actually a very innovative approach. After all, local is inherently connected with mobile, and mobile gaming is one of the fastest growing segments, especially among the same demographics who purchase local deals. And it offers gamers a chance to actually get what they want, and have reasons to try the businesses.

One quibble, though: the article states "...by allowing merchants to redeem a deal through a variety of methods without having to take a paper coupon,". This makes it seem that the burden of having to take a paper voucher is one that local retailers have been straining to shed; nothing could be further from the truth. Most deal providers would absolutely prefer they accept the vouchers electronically, and mark them as used. Some providers require validation. But almost every local merchant insists on these physical paper vouchers, to the point that many of them will actually refuse customers who come in with an iPhone app.

This, along with the need for a plethora of deals, represents a concerning disconnect for CrowdMob. If they can't offer paper vouchers, and don't have a wide selection of deals, they run a risk of not succeeding. Why do I care? Because the trend will be to blame it on the "fact" that "daily deals aren't what they used to be." Rather than railing about it in the future, I offer this as a cautionary note to forestall the inevitable negative backlash and enjoy gaming for deals!

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