First off, I am not writing this article as a “band wagon” piece to jump in on the financial results released by Groupon last week, and did not plan to discuss the challenging economic week that they had post release, actually I was planning this article for quite some time and the release just made me realize that it was time for me to actually put pen to paper.
I look at the challenges at Groupon through the lens of a marketer given the current marketing environment. Here we find ourselves imbued in this dichotomy of the promise and sometimes uncertainty of the “new media” (targeted two way dialogue) with the more traditionally understood mass media. Following the path of “new media” requires a commitment to transformation; transforming the organization mindset to one of an engaged and loyal brand aware company and commitment to the change has to stay true. The dichotomy comes in when organizations hit a financial rough patch, when times becomes challenging the opportunity, the pull, to resort to the “what’s comfortable”, “what the company has done for years” is great, even though we know deep down that one more email or ten more offers does not increase the efficacy of the message.