August 15, 2006

google local coupons -- will this work?


So Google is doing a coupon printing service for local businesses, through Google Maps/Local. I guess this is interesting, although I am not sure how well it will work out. It relies on businesses to set up coupons on Local, which means business owners need to know about it and take the initiative. Then consumers need to find them. Seems like it would require a large investment in awareness building; I would guess the Local user demographic does not overlap much with coupon cutters, although I could be wrong about that. Well, everyone likes to get a deal when they can I suppose.

Google has also partnered with ValPak, the blue-envelope direct mail coupon aggregator, to offer online discount coupons; ValPak already offers printable local coupons at its site, although I would never have thought to go there to find them. So I guess their integration with Local is mostly a distribution agreement.

Of course this is another step toward georeferenced advertising -- see the forthcoming Garmin SaversGuide digital GPS coupon book for example.

More discussion on these fine sites:
Googling Google, NYTimes, TechCrunch, All Points Blog, Search Engine Watch, SiliconBeat, The Merc.

Posted by Gene at August 15, 2006 11:18 AM | TrackBack

The local demographic does overlap with coupon cutters. In fact, the Entertainment Books do $300M in local coupons. ADVO does $1.4B in local direct mail, much of it coupons, not to mention Valpak and Moneymailer.

But Google is looking to cannibalize coupons just as theyhave done to news ( and just as Craigslist does to classifieds. But Google's solution is for Google Maps syndication. Take a look at ZiXXo ( to see a syndicated solution that allows coupons to be embedded right into content. Neddless to say, the big guys who compete with Google and the printed coupon folks are now courting ZiXXo...announcements coming soon.

Posted by: Mike at August 15, 2006 6:21 PM
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