Many thanks to everyone who contributed to our first ever linkedin "competition", where we asked participants to voice their opinions on social buying and flash sales and how they work for travel. To see the thread, go to http://www.linkedin.com/groups?about=&gid=1690387
Our winning entry.... drumroll..... was from Dawn Muir, Marketing and Communications Manager at Carter Observatory. We felt her response was honest, balanced and had some really good "takeaway tips!" Congratulations Dawn, a free pass to TDS America in Vegas is all yours! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to set this up.
Here's Dawn's answer:
Interesting topic and very current ass a number of these group buying sites are springing up all over NZ. As a recently re-opened, mid sized, visitor attraction with a limited marketing budget we were keen to a) raise the awareness of our local market and to b) create ambassadors who could then share good word of mouth for us an c) nurture our local audience that account for approx 30% of our business. We ran two comapaigns with two different companies over an 8 month period. The first sold 2,500 half price vouchers with 95% of these being purchased by locals. This worked very well for us. We ran a second campaign not too long afterwards with a variable price offer, this didn't work quite as well for us.
Our take outs:
1. Don't do it too often or you'll condition your market to waiting for a low price - we're after yield as well as numbers. We won't do more than 2 a year - if we do that many.
2. Use a simple price point offer, don't be too clever.
3. Consider it a promotional campaign requiring some investment - rather than just a discount offer - it needs to be part of your wider promotional efforts
4. Wait a bit - I expect there will be some attrition of companies offering these opportunities - some have been around a bit longer and have good back end mechanics for measuruing, etc
5. Choose your company wisely - they often have a bigger company behind them that has some strong links to areas such as airlines, or media outlets - they can help your business depending on where you want to be
6. Maximise and leverage your efforts through your own social media activity - it creates more noise for your business