Digital coupon companies like Groupon and LivingSocial are heading toward IPOs, which could give them enough cash to research and develop a range of marketing products. As marketers become more comfortable getting lower-cost marketing solutions from daily deal, flash-sale and digital coupon companies, marketing agencies could lose influence. The prominence of daily deal sites could, on the other hand, provide another channel for marketers to reach untapped customer segments.
Groupon says marketers are using the channel to build awareness. "We've seen people considering Groupon for marketing early in the process," says Julie Mossler, PR and consumer marketing manager at Groupon. "It can be the buzz-worthy component of the marketing mix."