Groupon and online marketing.

Group CEO Andrew Mason has gone on record to dispel the myths about online advertising daily Groupon. Mason explains that the perception of the man on the street about how Groupon’s business model operates, and the reality to the online marketer are poles apart. He accepts that there has been a tiny minority of high profile problems, but you get this with any pioneering business, and Groupon is dealing in the unchartered waters of online marketing and mega-mailing lists.

Groupon customers are more than 90% satisfied, and most keep coming back time and time again. His team are working for many small businesses from all around the world, in fact Groupon deals in more than 46 countries every day. Groupon now has shareholders of course after its IPO in 2011. Investors have bought into a complex model of online marketing which Mason regards a difficult to imitate. He advocates that Groupon is a relationship marketing company and that it has a huge mailing list which was a large upfront investment but now offers a competitive low cost communications route to consumers.

Groupon has a huge mailing list! It has 150 million subscribers and 250,000 advertisers (or merchants), and considers itself to be in a strong position in terms of the on-going, daily customer relationship. It is difficult to imitate but one wonders how long before the e-mail space has migrated to the social space? Will mailing lists be enough to compete with very precise consumer profiling and relationship marketing?