Groupon and Living Social: shiny techy coupons.

I don’t talk about my professional world much up here. Don’t really care to. Blogging about the world through the lens I found while writing Fearkiller interests me much more. These one-of-a-kind times we’re in right now, they are fascinating the hell out of me.

But, I found a way to right about my business and the world of my story. The demise of Groupon and Living Social, two products inspired by and launched with the aid of fear.

I remember these two taking off, interestingly enough it was also around the time that the Tea Party was beginning, Wall Street was taking TARP money but not lending, job losses still happening—the fear was in overdrive.

Good times.

And a marketing guy like me got earfuls from people about how Groupon and Living Social were the “death blows” for creative people like me. (Quotes meant to convey sense of melodramatic douchiness in these peoples’ tones of voice. People who live in fear overuse violent imagery.)

I was told I might as well hang it up, these sites are taking over. Look at all their flashiness. And you know, the most powerful word in marketing is FREE!!!

But guess what? Price promotion, whether it’s done through a clippable coupon or a techy, flashy mobile App, is still price promotion. It serves a purpose, don’t get me wrong.

But the sales spikes you see are artificial. You’re cheapening your product and people are responding. Even if these sales spikes are delivered through the power of the Internet, they are still artificial and short-term.

But these moments are always great for people that subscribe to and believe in fear. These people LOVE charts, the ass-covering proof they provide. Those sales spikes look so dramatic on paper.

And they are short-term, driven entirely the fact that you are cheapening your product.

Next great tech innovation, someone is going to figure out how to couponize it.

And I’ll feel the “death blows” once again.

(Again: fear-driven people overuse violent imagery in their language, one thing I learned from writing my story.)

Have a good weekend, and buy Fearkiller. Amazon or Tattered Cover.

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