Can group couponing support b-to-b marketing?

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If you haven’t heard of Groupon at this point, you might just be living under a rock. One interesting trend that we at Hoover’s have been following is the possibility of leveraging the b-to-c couponing trend in b-to-b marketing. There’s something about couponing that hits home with consumers and businesses alike, especially as we work diligently to scrounge pennies where possible. One need look no further than the latest reality television series, Extreme Couponing, to realize that couponing is much more than a fad; it’s a marketing tool with a storied history, thanks to Coca-Cola’s first personally penned coupons.

According to the Go Frugal blog, companies have been using coupons to share their products with the masses for more than a century. So while couponing might not be a new idea, the approaches taken by companies like Groupon and BuyWithMe are giving the savings associated with coupons an innovative, social, shareable and now a mobile twist.  The question we’ve been pondering, though, is: Can this concept that’s clearly been targeted at the everyday consumer be finessed to provide marketing appeal with a more business-friendly audience?

To date, we’ve seen only a few companies dipping their toes in the waters of b-to-b couponing. Most recently, RapidBuyr was brought to our attention as a company focused on providing small and medium-sized organizations with access to daily deals from companies.  Additionally, we ran into a similar venture from BizyDeal, another company focused on modeling Groupon’s effort by providing deals for small businesses.

Have you seen any concrete examples of companies benefiting from couponing from an overall marketing perspective?  If so, we’d love to hear about it!

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