Monthly Archives: January 2011

Amazon Gift Card on Living Social

Written by: Larry Weintraub
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If you haven’t already picked up your Amazon gift card from LivingSocial, you really should.  Right now they are nearing 950,000 redemptions.

I had a dinner with some friends last night and explained to them what LivingSocial/Groupon was all about.  (see that note below) Then today this too-good-to-be-true offer came in which just emphasized my point on why people love these companies.

Also, I just caught this article in Mediapost which explains this even more.  i.e. Amazon is more invested than just this deal of the day!
Posted January 19th, 2011 at 12:56 pm by Gavin O’Malley

It looks like Groupon rival LivingSocial hit it big this week after offering members a $20 Amazon gift card for $10. “In just the first few hours of the sale, users have already purchased over 243,000 coupons,” reports ReadWriteWeb. How did LivingSocial land such a sweat deal? Well, as you may recall, Amazon invested $175 million into the startup in December. As such, Lightspeed Venture Partners’ Jeremy Lew calls this week’s deal “the first step of operational integration from that investment.” According to ReadWriteWeb, “Some are predicting the deal is on a course to outperform the previous blockbuster daily deal, when Groupon offered $25 off a $50 purchase at the Gap.” That resulted in some $13 million worth of coupons being sold. With nearly a day left to go, the LivingSocial deal had already sold over $2 million worth of coupons Wednesday morning. The final sales figure likely means little to Amazon, which is more interested in marketing the LivingSocial brand. Indeed, with Amazon’s help, it’s not hard to imagine LivingSocial achieving Groupon-like heights.


From: Larry Weintraub
Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 12:01 PM
To: My Friends
Subject: FW: 50% Off Gift Card

Last night at dinner we had a conversation about Groupon / LivingSocial.  Today this came in from LivingSocial.  $20 gift card for $10 from Amazon.  No expiration date, limit one.

On a typical day and a typical deal, LivingSocial or Groupon will get anywhere form 300 – 3,000 people to buy one of these offers.  Today’s offer from LivingSocial is already over 650,000 and will probably hit 1 million today.  So, if you wonder why Google was prepared to pay nearly $6 Billion for Groupon (which they declined and I bet we see a similar offer coming soon for LivingSocial), now you know why.  They will do $20 Million in business today alone.  Doesn’t mean they are profitable, just gives you an idea of how big these things are.

By the way, I recommend you sign up to LivingSocial today and get this deal.  It only lasts til the end of the day and then it’s gone.  You can unsubscribe after that if you don’t want to get emails every day from them.  But hek, it’s $10 free to spend at Amazon.


And The Winner Goes To…

Written by: Digitally Approved
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We’re all movie buffs at Fanscape.  While most of us haven’t seen all the films nominated for the big awards, we do have our opinions.  Here is everyone at Fanscape’s favorite movie of last year (even though some of them are still out now):

Name Pick
Heather The Town
Eric Social Network
Larry Exit Through the Gift Shop
Bianca Despicable Me
Irene Inception
James True Grit
Michael Kids Are Alright
Christina Toy Story 3
Allie Social Network
Brad Social Network
Ben 127 Hours
Teala Social Network
Sherry Social Network
Melissa Inception
Christy Inception
Angela Social Network
Kate True Grit
Lisa True Grit
Bithika Inception
Andrew Toy Story 3
Terry King’s Speech
Charles Inception
Angie Inception
Liza Inception
Kristin True Grit
Inception 7
Social Network 6
True Grit 4
Toy Story 3 2

Social and Digital in 2011

Written by: Digitally Approved
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At the beginning and end of each year, recaps of the previous year are always prevalent.  Lists of best songs, movies, and books are the norm in blogs, newspapers, and magazines.  So too are predictions of what is to come, especially in the technology and marketing/advertising space.   At Fanscape, we also have our opinions about what we expect to see in the coming year.  What we’ve compiled here is a list of our predictions along with a few others we’ve seen that we completely agree with.

1. Smartphones as common as the toaster. 2011 is the year smartphones take over. With an expectation of smartphones nearing 50% penetration in the US, Verizon adding the iPhone, and tablets taking over, we’re all going to be walking, talking, emailing, playing, and sharing while we chew gum. Mobile extensions to your social marketing plans are a must. Optimize your messaging for iPhone, iPad, Galaxy, Blackberry, Droid, et al.

2. Companies will integrate social feedback into their decision making process. In 2011, we will see a growing number of companies finally go beyond using social channels merely for building awareness and providing support. Expect to see a rise in companies who, by end of year, will be recognized for socially-informed innovation, customer focus and work environment, much like Zappos and Amazon were a few years back. (Predicted by Ravit Lichtenberg on Read, Write, Web)

3. Social Commerce. People like their Facebook, that’s where they spend most of their time online.  Facebook would prefer you didn’t leave.  So, why not buy all your stuff right there? Right now on Facebook you can book your Delta Airlines flight and buy your buddy a Cold Stone Creamery ice cream.  We’re definitely going to see more of this transactional business directly on Facebook this year.  And then we’ll start seeing it in other social platforms, not to mention on our phones.

4. Website Evolution. Websites will continue to become more social. Should I have a website or should I just be on Facebook?  You need both.  In fact, you need to be in more places: LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, WordPress/Tumblr/Posterous.  And this list will grow.  Start by making your website more social.  Integrate Facebook open graph; allow people to “like” and rate the content on your website.  Overarching plan: give people a reason to return or else they’ll grab your store hours or client list and never come back.

5. Groupon: here today… Prediction is that we’ll burn out on the current incarnation by year’s end.  But that doesn’t mean it is going away.  Let’s call it what it is, the digital version of the guy with the sandwich board handing out flyers.  Retailers have more opportunities to drive people into their stores than ever before.  Ask a retailer if they liked their Groupon (and similar) experience and about half will say no.  Consider this a brilliant innovation or a retail marketing disrupter, but we’ll see more of this.  Google wasn’t going to spend a fortune buying Groupon for their health.  This is the evolution of targeted advertising.  Foursquare had you check in, Groupon had you buy a deal, expect a merging of the two: meet your friends at the local bar, the whole table gets a discount.  Reward the loyal and those who return, not just the lookie loos.

6.    The Digital Talent Pool The real talent—the ones you really want—are entrepreneurial and creative, and they’re not waiting around in your lobby to get a job. They’re trying it on their own.  Media outlets will find future talent on YouTube, iTunes, or other popular audio/video on-demand sites like BlogTalkRadio. NBC Universal announced an initiative last week where they will select 20 popular “tweeters” in each market to create content for their websites, broadcast segments, and other distribution channels.  (- Jessica Northey on Social Media Today)

7.    Video, not just for looking at babies and cats. YouTube is the number 4 most viewed website and guess who just cracked the top 20?  Netflix.  (per Alexa) Most of the sites on the rest of the list serve up plenty of video too (Facebook, Yahoo!, CNN, etc.).  Pay attention to sites like eHow and Howcast if you want to know how to build a table, bake a cake, or change a car battery.  People like visuals.  Show and tell is easier than ever and again, it’s what people want.  And going back to mobile, people can watch this on the go now too.

8.    Digital and Social immersion. Merge radio frequency identification (RFID) with smartphones and social networking and you complete the loop of total immersion in connectedness.  One word: EpicMix.  See what they are doing at Vail ski resorts and you’ll get it.  Your ski pass is embedded with a unique ID.  It knows where you are, how many miles you’ve skied, it tells you where your friends are, and it provides a platform to add photos and video.  You unlock badges that automatically update to your Facebook page.  You don’t need to do anything.  Imagine the extensions to shopping, dining, and travel.

9.    Cause Marketing. Expect brands to integrate a little extra feel good into their strategies.  Over the last two years charity started at home, but we’re starting to loosen our purse strings a little bit.  When it’s apples to apples, we’ll lean towards the more socially conscious product.  And technology is making this easy through things like text donations for NPR podcasts and fundraising apps such as kickstarter.  Remember this term too: Crowdfunding.

10.    Social Search. We put this at the end because it really started last year.  We just don’t believe everyone quite understands it yet.  At least not its implications for brands and their products.  Realize that when people now have conversations about you via open social networks (i.e. Twitter – for the moment), that filters into the search query.  Immediately.  So when you are looking up where to buy a barbecue, you’ll see real time conversations about the exact same thing!

Innovations and honorable mentions, a.k.a. things to keep an eye on this year: Quora, Social Scrapbooking, Social news on your tablet (e.g. Flipboard), near field communication (i.e. mobile payments, mobile ticketing, QR code reading, etc.), entertainment check-in apps (e.g. GetGlue, Philo, Miso), and of course, web-enabled televisions.