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Cosmetic Dentistry and Online Advertising with Groupon

Groupon was all the rage last week: they were presented with a $6 billion buyout from Google, and the Rosemont Review illustrated how effective Groupon is at driving traffic to participating websites. However, since turning down the Google offer, the company has simply had to settle with skyrocketing revenues as one of the fastest growing companies over the last two years.

AACD: Is Groupon Right for your Practice?

A recent article in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Academy Connection, entitled “Is Groupon Right for your Practice?” questioned the overall impact of Groupon, and whether the service was beneficial for cosmetic dentists. The key concern is essentially the overall cost: the goods and services are already being offered at huge discounts, and Groupon can grab up to 50% or more of that discounted price, leaving the participating business only about 25% of the overall take.

Can Groupon increase website traffic and conversions? Without a doubt. But as the article in the AACD Academy Connection points out, the success of an offer through Groupon comes at a cost.

Groupon is an Advertising Revolution

In last week’s issue of Newsweek, Daniel Lyons wrote an article entitled “Click and Save: Coupons?! Who’d have thought?” In the article, Lyons addresses the above concern and the seemingly paradoxical success of Groupon. Cutting typical income by such a dramatic number, businesses would have to be crazy to continue down this road. “Yet merchants are falling all over Groupon,” Lyons explains, “because they view these deals as a new form of advertising, one that has a very big advantage over the old-fashioned kind: it actually works.”

Lyons points out that the creators of Groupon didn’t expect to reinvent the advertising wheel; what they did was create a shift in perspective concerning how to advertise online. “At some point,” Lyons writes, “it became clear that traditional advertising doesn’t work on the Web. That’s why advertisers won’t pay very much for online ad space… What needs to change is the nature of advertising itself.” If Google desire for the coupon site is any indication, Groupon will be this next step in the evolutionary scale of online advertising.

Groupon Requires a Shift in Perspective

If you view Groupon as an instant money-making opportunity, imagining how Groupon will get you out of the red is a tough endeavor. However, like much of the advertising success experienced on the web, the opportunity with Groupon exists in the long-tail: make the connection now by providing a great service or product (and an interesting story to enhance your brand), and the consumer is more than likely to return.

Coupons have traditionally been a way for savvy consumers to save money. However, they also present a way for marketers, advertisers, and businesses to place a product directly in the hands of the consumer. To be viewed as a success, Groupon requires we alter our perception of the service itself: categorize Groupon, and the related costs, as a form of online advertising and dental marketing that can drive unique, qualified leads to your practice.

The rest, as it always has been, is up to you.

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