Friday, April 29, 2011

Start-Up Watch COD: Analog Analytics “democratizes” daily deals with a white label solution for media companies

Billions of words have been written about the financial troubles of traditional media companies. While most of these entities have established websites with growing traffic, the declines on the traditional revenue side are very hard to make up with digital. How many billion banners do you need to sell to make up for the full page ad losses and the virtual demise of the classifieds sections?

But it would be a mistake to think that traditional media companies are giving up without a fight. Many of the leaders are innovating to find new revenue streams. And given all the hoopla about Groupon et al, it should come as no surprise that many media entities are implementing proprietary daily deal and couponing programs as part of their monetization efforts.

A company called Analog Analytics makes it easy for media properties and brands to offer their own daily deals and coupon programs. Their solutions makes implementing such programs more or less turnkey “Just add deals!”

The glass half full view of the success of daily deals is that pubs can capitalize on the trend. But the glass half empty interpretation is perhaps even more compelling. From their website:

Groupon operates by eliminating the role of publications through its direct-to-consumer “group buying” model. This eliminates the publisher from the traditional advertising model. In many cases, Groupon is signing local SMB’s to premium exclusivity contracts, which precludes the advertiser from doing a deal of the day with anyone else for the term of the agreement. In short, if you are a TV, radio, or news publisher, Groupon is stealing your advertising customers and signing them to premium, long-term contracts. This is the most significant threat to publishing since Google.

Analog Analytics gives pubs a way to fight back and claim their share of this important new promotional category. There are six components to their offering:

“Bigger Better Deal” is a hosted publisher-specific daily deal software platform, enabling the sales teams of media companies to sell and implement daily deals programs quickly and easily.
Hosted Coupon Platform offers pubs a way to display and deliver coupons to users, and sell these services to local advertisers.
Coupon Manager enables the seller to implement and manage coupons from hundreds of buyers simultaneously.
Manage My Coupons Portal is a hosted offering that gives consumers an environment in which to manage the coupons that interest them. In some categories the platform can automatically send offers to retail loyalty cards.
An Analytics Platform enables reporting and analysis to demonstrate marketing effectiveness and provide information to up sell and cross sell promotion programs to advertisers, related categories, and competitors.
“Super Banner” Mobile Couponing Solution enables click to call and click to coupon mobile advertising as part of an integrated program.
Analog Analytics has signed a long list of media companies – more than 1000 -- to their service.

The brand has an impressive number of case studies demonstrating the positive impact their offering can have on the finances of their clients.

One of the more prominent case studies for Analog Analytics shows how the OC Register generated $188,000 in revenue for a daily deals program in a single day. The program combined an online daily deal with newspaper and local radio support. It would have taken about 38 Million banner views (at a $5 CPM) to drive that revenue figure with online ads.

But the immediate deal revenue was only part of the story. In addition, they garnered 750 new subscribers from the effort. At an average LTV of $200, those subs represented an additional $150,000 to the company. If you’re following along with your calculator, you know that’s another 30 million banners worth of green. That’s the kind of math traditional media companies – and pure play digital media companies – love to see.

Media companies are definitely excited about such services, in particular the daily deals. Witness this TV ad hyping the availability of such local daily deal offerings to consumers.

I for one am happy to see pubs finding new ways to make serious money. If we’re going to have professional content, we’re going to have to devise ways to help pubs have the wherewithal to produce it.

Thanks to ad:tech for publishing this first.

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