In its Interactive Marketing Forecast Report, Forrester Research portends that search, display advertising, mobile, email marketing and social media will drive a 35% increase in ad spending by 2016. That’s certainly good news worth believing in, especially coming from such a respected source. The report is full of interesting statistics and industry forecasts but one prediction is particularly eye-catching; the growth of interactive marketing will essentially sign the death warrant of the daily deal. Again, it’s tough to argue with Forrester but this may be a tad rash.
Daily deals have become an important results-driver within the affiliate marketing channel, which is conspicuously absent in the Forrester growth model. This is strange considering Forrester predicted US affiliate marketing spend would hit the $4 billion mark by 2014. Also, other performance channels like email marketing and social media have spearheaded the success of daily deals through advanced geo-targeting and effective consumer engagement. Perhaps Forrester is equating the recent trials and tribulations of Groupon with the whole of daily deals. Groupon is the big fish but it isn’t the only fish. Nowhere was that more evident than at last week’s DailyDealMedia Conference where some of the heaviest brand hitters sung the praises of the daily deal.
Daily deals detractors often point to the savvy consumer as the eventual downfall of the industry. Can a company really grow with a fly by night customer only interested in a 90% coupon? No, not if the sole ROI metric is profitability. Many companies leverage daily deals for engagement or branding similar to the non-revenue ROI goals of many social media campaigns. And yet it’s doubtful any research firm will be signaling the end of social anytime soon. Given their positive impact on the affiliate marketplace, daily deals deserve a place at the interactive marketing table. Maybe the industry needs to offer Forrester a kick arse coupon.