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Will “Daily Deals” Save Newspapers?

dailydeals?Groupon is Hastening the Demise of the Newspaper Industry,? wrote a trade publication in April 2011.?? However,?? some newspapers are betting that ?daily deal? offerings could reinvigorate the industry.?? Newspapers are turning to startups such as?? Shoutback and Nimble Commerce?? and others offering consulting and white-label systems to power deal mechanisms. And newspapers have other things many other Groupon clones don?t ? large local audiences that are still used to turning to newspapers for coupons,? and a sales force with established local relationships.

Reportedly,?? The Boston Globe is offering its own? Boston Deals promo after? trying a partnership? with BuyWithMe last year (and SCVNGR, also last year)? as it? moves to separate? its online content from a potentially more lucrative e-commerce business.??? Boston Phoenix? offers? deals,? Star Tribune? in the Twin Cities offers STeals.

The struggle newspapers have had in recent years to make money from their content is obvious to all.?? Paywalls,???? apps, etc., have all been attempted.

But newspapers have failed to leverage the single most important advantage they have over the emerging media types:???? local audiences and local sales relationships.?? An intelligent ?Daily Deals? offering could be the key.???? The Globe, Phoenix and Star Tribune have each come out with their own versions of this play. Or they could aggregate local deals from Groupon and its numerous clones, Yipit-style.?? ((These last observations are from MIT?s Advertising Lab?s excellent blog.)

Has any newspaper actually tried to recapture the classifieds business from Craiglist????? Newspapers ought to be able to offer online classifieds with more power and usability than the Craigslist version, with a little planning and proper research.

In the past year I?ve spent a lot of time talking to local businesses in southern California and trying to understand their experience with the ?Groupon? concept, which many have tried and abandoned.?? The reason??? Yes,?? ?daily deal? promos bring business in the door,?? but sporadically and often at a loss to the retailer.?? Local businesses have not figured out how to capture the Daily Deals crowd and turn them into reliable repeat customers, and that is something that newspapers will need to consider if they plan on competing in this deal space.?? Newspapers could step into this void and help local businesses profit from Daily Deals, thereby strengthening their own brands and relationships.