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The Groupon logo is engraved in a glass office partition at the company's international headquarters in Chicago. (Scott Olson/SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES)
The Groupon logo is engraved in a glass office partition at the company's international headquarters in Chicago. (Scott Olson/SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES)

Mia Pearson

Startup aims group buying at small businesses Add to ...

There’s an increasing interest in group-buying sites, especially on the heels of Groupon’s much anticipated – if possibly delayed because of market turmoil – initial public offering.

For the most part, these companies have focused on marketing to consumers. Now new startup Gagglebiz is adapting Groupon’s consumer-oriented model to a business-to-business approach.

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The new discount website is targeting small and medium-sized businesses, attempting to transform Groupon’s consumer appeal and tailor its value proposition to a niche community of small businesses, as well as help expose brands to a larger business community.

It’s a way for big businesses and small companies alike to reach this target market, and provides an ideal opportunity for business-to-business marketing.

“A small business often doesn’t have the budget to place expensive ads in publications or participate in trade shows. It takes planning, creative assets and significant capital expenditure to do properly,” said Jonathan Latsky, chief executive officer of GaggleBiz. where members receive deals on office supplies and services by e-mail, with a call to action to purchase heavily discounted offers.

“Through GaggleBiz, a business can have its name and offering in front of hundreds of thousands of prospects who have opted in to see offers. Conversely, the deals they offer to other small businesses allow those on a tighter budget to take advantage of products and services they might not normally be able to afford.”

GaggleBiz understands the importance of a business-to-business promotion strategy, and offers small businesses the flexibility to offer creative experiences to maximize the effectiveness of each campaign.

Businesses pay on a success basis, and GaggleBiz manages the creative and execution aspects.

“Whether you’re a paper-shredding company wanting to gain market share or a paintball facility looking for corporate business, GaggleBiz is a unique marketing vehicle,” Mr. Latsky said.

Discount shopping sites aren’t always appropriate for every business, and need to be evaluated to make sure the partnership supports your brand, and benefits your target audience. They can potentially drive broad awareness, but depending on the market landscape, they need to be strategically executed in order to maximize results and ensure the value of your products and services are not watered down through deep discounting.

For small business owners, group-buying sites can provide a clever marketing strategy that drives sales and generates awareness. They understand the power of instant marketing, and allow businesses to market to new prospects that they might not be able to reach on their own.

Special to The Globe and Mail

Mia Pearson is the co-founder of North Strategic . She has more than two decades of experience in creating and growing communications agencies, and her experience spans many sectors, including financial, technology, consumer and lifestyle.

Join The Globe’s Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzT

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