What’s Common Between Groupon and LivingSocial in India? [Hint: Ads Without Landing Pages]

Groupon entered India with a namesake acquisition of SoSasta. Groupon’s competitor LivingSocial is testing Indian waters.

And while both the companies compete in this over-crowded market, we couldn’t help but share stupid mistakes that these companies are committing when it comes to advertising.

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Take a look at the URL in the ad and you will notice that both Groupon and LivingSocial’s ads do not have a landing page for the URLs mentioned in the ad!

Of course, clicking on the link will take you to a landing page (email subscription page), but promoting a URL with no landing page is a sure sign that:

  • there is no sense of ‘where is the money going’. I am not sure whether one can extrapolate this to say ‘Bubble’.
  • there are no checks-and-balances in these systems. That is, the digital marketing has been outsourced and the team isn’t bothered about how is it being used (‘easy access to money’ is the culprit here).
  • Lack of attention to detail. These are early signs of process fallout in the two companies. As a reference, Nokia went through exactly this in 2009 and we all know where the company is headed these days (Nokia promoted http://ovi.store.com instead of http://store.ovi.com! – details here).

Somewhere in your startup journey, lack of easy access to money makes the journey more meaningful and you are less prone to commit such mistakes.

What’s your take?