Google Acquires Incentive Targeting For Coupon Programs

Mike Dudas of Google just tweeted that Google has acquired Incentive Targeting to power highly targeted manufacturer and private label coupon programs. He noted that “Incentive Targeting..[does] for retail couponing what Google [does] for online advertising: make simple, relevant, measurable, & effective”

It would appear that the acquisition is for both talent and IP. And as Greg Sterling points out strategic. The company website notes that their “patent-pending technology allows non-technical marketing executives to design sophisticated, relevant promotions—and measure ROI in real time—directly over the Internet”. The product is interesting because it will deliver the coupon either via cell phone & social networks or via traditional methods of print and register receipt AND closes the loop for easy redemption and tracking.

It is an intriguing acquisition in a number of ways. It obviously puts Google directly into the coupon business. In the past they have never committed to couponing in any significant way and it had been said that Larry Page in fact had a disdain for coupons. Their past behaviors have certainly reflected a certain schizoid, on again off again approach to coupons.

This product, while currently serving large chains and manufacturers, could readily scale down to a single merchant and fit into the SMB dashboard/integrated marketing portal that is rumored to be in the works. Imagine a single location grocery store or our local 30 location chain being able to have an advertising person easily issue coupons across media & track the results in real time. It sounds like a winner to me. It could obviously move beyond groceries as well.

Now lets hope that it sees the light of day sooner than Google’s last local purchases of PunchD and TalkBin.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Acquires Incentive Targeting For Coupon Programs by

9 thoughts on “Google Acquires Incentive Targeting For Coupon Programs”

  1. I think it looks good too Mike. However I really wish they would set up the infrastructure for the …local 30 location chain to manage the 30+ ‘separate’ Google+ Local Pages in a scaleable way FIRST :-)

  2. +1 Andy’s comment.

    I can’t help but feel like these kind of acquisitions are Google trying to build a total marketing solution for businesses. Next they’ll do Email and … SEO :)

    “… to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful (and monetized)”.

  3. +1 Will’s comment. They’re definitely heading towards a total marketing solution. The email thing would already be very effective using the segmentation available with Plus Circles…it would be very difficult for Constant Contact, say, to integrate something that simple, IMHO.

  4. @Andrew no shit….

    @Will yes a total solution that sits in mothballs till when? This is very cool but when will we see it? Why in local does Google acquire but never seems to deploy?

    @David
    They are heading that way but execution and focus has been lacking… I would love to see it but…..

  5. It’s nice to see Google branch out a little bit, but in terms of local, this miffs me in two ways:

    1. For God’s sake, Google, get a little closer to finishing up / fixing the basic stuff (like, umm, the transition to Google+Local) before trying to integrate more “solutions.”

    2. Yet another feature that’s great for sushi bars but probably useless to service-based businesses.

    Too many half-baked loaves in the Google oven…

  6. @Phil

    I agree that businesses deserve both a working product and more importantly a clear path….

    Although do I think that couponing could have fairly broad appeal…. restaurants, grocery stores, big box retail, manufacturers …. across a fairly broad stroke of industries.

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