Groupon's eclectic CEO Andrew Mason is fighting for his job, and his company is fighting for its life.
One of the fastest growing companies ever, the daily deals behemoth's decline is happening faster than its rise, creating an interesting spectacle that will one day be ideal fodder for MBA students, if it isn't already.
Group-buying seems to consistently experience conflicting states of flux - from reported positive growth, through to states of decline - so it's arguably difficult to identify the current condition of this segment in the digital industry.
However, according to a new report by Telesyte, Groupon has taken the lead as the most used group buying site, travel has become the most popular deal category for consumers and the group buying market looks like it really is moving away from a decline.
How does one make the most of their affiliate marketing program? On what areas of affiliate management should one focus to optimize the ROI of an existing affiliate program? These and many other questions are answered by today's guest.
Today's Q&A is with Carolyn Tang Kmet, former Director of Affiliate Marketing for Groupon, currently VP of Performance Marketing at All Inclusive Marketing Inc and holds Affiliate Summit's Affiliate Manager of the Year 2010 Pinnacle Award. Carolyn is also an adjunct lecturer at the Loyola University of Chicago, where she teaches both undergraduate and MBA level e-marketing courses
Since launching in the UK in 2010 Groupon has achieved an astonishing rate of growth that is almost unrivalled in any other industry.
But, as was inevitable for a business that grew so big so fast, Groupon has also seen its fair share of negative headlines.
In December last year the OFT revealed that the company had breached UK advertising regulations 48 times, leading to an investigation into its business practices.
Then there’s the ‘accounting issues’ which have seen the companies share price drop from a high of $29 to less than $5 in less than year.
Apple's iPhone may be the smartphone, and the latest iteration of it, the iPhone 5, which was unveiled Wednesday, looks set to sell like hotcakes, even if some are disappointed that Apple hasn't done more.
But while Apple may not have made any bold strides this week with the iPhone 5 itself, one new application in iOS 6, Passbook, could represent an important step for Apple as it looks to taking its dominance in the smartphone arena and extending it to other mobile opportunities, such as commerce and advertising.
Two years ago, Google offered to buy daily deal giant Groupon for $6bn. The Chicago-based startup, at the time one of the fastest growing companies in the world, refused. Late last year, it went public and saw its valuation soar to more than $17bn on the first day of trading.
It has been all downhill since then and on Tuesday, following an earnings report that disappointed investors, Groupon shares have plummeted more than 30% to their lowest level yet. Today, the market values Groupon at well under $4bn.
This isn't surprising given the Wall Street is increasingly skeptical about Groupon's business model. As one analyst put it, "It appears the daily deal business has run into a wall." That may be true, but it's just one part of the story. In reality, the demise of Groupon as we know it arguably has to do with the way Groupon handled its relationship with the local businesses it works with.
Before Ron Johnson joined department store giant J.C. Penney as CEO in 2011, he was the SVP of Retail Operations at Apple Inc., where he was responsible for developing the Apple Store and its Genius Bar.
Apple's retail strategy was a major contributor to Appl'e's mind-bending success over the past decade, and for his seven-plus years of work, Johnson was handsomly rewarded.
Needless to say, given Johnson's accomplishments at Apple, J.C. Penney shareholders had high hopes for what he might do for the century-old retailer.
Earlier this year, Johnson unveiled his bold vision: radically alter J.C. Penney's pricing strategy.
Instead of using coupons and discounts, something the department store had done extensively for years, J.C. Penney would offer "Every Day", "Monthly Value" and "Best Price" prices on its merchandise. And instead of selling items for $x.99, it would use round numbers.
Thanks to supportive venture capitalists with deep pockets, some of the most prominent startups in recent years have been able to put off the 'making money' part of creating a new business.
But no business can survive forever without a revenue model, and for Foursquare, it looks like it's time to make money.
Facebook employees and investors are set to cash in when the world's largest social network goes public later this month, but life at a public company isn't always easy.
Just ask the executives at Nokia and Yahoo.
While daily deals giant Groupon deals continues to struggle with being a publicly-traded company, its biggest competitor, Amazon-backed LivingSocial, continues to try to prove that the daily deal model is viable when done right.
One of the biggest challenges in doing that is getting daily deal customers to return to the merchants that lured them in with a bargain.
Indeed, much of the criticism that has emerged around the daily deal model is that many if not most daily deal customers hop from business to business in search of the best deal. In the worst cases, this leaves some merchants with losses they can ill-afford.