Groupon Promo, Case study GROUPON by Groupon

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Industry Online Retail & E-stores
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Groupon
Released January 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Retail and E-commerce, including Restaurants
Advertiser: GROUPON
Product/Service: ONLINE SHOPPING
Founder/Chief Executive Officer: Andrew Mason (Groupon)
Director of Communications: Julie Mossler (Groupon)
PR Associate: Chad Nason (Groupon)
PR Associate: Kelsey O'Neill (Groupon)
Vice President Marketing: Mark Desky (Groupon)
Media placement: Press Releases - National - Forbes Cover, Today Show, CBS Early Show, Entrepreneur, FOX News, CNN, Charlie Rose, Numerous Others - 3 January 2010
Media placement: Press Releases - Local - Minimum Of One Feature Placement In Each New Groupon Market (131 New Markets In 2010 Alone). - 3 January 2010
Media placement: Live Off Groupon ( Social Media Campaign - Inside Edition Story, CNN, AOL, WGN Dozens Of Local Segments Where - 10 May 2010
Media placement: Groupspawn ( - CNN, TechCrunch, The Atlantic, FOX News, AOL, Dozens More - 29 September 2010

Summary of the Campaign
Challenge: Early 2010, just over a year after launching, Groupon - a revolutionary new online marketing model for local businesses - was poised for explosive worldwide growth. Groupon needed to spread the word about their concept among local business owners and sign up new subscribers to assist with overall company growth. Subscribers receive a daily email with something in their city at an unbeatable discount of 50-90% off. For the deal to become active, a preset number of people must purchase the deal for it to "tip." The tipping point ensures that the deal will be worthwhile for businesses, while still providing an incredible deal for consumers.

Armed with nearly two million subscribers in early 2010, the media was just starting to catch on and the challenge was using media to expand the customer base, support new Groupon markets and facilitate growth.

Strategy: Use CEO, Andrew Mason, for press opportunities. Introduce new type of e-commerce to reporters and encourage trial. Find merchant success stories and pitch across business, consumer and industry press.

Outcome: Media generated more than 10 million impressions per week, with 92-95% positive coverage. In 2010 alone, Groupon exploded from 29 markets to more than 400 markets in 37 countries worldwide. The total number of subscribers grew from 1.8 million to more than 50 million.

The Situation
As the originator of the social commerce space, Groupon had the opportunity to expand worldwide, but needed exposure and growth. The PR team was tasked with expanding awareness of this new model of local marketing while maintaining Groupon's reputation as industry originator and highest quality provider of daily deals. Additionally, the PR program worked to counteract any negative stories that ran - whether a merchant that went out of business or criticism of the Groupon model - with positive testimonials and overall reinforced support of Groupon's model and success.

The Goal
- 10 million media impressions per week
-75 national press hits with positive tone
- 2 press hits per launch city (90 total)
- 92% positive to neutral coverage


- Position Groupon as the best form of local marketing available
- Generate positive buzz on the national and local levels through consumer and business stories
- Position Andrew Mason as founder and the expert on social commerce

The Strategy
A unique PR program was implemented for each sector: local market, national and eventually international press. While the newness and excitement surrounding the growing company helped Groupon quickly become a media darling, it was up to the PR team to shape stories, counteract criticism and negative press and strategically choose where and when Mason (the very highly sought-after company face) would appear.

As Groupon grew over the course of the year, the plan was to keep the focus on the product and continually showcase the benefits for consumers looking to save money and businesses looking for new customers. Additionally, Groupon PR put out press releases for all market/product/partnership launches as well as executing social media stunts and campaigns including operating the official company blog Groublogpon, the Live Off Groupon ( social media campaign and Grouspawn ( - Groupon's source for love connections and college funding.

The execution was as much about strategic media selection as the actual secured results. At first, Mason honed his media skills with local TV spots in Chicago, quickly moving to national business outlets and then mainstream national media, such the Today Show. With the media team’s help Andrew represented the perfect balance between geek cool, unprecedented marketing tool and company genius.

On a local market level, Groupon created awareness and "new market launch" press in every one of the local markets the company took root in, including extensive blanketing of local broadcast and print outlets.

One huge success was the Live Off Groupon campaign, a challenge and social media campaign for one customer to quit his job, give up his life and use nothing but Groupons (NO CASH) to travel the U.S. for a year. To date, Josh has visited 40+ cities, grown to 2000+ Twitter followers and 12,000+ FB fans and achieved 33 million media impressions.

Documented Results
Praised for transparency in communication, Groupon and Mason were successfully positioned as case studies in customer service, corporate communications, crisis management best practices, unprecedented growth and others.

-Averaging 94% positive/neutral coverage
-Nearly 1 trillion impressions
-Mason on the cover of Forbes Magazine, August 2010
-10 minute Nightline segment
-CEO on cover of Entrepreneur Magazine
-Five positive feature segments on The Today Show and The Early Show within one year
-Numerous positive appearances in the Wall Street Journal, AP, TechCrunch, Bloomberg, Charlie Rose, many others
-CEO named to Fortune 40 Under 40
-CEO named Top 100 Most Creative Minds in business by Fast Company
-Groupon named #5 on Fast Company's list of 50 Most Innovative Companies 2011
-Groupon named in Top 5 Hottest Internet Companies by FOX News
-Launched/executed successful social media campaign,, challenging one customer to give up everything and live on Groupons alone for one year.