Facebook Deals dumped
Back to Groupon for tightwad suckers
After its four-month test, Facebook has decided that whatever form its entry into the “local deals” market takes, it won’t look like Facebook Deals, which will be shuttered in the coming weeks.
Deals sites, in which businesses tip money into the pockets of middlemen so they can offer notional discounts for Brazilian waxes, are the engine-room of the current dotcom bubble. Facebook’s market test took place in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego and San Francisco.
Facebook Deals was touted as a competitor to Groupon and LivingSocial, and as well as flogging offers secured by its own sales team, it added an extra layer of middleman into the deals business by on-selling offers set up by companies like ReachLocal, Gilt City and Zozi.
Putting a brave face on the flop, Facebook told Reuters it will “continue to evaluate how to best serve local businesses”. It is sticking with Facebook Ads, Pages and Sponsored Stories, as well as its Check-in Deals product.
August has been volte-face month for Facebook, which a few days ago also gave up on its Places product, a move that apparently caught its sales teams by surprise, since in Australia, the decision came shortly after major shopping centre operator Westfield said it would try marketing through Places. ®
This article is illustrative of the poison that is (largely) american business. Our firms are increasingly driven by "marketing people" (caveat: I am sure that many, many marketing people are fine human beings, with whom I would enjoy having a cold beverage at some point in time -- provided they put cash on the table to pay the tab first).
The problem with that, is that marketing people do not conduct their business using real data, rigorous logic, or planning activities. They use their spuriously created numbers and schemes as if they were etched in granite, and are seldom (if ever) held accountable for the disasters they create. The now famous acronym "GIGO" (garbage in, garbage out) of early software development is representative of what marketing brings to the table (other than inflated market valuations, bonuses, and greed driven risk taking by CEOs and Corporate Boards who have very little of their own "skin in the game"). That is the precise reason for "bubbles". Once the hype is gone or unmasked, the spurious valuations collapse and the bubble pops.
Not the "engine room"
More like the "boiler room", the sweatshop type places where they stuff the pump-and-dump type of financial salesmen.
surely that subhead should be
Back to Groupon, bitch