I have been in Toronto the entire week. I attended the NextMedia Conference on the 5th and 6th where we were Media Partners and the remainder of the week was and is filled, completely filled with meetings. I am, to say the least, BUSY!
Our time this week has been fantastic. There is a tremendous amount of activity in Toronto surrounding the deals space that we can hardly keep up with the demand on our time. The Next Media Conference provided wonderful insight to media across the country and provided conversations and contacts with various players across the country that wish to play in the deals industry sandbox.
Here is a summary breakdown of the types of people/companies we met this week and why. (no names will be shared)
-Large Media companies discussing their deals strategy and their fit in the Canadian deals market. This was particularly interesting to see how they view the industry.
-Existing Daily deal site owners discussing marketing, operations, and sales techniques that work and do not work.
-Marketing and media agencies wanting to get into the deals space as suppliers of creative and customer acquisition for deal sites.
-Existing Deals sites that want to sell their deals service or receive an infusion of cash. Yes, we have received quite a few requests from Deal sites in helping them find buyers. Some of these services should indeed shut down and move on while others should get or deserve investment in order to keep growing. Either way, we are quite busy with plenty of mergers and acquisition activity across the country. As always, if you know of sites that are wishing to sell, do have them contact us.
-Technology providers, mobile, platforms, etc. These companies are interesting in getting the attention of the deal providers because they believe they have technology or features/functionality that would render deal providers more effective.
-Entrepreneurs: Despite sites wanting to sell, despite the large cost in operating and growing a deals site, there still seems to be those who are interested in starting one. We had many conversations this week with those that are ready to go and build their daily deal strategy.
-Investors. Met with a handful of investors that are interested in getting into the industry. We worked on strategy, recommended a few deal sites to look at in terms of acquisitions and discussed the overall path of the industry.
Yes, it is tough out there. Yes we fully anticipate that by March, there will be dozens of sites that will close down or be acquired. Yes consumer acquisition costs are very high and the merchant acquisition process is tedious and frustrating. Despite this, there continues to be a great appetite for deals and a great activity level within the deals industry. People want in, people want out, people want to invest, people want to buy and sell. The industry is certainly not stagnant, and that is a very positive indication of growth.