Although the genesis of the daily deals market was to drive traffic and sales to local merchants, the industry has matured in such a way where the power of its consumer distribution reach is what brands want. We have been evangelizing the use of Daily Deal providers by larger brands as a marketing distribution channel for some time. There are many examples where top brands or retailers have leveraged the power of daily deals in order to drive awareness, traffic and sales across Canada. However, I would like to highlight yet another way that top brands are utilizing the consumer distribution power of the daily deal provider. They have finally understood that it is not only about discounting, it is about marketing through a partner with massive consumer reach.

Enter the Credit Card and Banking industry.

Credit cards digital/online spending accounts for over one quarter of spend by the sector in Canada, followed by consumer banking and investing/retirement. When broken down by company, TD Bank led with $19.1 million in spending in 2012, up 34.4 per cent, then Capital One Financial, American express was third buts spend dropped by 21.3 per cent, and fourth was Bank of Montreal, the fastest riser at 80% increase to $11.6 million in 2012.

Translation? Credit Card and Banking industry want leads, they want clients, they want new clients and are one of the top advertisers in the country.

Enter the daily deal:

It is, therefore, no surprise that top marketing folks in those industries are starting to look at the deals industry because of the power of consumer reach the deals industry has. Case in point; MBNA’s Mastercard division is running a campaign with Buytopia, still going on btw, where a $100 gift card is being offered to those who sign up and approved for an MBNA Mastercard. Seems like a decent deal. Not a great one but nevertheless $100 in free retail gift cards or $150 in Buytopia credit appeals to certain people. So has this campaign worked? Did it attract consumers? How many? Did 10, 20 or 100 people sign up? No. As of this writing, almost 5300 people signed up for this offer. I am fairly certain, that MBNA Mastercard did not expect that.

Now, given that this deal has not charge for the consumer, how exactly did Buytopia get paid for their marketing. They most likely negotiated a marketing fee with MBNA. Whether that fee was a flat fee or a performance based fee is not really relevant. What is relevant is the fact that a top financial brand has leverage a new way of lead generation. And it has worked. Typically Banks generate leads for credit card through online marketing spend, through local meet & greet booth placement at airports, retail centers, malls, city events, etc. I can assure you that those campaigns do not produce close to 5300 signups in a mater of days.

Another top brand, Porter Airlines, also leveraged Buytopia for a marketing campaign earlier in March, selling over 4500 tickets in days.

So will other top brands or financial companies in Canada start leveraging daily deal sites more often as part of their regular marketing tool belt? Indications are that they will. However, being Canada, adoption will be slow. Steady, but slow.

What is key is for the whole deals sector and for individual deal companies to approach bigger brands as marketing vehicles and not just deal providers. Given the millions of consumers that deal companies like Teambuy, Wagjag, Groupon, Tuango, Buytopia and other deal companies have in Canada, it would be an effective marketing channel for many top brands to evaluate.