So let’s call daily deal sites what they really are: frivolous. The deals are extravagant and time (and money)-wasting. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the sites, but I also don’t have the best handle on my impulses. However, my more responsible friends often lament that they’re looking for more out of sites like Groupon and LivingSocial. What they want is a site that can offer them deals for things they already plan on buying.
Well my Chicago friends may have to wait with baited breath, but if they move to Columbus, Ohio they can take advantage of a clever app with a new take on the daily deal business called OffersBy.Me.
The founder, Adam Goldberg, a former Google inside sales team member had the idea in April 2011 “during Groupon’s golden age,” as he puts it.
I sat down with Goldberg to discuss why his brand is more trusted than Groupon’s, his impressive résumé and what’s next for his breakthrough startup.
What was the inspiration for OffersBy.Me?
The inspiration came from browsing daily deal sites for fun and occasionally purchasing interesting deals, but the novelty wore off after about a month when I realized the specials were totally monotonous and not at all personalized.
Living in Columbus, the diversity of deals was never extensive. There was never anything fresh. I started thinking how daily deal sites could be better. The most obvious way seemed for offers to come up for things that I actually needed, but how could these huge sites read consumers’ minds?
I decided to give the megaphone back to the user so they could broadcast their intentions and allow businesses to provide offers to people they already know are looking to spend money.
So how does it work?
If you want to eat Italian for dinner, you go on the app and let us know and we send you deals for local Italian restaurants. It’s that easy.
People who know what they want are ready to spend the money on it, but they can’t give you their money if they don’t know about you. This model provides the vital moment for customer conversions and keeps businesses safe as they create offers that won’t break their bank.
How can you compete against Groupon?
Groupon isn’t competition, but they are certainly noise.
I’m not like Groupon. I’m the anti-Groupon. I developed a market with buyers and sellers and focus on the quality of the product, not the quantity. When our sales team calls potential partners the first thing they say is that we’re nothing like Groupon, or business owners hang up.
What happens with daily deal sites is they create an offer and their business gets flooded with one-time users who will use a coupon that ends up costing the owners money and the never come back. It has left a lot of business owners jaded. We don’t do that, and as a result we have over 250 business partners, including many top restaurants that normally wouldn’t engage in publicizing any specials.
You used to work at Google. Why did you leave?
I worked at Google from 2003 to 2006 as one of the starting members of their inside sales team.
We targeted the middle market to give more support to advertisers that didn’t want the DIY-ads or the corporate package ads Google offered. I love Google and I still miss it, but I left to start my own company, ClearSaleing.
We implemented technology that Google didn’t to track ads more effectively. In 2009 we won the Forrester Consulting award for “Attribution Management,” which means we efficiently calculated profits of sales and were and industry leader in click-tracking technology.
ClearSaleing was acquired by GSI Commerce in April 2011, which was bought by eBay two weeks after that. That’s around the same time I had my idea for OffersBy.Me, so I immediately began working on that, and by August 14 we had our first line of code written.
Do you ever relax?
Well, I had a quick two-week vacation between ClearSaleing and OffersBy.Me. I played four rounds of golf in one week (the most I’ve ever played in such a short period of time), I took a quick trip to Florida with my girlfriend, and then I got back into it.
I love to travel though. My favorite place I’ve ever been was Australia, and I really hope I can make it out there again. Italy and Israel are on my travel bucket list as well.
I don’t see traveling in my near future, but I take golf lessons, I’m getting my scuba certification and I’m a big fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes, so I definitely have some other things to focus on.
What’s next for OffersBy.Me?
We’re only in Ohio right now but anybody can use our interface. We’re doing a test run with Easton Town Center, a mall in Easton, Ohio, for a similar app called “My Easton Offers” and that’s set to launch in May. If that goes well we’ll be able to make the app customizable and available to malls everywhere.
Over the next year we’ll be focusing on bringing in a sales and marketing team, adding businesses and a few other surprises I’m not quite ready to disclose.