Based on a Tweet from a Google mobile commerce exec, Mike Blumenthal posted about the Google acquisition of couponing platform Incentive Targeting. Incentive targeting was focused on the CPG and grocery segments but its technology is obviously broadly applicable to other areas and industries.
Google is buying the company for the expertise of its employees but also for its platform capabilities This is not an “acqu-hire.” And Incentive Targeting is no simple “coupon” creation tool.
Indeed, there are a number of things going on here and the vision behind them is quite ambitious. First, Incentive Targeting promotes that it’s very simple for marketers to use:
Incentive Targeting sells highly relevant, high value grocery promotional campaigns through a self-service web site. Our unique approach slashes the cost, time, and effort required by letting marketing executives design, manage, and monitor campaigns for themselves. And, because we only charge for redeemed offers, we reduce risk for the advertiser.
The business model is commission-based or cost-per-action. But there’s a much bigger picture here that is tied to Google’s mobile payments initiative as well as its advertising more broadly. Ultimately Google sees a system wherein online (including mobile) ads are tracked to the point of sale and data then helps marketers refine, personalize and optimize those ads.
Incentive Targeting captures data at the point of sale and distributes analytics and sales information back to brands and advertisers regarding how their promotions performed. Incentive Targeting doesn’t see itself as a “coupon” platform but as a comprehensive, closed-loop marketing tool that can help advertisers develop more personalized and targeted promotions that drive loyalty as well as new customer acquisition.
Much like Google’s own thinking about the way mobile payments and advertising fit together with POS data and analytics, Incentive Targeting shares that vision. The acquisition fits right in and helps facilitate (and potentially accelerate) that vision.
The slide above is from a presentation given by Incentive Targeting founder Ben Sprecher. It hints at this larger, integrated vision that both his company and Google are pursuing — now together.