Flash Sale Sites Providing Jobs For Writers; Creating New Marketing Platforms

You may believe that Groupon is a bubble or that it’s a bad deal for merchants but two things are true: daily deal and flash sale sites are excellent marketing opportunities for brands, and job opportunities for writers.

Groupon alone employs hundreds of freelance writers to create the copy seen every day.

And now, as the New York Times reports, flash-sale sites like One Kings Lane and Gilt have also hired away writers. At One Kings Lane, ex-Elle Decor and Domino writers create slideshows and articles on home decorating; at Gilt Taste, Ruth Reichl serves as editorial adviser.

As the NYT also reports, Gilt is moving from a way for brands to dump excess inventory to a place to introduce new products. Volkswagen sold three 2011 Jettas on Gilt, for example, at $10,000 off.

“This wasn’t a sales objective, it was only three cars,” Charlie Taylor,general manager of digital marketing for Volkswagen of America, told the Times. “It was very much an awareness play, meant to build buzz.”

It worked; VW sold 69 cars at full price as a result of the Gilt sale.

And after Saint Parfum sold some candles at more than half off, visits to its website climbed to 6,000, up from 250 on a typical day, and 20 new retailers asked to stock the candles.

“Our pitch actually starts that way now,” Susan Feldman, co-founder of One Kings Lane, told the Times. “Instead of, ‘We can help you with your excess and closeouts,’ the marketing part of it is really much more powerful.”