Challenged by the current economic crisis, hotels are looking for new proactive marketing measures and promotion programs to support declining sales (Alonso-Almeida & Bremser, 2013). Among available tools (Becerra, Santaló, & Silva, 2013), several hotels are choosing to launch social coupons campaigns on online daily deal coupon sites, such as Groupon, LivingSocial and others. These sites provide the customers with coupons for one-time savings opportunities up to 90% off, in most of cases offered by services providers such as retailers, restaurants, spas and hotels (Kumar & Rajan, 2012). Despite the increasing popularity of social couponing, available knowledge about its usefulness and effectiveness for services providers, and particularly for hotels, is still scarce (Dholakia, 2010; Lee & Lee, 2012). Hence the purpose of this paper is to investigate the perceived effectiveness of social coupon campaigns among a sample of Italian hotels that have already invested on this marketing tool, publishing their discounted offerings through Groupon’s website. Groupon has entered the Italian market in 2010 and is currently the market leader of online social couponing. The importance-performance analysis of the collected data will highlight the perceived effectiveness of social coupon campaigns for hotels. From the managerial perspective, this study will provide hotels’ managers with guidelines to decide whether to allocate a share of their marketing resources on social couponing.
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