Google has acquired start-up retailing firm Incentive Targeting for an undisclosed fee, confirmed by both Google and Incentive Targeting’s press relations. Incentive Targeting holds a patent-pending technology that allows non-technical marketing executives to design sophisticated, relevant promotions alongside measuring ROI in real-time.
The platform distributes promotions and campaigns to shoppers through multiple touchpoints such as mobile, postal mail and e-mail, plus it claims to reduce the risk for advertisers with a performance-based payment model, charged only on redeemed offers. Something the performance marketing industry is well accustomed to.
The official statement on Incentive Targeting's homepage states:
"As part of Google, we will have the resources and expertise to continue the transformation of couponing from a way to give discounts to a way to build business. And, we can now work towards that vision as part of a company that improves the lives of hundreds of millions of people every day."
What could this mean for Google?
A platform such as Incentive Targeting could air concern for some leading publishers who have made grounds at online to offline conversion over the past twelve months. Google Wallet is in full operation in the USA, allowing users to store card details on the Google Wallet smartphone app and pay for items securely through Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.
Yet to hit the app stores of the UK and Europe, the acquisition of Incentive Targeting could play well with Google Wallet to deliver a seamless vouchering and payment process for consumers, and highly targeted delivery of brand promotions that advertisers can utilise.
Matthew Wood, Global Product Director at mobile discount provider vouchercloud, said:
“Although this acquisition is based around FMCG [fast moving consumer goods] coupons, the shift in brands looking to engage with consumers on a 1-21 versus a 1-2 many basis and drive incremental sales should not be ignored. We would have to presume this technology will be ported into offering added value to Google Offers or in the future their Wallet.”