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Living Social ads on Facebook

 

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Jumpdude  (C License)

Jul 21, 2013, 8:46 PM
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Living Social ads on Facebook Can't Post

By now, I feel pretty certain that most of us who have Facebook have seen the ads by Living Social, and more specific, the ones for Skydiving. I want to encourage everyone to post the link to their own REAL DZ's in the comments sections of those ads! Even if you don't care to elaborate about how the middle men ticket scalper sites are damaging our sport, at least post the link so anyone who sees the ads will get a little knowledge and be able to deal directly with the DZ so they don't get screwed!

https://www.facebook.com/...osts/490636617682383

(This post was edited by Jumpdude on Jul 21, 2013, 10:46 PM)


TaylorC  (D 29769)

Jul 21, 2013, 11:17 PM
Post #2 of 31 (3378 views)
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Re: [Jumpdude] Living Social ads on Facebook [In reply to] Can't Post

Jumpdude wrote:
By now, I feel pretty certain that most of us who have Facebook have seen the ads by Living Social, and more specific, the ones for Skydiving. I want to encourage everyone to post the link to their own REAL DZ's in the comments sections of those ads! Even if you don't care to elaborate about how the middle men ticket scalper sites are damaging our sport, at least post the link so anyone who sees the ads will get a little knowledge and be able to deal directly with the DZ so they don't get screwed!

https://www.facebook.com/...osts/490636617682383

you do realize that the dropzones approach living social and groupon to sell tandems for thier DZ right? Living social and groupon are nothing like skyride was.


Jumpdude  (C License)

Jul 22, 2013, 12:06 AM
Post #3 of 31 (3357 views)
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Re: [TaylorC] Living Social ads on Facebook [In reply to] Can't Post

TaylorC wrote:
Jumpdude wrote:
By now, I feel pretty certain that most of us who have Facebook have seen the ads by Living Social, and more specific, the ones for Skydiving. I want to encourage everyone to post the link to their own REAL DZ's in the comments sections of those ads! Even if you don't care to elaborate about how the middle men ticket scalper sites are damaging our sport, at least post the link so anyone who sees the ads will get a little knowledge and be able to deal directly with the DZ so they don't get screwed!

https://www.facebook.com/...osts/490636617682383

you do realize that the dropzones approach living social and groupon to sell tandems for their DZ right? Living social and groupon are nothing like skyride was.

You may be right, but as a lot of DZ.com peeps here as well as myself have been preaching for years, if the DZO's would do their SEO, and do some marketing of their own, there would be no need for middle men sites,,, ANY of them! How can it be profitable if they have to cut their prices so deeply to offer a 70% discount on Tandems as advertised in the ad I posted the link for? That would mean that if a DZ's regular price per tandem is $200, the discounted rate would put it at $60, or less to figure in the cut for the middle man, so, it almost looks like a load of up jumpers would be more profitable! Do the math DZO's! Is it really worth it?

Also, Even though they have essentially turned off the 1 800 Skyride business name, the same company, in other names is still very much alive and well. The latest known names are Bilateral, and Spot Reservation and what used to be 1 800 Skyride, is now weaty.com!


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Jul 22, 2013, 10:53 AM
Post #4 of 31 (3142 views)
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Re: [Jumpdude] Living Social ads on Facebook [In reply to] Can't Post

Who appointed you protector of DZ business models? Crazy

But even so, you're thinking about Groupon and Living Social the wrong way. If you think about them as an advertising cost, for some businesses, they make sense. The reach of the Groupon and Living Social email list, smartphone push notifications, online ads, etc. is HUGE. SEO targets the person who says "I want to make a skydive - wonder where I can go?" Groupon/Living Social target the person for whom a skydive wasn't really top of mind, but who says "Hey, there's a dropzone not far away and this looks like a good deal - maybe I'll sign up!"

That said, I see Groupon/LS type deals being most valuable for the type of business where repeat visits are likely. Get them in the first time at a discount, and if you give them a good experience, they'll come back. I've discovered several really good restaurants through those two services, and once I've found a restaurant I like, I'm likely to go back because eating out at restaurants is something I do relatively frequently.

Skydiving is, for most people, a "one and done" experience, so it doesn't make that much sense from a "building repeat business" standpoint. But, if you're using Groupon and Living Social to let people know you're out there, build brand awareness etc. (which is the point of advertising), then maybe it makes sense in your business model.


fencebuster  (D 29918)

Jul 22, 2013, 11:41 AM
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Re: [NWFlyer] Living Social ads on Facebook [In reply to] Can't Post

+1


Fast  (D 28237)

Jul 22, 2013, 12:10 PM
Post #6 of 31 (3075 views)
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Re: [Jumpdude] Living Social ads on Facebook [In reply to] Can't Post

Jumpdude wrote:
Do the math DZO's! Is it really worth it?

See, that's where you are missing the whole picture. In some senses it can be worth it, in many it is not. It cheapens the "product" that's for sure. The issue most people started running into though was that sportations (skyride) was running groupons in all the markets. If you want to compete with that you either figure out how to better inform the consumer (good luck) or you run these deals too.

Or you are in a market where DZO's are doing it to one another. Either way it sucks all around - they are taking money out of the sport but there is so little that you can do about it at this point.


alabamaskydiver

Jul 22, 2013, 2:45 PM
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Re: [Jumpdude] Living Social ads on Facebook [In reply to] Can't Post

Jumpdude, All too often, you are off the scale with your tactics, but you usually have valid points when you blast your info, and this is no exception, but be careful to not step on the toes that don't deserve to be stepped on. For some dzo's, they are using the middle men as a last resort to stay open and keep skydiving alive in their areas, so maybe give those guys a bit of latitude and a lot less attitude!
I agree with you 100% that the middle men need to stay out of skydiving, but they have gotten themselves rooted as a necessary evil for now and it has become obvious that there really is very little that can be done about it. I also 100% agree that if the dzo's would do their own web stuff and marketing, and only compete amongst each other, it would be best for the whole skydiving community, which as has been discussed before, and along with your explanation of the lesser profits, it would translate in to more turbine dz's and better and newer equipment, etc.

@TaylorC; It's unfortunate that the middle men have pushed themselves to the point that they have, but you are correct, there are dzo's who are contacting them in an attempt to try to stay alive, others are just greedy, and there's a variety of other reasons, but it's still unfortunate.

@NWFlyer; About your "protector of DZ business models" comment, well, what do you do to try to educate people about how to keep from scammed by the middle men? While your perspective may be valid and I know of a few that like his cause, but despise his rants and tactics, and I even get annoyed as hell sometimes, but I must say that I have personally been at various dzs on 4 different occasions and heard tandem customers talking about how they found the dz and how his sites were instrumental in educating them so they knew to go directly to the dz and not through any of the middle men sites.
You do have some very good points about the restaurants or other industries, and I would even be inclined to use that myself, but as the OP has demonstrated, and you seemed to tap in to, These sites are bad for our sport. At least from a standpoint of profits being taken from the dz's, considering the already discounted rates, and having to give up an additional cut to the middle man.

@Fast; You made some good points, but it has been said many times in the many threads about skyride, groupon, living social, and the the other, if the dz's would just quit using them, they will have all that money back in their own pockets and will only compete with the dz down the road, and in a lot of cases, the other dzs are far enough away that they wouldn't have to compete anyway. Either way, if I were a dzo, I'd much rather compete with another dz than a bunch of sites that are getting in between me and my customer, who are not even based in my area, or the competing dz and the customer, whether it be the same customer trying to decide which one to go to or the customer that is closer to the other dz anyway.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)
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Jul 22, 2013, 6:35 PM
Post #8 of 31 (2862 views)
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Re: [alabamaskydiver] Living Social ads on Facebook [In reply to] Can't Post

alabamaskydiver wrote:
Jumpdude, All too often, you are off the scale with your tactics, but you usually have valid points when you blast your info, and this is no exception, but be careful to not step on the toes that don't deserve to be stepped on. For some dzo's, they are using the middle men as a last resort to stay open and keep skydiving alive in their areas, so maybe give those guys a bit of latitude and a lot less attitude!
I agree with you 100% that the middle men need to stay out of skydiving, but they have gotten themselves rooted as a necessary evil for now and it has become obvious that there really is very little that can be done about it. I also 100% agree that if the dzo's would do their own web stuff and marketing, and only compete amongst each other, it would be best for the whole skydiving community, which as has been discussed before, and along with your explanation of the lesser profits, it would translate in to more turbine dz's and better and newer equipment, etc.

@TaylorC; It's unfortunate that the middle men have pushed themselves to the point that they have, but you are correct, there are dzo's who are contacting them in an attempt to try to stay alive, others are just greedy, and there's a variety of other reasons, but it's still unfortunate.

@NWFlyer; About your "protector of DZ business models" comment, well, what do you do to try to educate people about how to keep from scammed by the middle men? While your perspective may be valid and I know of a few that like his cause, but despise his rants and tactics, and I even get annoyed as hell sometimes, but I must say that I have personally been at various dzs on 4 different occasions and heard tandem customers talking about how they found the dz and how his sites were instrumental in educating them so they knew to go directly to the dz and not through any of the middle men sites.
You do have some very good points about the restaurants or other industries, and I would even be inclined to use that myself, but as the OP has demonstrated, and you seemed to tap in to, These sites are bad for our sport. At least from a standpoint of profits being taken from the dz's, considering the already discounted rates, and having to give up an additional cut to the middle man.

@Fast; You made some good points, but it has been said many times in the many threads about skyride, groupon, living social, and the the other, if the dz's would just quit using them, they will have all that money back in their own pockets and will only compete with the dz down the road, and in a lot of cases, the other dzs are far enough away that they wouldn't have to compete anyway. Either way, if I were a dzo, I'd much rather compete with another dz than a bunch of sites that are getting in between me and my customer, who are not even based in my area, or the competing dz and the customer, whether it be the same customer trying to decide which one to go to or the customer that is closer to the other dz anyway.


A business is a business is a business.
DZO's are still only competing with each other.
A DZO/DZM can choose to do business with the middlemen, or not. Doing business with the middlemen means a slimmer profit margin. If the DZO can make the numbers work, that's just simply smart business. If the DZO can't make the numbers work, then they'll either quit doing business with the middlemen, or go out of business.
No matter what, it's business. And the more business a DZO can do, the more people he can employ, the more airplanes he can lease/buy, the more tandems he can lift, and the more the community grows.
If a DZO isn't reaching outside of his area somehow, he's probably casting too small a net anyway.
I was recently in Phoenix, AZ. In the hotel lobby was an "activities" board filled with flyers for activities. There was a flyer for Perris in one of the slots. Is that bad for our business that Skydive Perris is attempting to reach people in Phoenix? Or perhaps....it might be simply raising an awareness of our sport and creating new opportunities that DZO's aren't finding on their own?


Jumpdude  (C License)

Jul 22, 2013, 9:00 PM
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Re: [DSE] Living Social ads on Facebook [In reply to] Can't Post

DSE wrote:
A business is a business is a business.
DZO's are still only competing with each other.
A DZO/DZM can choose to do business with the middlemen, or not. Doing business with the middlemen means a slimmer profit margin. If the DZO can make the numbers work, that's just simply smart business. If the DZO can't make the numbers work, then they'll either quit doing business with the middlemen, or go out of business.
No matter what, it's business. And the more business a DZO can do, the more people he can employ, the more airplanes he can lease/buy, the more tandems he can lift, and the more the community grows.
If a DZO isn't reaching outside of his area somehow, he's probably casting too small a net anyway.
I was recently in Phoenix, AZ. In the hotel lobby was an "activities" board filled with flyers for activities. There was a flyer for Perris in one of the slots. Is that bad for our business that Skydive Perris is attempting to reach people in Phoenix? Or perhaps....it might be simply raising an awareness of our sport and creating new opportunities that DZO's aren't finding on their own?

As bad as I hate the middle men and of course, sLyride and their aliases being the top of the list, I do agree with you about business being business, so, yeah, if they can make the numbers work, more power to them. I just hate to see our sport getting fleeced by the middle men, no matter who they are.
As for the thing about Perris having the flyer in Phoenix, you made a very good point about raising awareness of our sport, but, Well, they accept sLyride/Sportations/Spot Reservation, so, well, I guess the apple didn't fall far from the tree. Crazy


FlyingRhenquest  (B 37920)

Jul 23, 2013, 6:36 AM
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My home DZ doesn't seem to have any trouble bringing in the tandems. The more you clutter google up with useless crap, the harder that is to find the real business. I imagine it's just luck that I didn't get sucked in by skyride last year when I was looking for training.

I also feel like as a fun jumper, word of mouth from me is a nice asset for promoting that DZ as a fun place to jump. I've only brought in about $1000 worth of tandems in the last year, but get a couple hundred of us talking to co-workers about what we do for fun on the weekend and it starts to add up. One of my co-workers who came with me for a tandem is already talking about wanting to go into AFF training as soon as he can afford it.


DougH  (D License)

Jul 23, 2013, 6:54 AM
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Race to the bottom IMHO.

I think DZO's would be better served by figuring out how to bring more jumpers in to the local market, then they are by trying to poach the existing customer base with a cheap product with an ever declining profit margin.

Walmart and subway skydiving!


Premier DSE  (D 29060)
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Jul 23, 2013, 7:04 AM
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Re: [DougH] Living Social ads on Facebook [In reply to] Can't Post

It's all a race to the bottom.

Go to the photo forum, see how many photographers are wanting to quit using quality cameras for tandem photo/video.

Notice how many young jumpers want to fly cameras at 25 jumps, and stick em' on helmets not at all designed for cameras.

Several DZ's have now gone to handcam, because it boosts their margins.

Many skydivers proclaim how great it is to jump at Lodi, because the slots are cheaper.

Just last weekend we saw a demo go to shit, likely because the people handling it, did it on the cheap and didn't bring highly skilled people to the demo. I know of one DZ allowing anyone with 200 jumps to participate in demos, open-field or not. It's cheaper, paid by the thrill and not by the $$.

At the end of the day, skydivers are no different than the DZO's being complained about here; they're racing to the bottom of the barrel because it's "easier" or "faster" but definitely not better, not promoting the sport in a positive light.

Sure, of course, agreed that its best for a DZ to manage their own marketing strategy and understand how to leverage the internet and other marketing opportunities for their own good. However, not every DZ has those resources or access. However/whatever they do to bring fresh feet through their door is their business.

There is a significant difference between a middleman generating false information about non-existent DZ's and baiting/switching, from Living Social and other aggregate sites that sell group discounts to DZO's.


peek  (D 8884)

Jul 23, 2013, 7:11 AM
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DSE wrote:
It's all a race to the bottom.

Douglas, thank you for the very honest and straightforward observation. I agree completely.

Now, to all of those reading, what can we do or encourage our DZOs to do to prevent this, or to help the sport become more profitable and therefore, safer, due to the increased profit margin allowing for better gear, maintenance, aircraft, etc.?


Premier DSE  (D 29060)
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Jul 23, 2013, 10:31 AM
Post #14 of 31 (2576 views)
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Re: [peek] Living Social ads on Facebook [In reply to] Can't Post

At a personal level:
Share your experiences with others around the 'electronic watercooler' (facebook, twitter, etc). Share positive experiences with non-skydivers.

At the individual DZ level:
Reward fun jumpers for bringing in tandems
Reward them again for conversions to AFF/A licenses
Develop good community relations. Visit schools to do assemblies on skydiving equipment and the thrill of jumping out of aircraft. Plant the seeds early. One DZ I worked with, we created a coloring paper for young students to color their own parachute and skydiver. Imagine all those parachutes on the fridge for a few months. Mom and Dad can be directly influenced by their children's excitement.
Work on creating a fun, happy, informative environment that fosters learning, promotes safety, and inspires people to want to achieve 'more' in the sport.
Train tandem instructors on how to better their student's experiences. Whispering "You're gonna die" over and over, sexual innuendos, or other stupid behavior doesn't encourage a return to the activity.
Find outlets and information that appeals to the 50+ crowd; they have the most disposable income and are frequently looking for something "new" to do.
Build tie-ins to other community activities. For example, invite a local motorcycle club to come to the DZ for a rally, or offer up the DZ as a stop point with free water, or other benefit. Offer a location for a community Easter Egg hunt with the Easter Bunny skydiving in to open or close the event, as one suggestion.
Be seen as a contributor to the community.
Be visible (in a positive light).

At the USPA level:
The membership of USPA pays out a shitton of $$ to a PR department that seemingly isn't effective. We can afford ads in major magazines, we can afford web advertisement/banner placements, there is money and resources for 'product placement', there are many opportunities. I've personally observed USPA blowing opportunities at the highest product/partnership levels for fractions of a cent per direct impression. DZO's get some marketing help from USPA, but it's effectively worthless. Oddly enough, USPA has two separate PR programs that don't seem to be aligned with each other.
USPA could offer help with social media training, information guiding DZOs into the world of social media, provide educational tools or templates for DZO's to use to create online marketing tools.
USPA might provide some bulk rate purchase power for marketing tools for DZOs. "Experience the dream of flight" keychains for handing out at community gatherings, or similar. For example, during an AWA Motorcycle race, the DZ got permission to put up a popup, hand out free water with "SKYDIVE!!" labels on the water bottles. There was an LCD display on a table under the popup, showing a few tandem skydives (video cut to not linger on any shot for longer than 5 seconds, several tandems, wingsuits, CRW, RW were shown)
USPA can help DZO's learn to build relationships with news reporters, the local Chamber of Commerce and other groups that have the means to include them in their daily work.
USPA might help DZO's and the skydiving network develop an event aimed at women, for example. Women make most of the purchasing decisions in America, and women frequently determine vacation destinations and activities for the family. Imagine USPA and DZO's working together to create a "Women in the Sky" (or somesuch other title) that encourages and attracts women to do a tandem or AFF on a given day.
Perhaps a similar event for veterans, or other large groups that attract not only a given group, but also attract media attentions, social media outlets, and a strong buzz about our sport.

Look at the fantastic video that Phoenix-fly and Red Bull put out. They have demonstrably drawn people into the sport simply to wingsuit. Traffic on these videos is in the millions of views range, but have we seen USPA's marketing or PR teams take advantage, or promote these events? Of course not. Yet only an idiot with his head far up his ass would miss that wingsuiting is the biggest draw to our sport since Point Break. Yet we don't see the US Team putting out market-driven videos, we hear very little about the US Team outside of specific events that are a draw for skydivers but not the gen pop.

Imagine USPA holding a contest for "best story about how skydiving changed my life." The winning article would be published in a leading mens or women's magazine. The magazine wins, as they get marketing support prior to the article's publication, and skydiving wins because it provides input and and an outlet for a positive story while reaching new audiences.

A few years ago, USPA had the opportunity to participate in a Sony project that upon initial pitch, would have reached a minimum of 500,000 direct, captured views of skydiving. Total cost to USPA was $2500.00. Do the math. .005 per direct capture. The project went on to two replications, totaling 1.25M direct captures. USPA's total all-in cost would have remained $2500.00 (.002 per capture). AMA was all over it, and ended up putting much more into it than the initial requirements called for, simply because they wanted a great first-look at their sport. In short, USPA could make much more intelligent decisions based on reality and less on emotion or who is whose buddy.

There are opportunities at every turn, if skydivers, DZO's, and USPA simply look around with a fresh eye. People buy into skydiving because of their ego. It is the only motivator that brings people to our sport. Cater to fulfilling and enhancing their ego, everyone wins.


Jumpdude  (C License)

Jul 23, 2013, 10:35 AM
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Re: [peek] Living Social ads on Facebook [In reply to] Can't Post

peek wrote:
DSE wrote:
It's all a race to the bottom.

Douglas, thank you for the very honest and straightforward observation. I agree completely.

Now, to all of those reading, what can we do or encourage our DZOs to do to prevent this, or to help the sport become more profitable and therefore, safer, due to the increased profit margin allowing for better gear, maintenance, aircraft, etc.?

In the perfect world (so to speak) all DZO's would quit using all middlemen, and form an alliance between all DZO's to boycott any and all tickets sold by middle men, and form a "Gentleman's agreement" to compete cleanly.
Also, surely most DZ's have at least one jumper who does websites and knows something about SEO, put those people to use to benefit the DZ. Hook them up with a couple of jumps (or more) to do your sites, and SEO, and get your jumpers to post links on their Facebooks, post pictures, and videos of their jumps, and talk about it, do blogs, on other sites that they can access! Links are like votes for your site, the more links you have, the more votes that the search engines see and that pushes your site up the list. And the higher quality the link, the more it pushes your site up.
There's all kind of ways to grow your DZ's customer base without using middle men.
Well, like I said, I guess that would be the perfect world.


(This post was edited by Jumpdude on Jul 23, 2013, 10:36 AM)


Premier Remster  (C License)

Jul 23, 2013, 12:27 PM
Post #16 of 31 (2485 views)
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Re: [Jumpdude] Living Social ads on Facebook [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
"Gentleman's agreement" to compete cleanly

No offence, but this reeks of collusion.


Jumpdude  (C License)

Jul 23, 2013, 1:55 PM
Post #17 of 31 (2434 views)
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Remster wrote:
Quote:
"Gentleman's agreement" to compete cleanly

No offence, but this reeks of collusion.
I know, that's why I said, if it were the perfect world, so to speak


Premier Remster  (C License)

Jul 23, 2013, 2:21 PM
Post #18 of 31 (2420 views)
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Jumpdude wrote:
Remster wrote:
Quote:
"Gentleman's agreement" to compete cleanly

No offence, but this reeks of collusion.
I know, that's why I said, if it were the perfect world, so to speak

In the perfect world, I want DZO's to compete for my business. Gentleman's agreements fly in the face of that. Not just a little.


Jumpdude  (C License)

Jul 23, 2013, 3:15 PM
Post #19 of 31 (2381 views)
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Remster wrote:
Jumpdude wrote:
Remster wrote:
Quote:
"Gentleman's agreement" to compete cleanly

No offence, but this reeks of collusion.
I know, that's why I said, if it were the perfect world, so to speak

In the perfect world, I want DZO's to compete for my business. Gentleman's agreements fly in the face of that. Not just a little.

LaughLaughLaugh


Fast  (D 28237)

Jul 23, 2013, 3:41 PM
Post #20 of 31 (2350 views)
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Re: [Jumpdude] Living Social ads on Facebook [In reply to] Can't Post

Jumpdude wrote:
In the perfect world (so to speak) all DZO's would quit using all middlemen

That's fantasy land talk. It's never going to happen.

What do you define as a middle man? We spend thousands of dollars annually on google advertising to keep our ads above the competitors. Is google a middleman?

Are you suggesting we only use advertising that is free?

In what world is someone running a business going to not try and take business from the guy down the road? If you're in a multi-dropzone market you really have two options; Advertise, grow, have a great dropzone and fight for customers; or go out of business. If the DZO down the road isn't trying to steal them from you, skyride damn sure will.

I post in these kinds of threads cause I have a pretty strong idea of what I am talking about.

In my market, sport jumpers have 4 good turbine dropzones to choose from and at least 3 cessna dropzones. All of this is within a circle that is about 3.5 hours from top to bottom. We have struggled for a long time with sport jumpers from the Madison area for example because there isn't a good direct route, there is a good cessna dz there and a lot of the younger people drive to Skydive Chicago or CSC - it just is what it is.

Tandem wise, we have all the same dropzones trying to make money AND a dedicated skyride ran turbine dropzone - which runs groupon/livingsocial/whatever deals constantly.

I just have to wonder what your experience is really in understanding how all this works. I have been running a dropzone for 6 years (though that's going to change soon, which will hopefully make the things more about fun and less about work) and it's offered a really unique perspective on the sport.


(This post was edited by Fast on Jul 23, 2013, 3:44 PM)


Fast  (D 28237)

Jul 23, 2013, 3:48 PM
Post #21 of 31 (2338 views)
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Re: [alabamaskydiver] Living Social ads on Facebook [In reply to] Can't Post

alabamaskydiver wrote:
@Fast; You made some good points, but it has been said many times in the many threads about skyride, groupon, living social, and the the other, if the dz's would just quit using them, they will have all that money back in their own pockets and will only compete with the dz down the road, and in a lot of cases, the other dzs are far enough away that they wouldn't have to compete anyway. Either way, if I were a dzo, I'd much rather compete with another dz than a bunch of sites that are getting in between me and my customer, who are not even based in my area, or the competing dz and the customer, whether it be the same customer trying to decide which one to go to or the customer that is closer to the other dz anyway.

For the most part, skyride is in a position to just offer enough regional dropzones if people stop taking them that they can deal with the fact that others aren't taking them, so it's sorta moot.

In a lot of cases, groupon / living social / etc, is just a form of competing with the guy down the road. It's hard to reach customers, those deal sites are just a different form of advertising that has a higher per customer cost - but it's also more quantifiable because it's a cost that is only paid when you make an actual sale.

The deal sites aren't competing with the dropzones, they are a tool for dropzones to compete with each other. The deal sites just also happen to make a bunch of money as they do it, not unlike everyone else you have to pay for advertising. It's also a tool skyride has been pretty effective in using to tap into various markets.


Jumpdude  (C License)

Jul 23, 2013, 4:45 PM
Post #22 of 31 (2308 views)
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Re: [Fast] Living Social ads on Facebook [In reply to] Can't Post

Fast wrote:
Jumpdude wrote:
In the perfect world (so to speak) all DZO's would quit using all middlemen

That's fantasy land talk. It's never going to happen.
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I agree, I was being somewhat smartass! Surely you don't think that I think that would really happen, do you?

What do you define as a middle man? We spend thousands of dollars annually on google advertising to keep our ads above the competitors. Is google a middleman?
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Businesses in all industries pay the search engines to run their ads, that they create themselves, and just like a newspaper ad, they are paid a set fee to run an ad regardless of the result, so I would think that the answer would be no, they are not a middle man.

Are you suggesting we only use advertising that is free?
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Not totally, just don't use the sites like L/S, Groupon, sLyride, PROSkydiving etc, who scalps already deeply discounted sales

In what world is someone running a business going to not try and take business from the guy down the road? If you're in a multi-dropzone market you really have two options; Advertise, grow, have a great dropzone and fight for customers; or go out of business. If the DZO down the road isn't trying to steal them from you, skyride damn sure will.
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I was only making the point that if the middle men would go away there would be more money in the DZO's hands, but you do have a very good point. I know what you are saying.

I post in these kinds of threads cause I have a pretty strong idea of what I am talking about.
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I never doubted you

In my market, sport jumpers have 4 good turbine dropzones to choose from and at least 3 cessna dropzones. All of this is within a circle that is about 3.5 hours from top to bottom. We have struggled for a long time with sport jumpers from the Madison area for example because there isn't a good direct route, there is a good cessna dz there and a lot of the younger people drive to Skydive Chicago or CSC - it just is what it is.
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Which one? I'd be glad to post some links if they would be interested in boosting their SEO

Tandem wise, we have all the same dropzones trying to make money AND a dedicated skyride ran turbine dropzone - which runs groupon/livingsocial/whatever deals constantly.
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Well, do tell, which one?

I just have to wonder what your experience is really in understanding how all this works. I have been running a dropzone for 6 years (though that's going to change soon, which will hopefully make the things more about fun and less about work) and it's offered a really unique perspective on the sport.
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I have a pretty good understanding how ticket scalpers work


(This post was edited by Jumpdude on Jul 23, 2013, 4:51 PM)


Jumpdude  (C License)

Jul 23, 2013, 4:53 PM
Post #23 of 31 (2292 views)
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Re: [Fast] Living Social ads on Facebook [In reply to] Can't Post

Fast wrote:
alabamaskydiver wrote:
@Fast; You made some good points, but it has been said many times in the many threads about skyride, groupon, living social, and the the other, if the dz's would just quit using them, they will have all that money back in their own pockets and will only compete with the dz down the road, and in a lot of cases, the other dzs are far enough away that they wouldn't have to compete anyway. Either way, if I were a dzo, I'd much rather compete with another dz than a bunch of sites that are getting in between me and my customer, who are not even based in my area, or the competing dz and the customer, whether it be the same customer trying to decide which one to go to or the customer that is closer to the other dz anyway.

For the most part, skyride is in a position to just offer enough regional dropzones if people stop taking them that they can deal with the fact that others aren't taking them, so it's sorta moot.
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That is most unfortunate!

In a lot of cases, groupon / living social / etc, is just a form of competing with the guy down the road. It's hard to reach customers, those deal sites are just a different form of advertising that has a higher per customer cost - but it's also more quantifiable because it's a cost that is only paid when you make an actual sale.

The deal sites aren't competing with the dropzones, they are a tool for dropzones to compete with each other. The deal sites just also happen to make a bunch of money as they do it, not unlike everyone else you have to pay for advertising. It's also a tool skyride has been pretty effective in using to tap into various markets.
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And you glorify them?


(This post was edited by Jumpdude on Jul 23, 2013, 5:01 PM)


Fast  (D 28237)

Jul 24, 2013, 7:24 AM
Post #24 of 31 (2198 views)
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Re: [Jumpdude] Living Social ads on Facebook [In reply to] Can't Post

Jumpdude wrote:
Fast wrote:
What do you define as a middle man? We spend thousands of dollars annually on google advertising to keep our ads above the competitors. Is google a middleman?
Businesses in all industries pay the search engines to run their ads, that they create themselves, and just like a newspaper ad, they are paid a set fee to run an ad regardless of the result, so I would think that the answer would be no, they are not a middle man.

I don't think it's quite that black and white though. Cost per click advertising varies a lot based on search term, competitors, etc. Clicks don't always mean a sale either. It's all a form of advertising.

If it takes 100 clicks for me to get a tandem sale @ $1.00 a click am I making more or less money than taking say $140 (my cut, regularly priced $199) from groupon for a tandem sale. With paid click advertising it fluctuates a lot and can be hard to measure the effectiveness, with a groupon sale it's direct numbers easier to gauge. I think that's a big part of why people are using it.

Jumpdude wrote:
Fast wrote:
Tandem wise, we have all the same dropzones trying to make money AND a dedicated skyride ran turbine dropzone - which runs groupon/livingsocial/whatever deals constantly.
Well, do tell, which one?

greatlakesskydiving .com - which I am not linking on purpose. My understanding from what people have told me is that it was setup by some shell of skyride in some way.


Jumpdude wrote:
fast wrote:
It's also a tool skyride has been pretty effective in using to tap into various markets.

And you glorify them?

I don't know what you mean by that. The point that I am trying to make is that DZOs/DZMs get put in a sticky situation. If we try and avoid the groupon like deal sites, skyride just comes along and runs their own groupon. Don't get me wrong, I think that these deal sites are one of the worst things that has happened to the skydiving market, but we have to work within the world around us. The tool exists and generally that means someone - for some reason or another - is going to use it.

I think that this is a bit different than a ticket scalper. It's somewhere between scalping tickets and booking an airline flight on expedia. Either way - yes someone is getting a cut.

I am not suggesting at all that people should use this stuff, just that it's out there and it's near impossible to keep everyone from using it.


jclalor  (B 33202)

Jul 28, 2013, 3:28 PM
Post #25 of 31 (1936 views)
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Re: [Jumpdude] Living Social ads on Facebook [In reply to] Can't Post

Living Social and Groupon are in the process of collapsing. Their business model is unsustainable, restaurants cannot afford to give out $20 meals for $5 when the expected repeat business never comes back, the majority of Groupon users are cheap-asses and are only looking for a one time bargain.

People looking to cross skydiving off their bucket list are no different, I saw my home DZ implode from Groupon, they would sell 1000 tandems and then get a check for $50,000 a few days later from Groupon and temporarily jump start their cash flow. within a month, they were back to being unable to pay the staff, only then to sell more Groupons to shore up the cash flow once again, 90% of their tandems were Groupon, a vicious cycle.


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