With The Clicky Value-Wheel, Groupon Puts The “No” In Innovation

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You can say a lot of things about Groupon, but not that they lack a great sense of humor over there. This morning, the company distributed a press release touting a new invention called Clicky, the Clickable Value-Wheel (make sure you watch the behind-the-scenes video below too).

The company invites players to sign in with their Facebook account and then spin the wheel to potentially score a discount on select Groupons ($5, $10, $50 or $100).

According to the Clicky terms, only US residents are allowed to spin the wheel.

From the amusing press release:

Clicky, the Clickable Value-Wheel was designed to provide momentary distraction and meet the minimum threshold of amusement necessary for users to share Clicky, the Clickable Value-Wheel through social media channels, thereby virally spreading Groupon and increasing its number of active customers.

“The chances of winning are slim, but not impossible,” said Mike Bennett, Clicky, the Clickable Value-Wheel lead developer. “We designed the wheel to spin in a way that appears random – like you could potentially win on any given spin – but it’s not actually random, it’s programmatically predestined to ‘win’ 1 out of 1,000 times.”

As with many online computer games, the win ratio was determined to ensure that the lifetime value of the new customers attracted to Groupon by Clicky, the Clickable Value-Wheel will be greater than the total cost of the program, thus making the program a practical and sustainable investment for Groupon.

And since spinning is moderately enjoyable, every user of Clicky, the Clickable Value-Wheel is a winner – metaphorically. Literally, most people will not win anything.

Clicky, the Clickable Value-Wheel, is one of several potential marketing instruments Groupon has and will continue to test over time, some of which will be successful while others will not. Continuously experimenting with new marketing mechanisms is an important part of the growth of any company. The “win wheel” is not in itself a new concept.

Groupon will begin promoting Clicky, the Clickable Value-Wheel gradually over the next several months throughout Groupon’s more than 170 North American markets. The exact speed of deployment is dependent on the accuracy of ROI assumptions as determined by actual data gathered from Clicky, the Clickable Value-Wheel usage.

“Seeing Clicky spin for the first time, was like watching your newborn baby take his first steps. It was like an orphan who’d never seen the ocean, getting to see the ocean, while he’s getting adopted”.

Well played, Groupon, well played.