We’re seeing more vertical players trying to leverage their brands with deal offerings and advertising. The latest one is Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Twenty-two Blue Cross state organizations around the U.S. are working with Analog Analytics to launch Blue365, a deal program offering health and fitness discounts, as well as adjacencies like tax prep.
SnapFitness, eDiets.com, Reebok, H&R Block and others are charter deal providers for Blue Cross. The launch will be supported via a media campaign launching in late Spring. “Health and fitness is the quintessential loyalty program,” says Analog CEO Ken Kalb. He notes that consumers are making more of their own health decisions, so a health marketplace makes more sense in this climate.
Besides health, Analog has made a move into travel, working with Travelsavers Partner Services, a mega- booker working with over 17,000 hotels and representing 20 percent of all travel bookings.
Kalb adds that the biggest problem with travel as a deals vertical is sourcing new deals all the time. While destination deal sites such as Groupon and Living Social are scoring very well with travel, smaller sites do well to hook up with a one- stop such as Travelsavers. ‘They have 1,000 people trying to find travel deals,” he says.