Google buys targeted coupon company, prepare for custom promos

Couponing!

Incentive Targeting

Google purchased a company today and so far, this one seems to like the real deal.

Incentive Targeting, a firm that partners with retail chains to provide a targeted marketing service to makers of groceries and consumer products, is now the property of Google, Inc.

Mike Dudas, an executive with Google Mobile Commerce (aka Google Wallet), tweeted about the pick up earlier today.

"Google acquires Incentive Targeting to power highly targeted manufacturer and private label coupon programs," he told his 1,000-plus followers.

What it means

Incentive uses patent-pending technology to design personalized and relevant promotions online, plus helps clients measure their return on investment in real time.

According to the company's announcement about the acquisition, the details of which were not disclosed, upon its founding in 2007, Incentive Technologies "set out to do for retail couponing what Google had done for online advertising."

While Dudas' tweet lays out pretty clearly what Google plans to do with Incentive's technology, we have to note that now Google has a vehicle to provide even more targeted advertisements, deals and promotions to its users.

Incentive also has years' worth of culled data on consumers. Whether Google can use that data we don't know, but the fact that it has the capacity to gather info on the spending habits of specific consumers is certainly making the G-people lick their chops.

Another lucrative avenue Google could take this is by providing ROI information to its advertising partners and other businesses who use its services - a cash cow if there ever was one.

We could see a distinct Incentive mark on the next version of Google Wallet, so heads up if you own a Google Wallet account or are planning to open one soon. You might notice some eerily-appropriate promotions coming your way.