Glenn Beck, of Fox News fame, made an interesting and unexpected annoucnement today - the launch of a new deals service that would rival companies like Groupon, LivingSocial, and the like. It's official. Everyone really is getting into this game - from AT&T to Facebook, Google, and now Glenn Beck.
Beck announced the launch today via Twitter and other channels.
The launch actually stems from Beck's production company Mercury Radio Arts, according to the Wall Street Journal, but make no mistake, this is very Glenn Beck-oriented. Beck even has "a special announcement from Glenn" popping up at GlennBeck.com:
MarkDown's about page says:
Markdown.com is a different kind of e-commerce site. Sure, we care about revenue and profit, but we care about honesty and integrity just as much. We believe in value, but we also believe in values—the idea that we should be guided by a set of principles that transcends money.
To put it simply, we believe that we can only be a great company if we are a good one. That means being good to our employees, our partners and our customers. It means making the right decisions, not just the easy or profitable ones. But, most of all, it means being the kind of place that we’re proud to say we work at; the kind of business that we’d want to do business with ourselves; and the kind of company that we’d be excited to send our own family and friends to.
We’re happy that you’ve found us and we hope to earn your trust by proving how much we value your time and your money. We work hard every day to find and negotiate exclusive deals that we think are worthy of bringing to your attention. You won’t hear from us unless we succeed. That means no “daily” emails to announce marginal deals—when we announce a Markdown it’s for a very good reason.
That last bit is interesting - no daily emails. That certainly does set it apart from Groupon in another respect. So far, email has been an integral tool in getting customers to notice these deals (though Facebook's News Feed approach may prove quite effective). Even Google is going the email route with its Google Offers product.
The launch of MarkDown accentuates an important element of the deals space - the niche. While competition does continue to get more fierce in the realm of general daily deals (while merging with location-based services), there appears to be plenty of room for niche, vertical players who can cater to specific audiences, whether that simply be a geographic location or groups of people with similar interests.
As more of these niche sercvice emerge, the need for compreshensive deal aggregation is going to become more key. Services that can deliver relevant and timely deals from numerous providers to consumers will be getting significant customer attention.