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Marketing Tip #1: Inflate Your Prices by 900%, then Offer 98% off

Published: July 11, 2011

Author: David Rodnitzky

I got a Groupon-like deal from Startups.com offering me “98% off” marketing consulting from a company called Clever Zebo (I like the name by the way). For just $39, I get “a 45 minute phone call with a specialist who will get all the information needed to revolutionize your company’s marketing strategy.”

Now I wasn’t a math major in college (and actually, I typically got a lot of C’s in math in high school), but if 45 minutes for $39 is 98%, that means the actual cost would normally be around $2700/hr. Assuming a 200 day work year, that works out to an annual rate of $5.4M. I’m pretty sure you could combine the annual salaries of the CMOs of Amazon, Google, eBay, and Microsoft and their salaries wouldn’t exceed $5.4M. So either Clever Zebo is an elite cadre of Fortune 50 CMOs (and they are all simultaneously talking to me for 45 minutes, which might actually be too many cooks in the kitchen anyways), or this deal is more than a wee-bit overpriced.
I checked out Clever Zebo’s team, and I’m going with the latter. Indeed, I actually know one of their team members, and while I can vouch for him as a very smart, talented guy, I’ll stop short of saying his advice is worth $5.4M a year.
Given some of the blowback Groupon has received from offering discounts on inflated pricing, I would think that other daily deal sites would be a little gun-shy about such tactics. Apparently not. In the meantime, I am offering a few daily deals of my own. Loyal readers, I’m pleased to announce Blogation’s “Sucker Born Every Minute” Deal Site! Today’s deals:

  • Snickers Bar: Regularly $1000, now just $1.50 (98% off)
  • Startups.com Membership: Regularly $500, now just $1 (98% off)
  • PPC Associates Consulting: Regularly $1M, now just $100K a month (90% off)
Limited supply so act now!

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