Thanks to Adrienne's "Summertime Marketing" course, my August numbers were the best they've ever been.  In the acupuncture and holistic healing world, August is typically one of the slowest months of the year.  Using the techniques and tips in Adrienne's class, not only was our August full with patients, it was one of the busiest months we've had since opening. 

That momentum has propelled us into the busiest 4th quarter we've ever had.  Thanks Adrienne!


Stacey Donelson, L.Ac.

Licensed Acupuncturist & Clinical Herbalist

  

Marketing Magician

Helping executives and business owners sell more in less time by revealing tips and suggestions on how to make the most of your marketing dollars.

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The Issue of Price

by in Business Marketing
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The Issue of Price

It wasn’t that long ago that I could state in my seminars and consultations that price is not the most important issue in the marketing of goods and services.

While price still isn’t the most important, it’s sure moved up a few notches since the advent of the Internet.

Actually, I believe that price became an ever-cheapening issue during the recession that began in 2008.  Then, people were suffering and truly needed some breaks on pricing.  And, of course, technology allows delivery at little to no cost.  Yet it’s gone too far.

When a company succeeds by getting its roster of free-lancers to design logos for $5.00, something’s wrong.  No, I don’t believe in the $30,000.00 logos that emerge from Madison Avenue; but artists who’ve been through extensive and expensive training deserve better.

At the root of this madness are artists who are simply not good businesspeople.  If someone will pay them $5.00 for a beautiful logo, why should anyone be willing to pay them a significantly higher rate the next time around?  Unfortunately, that’s what they’re hoping for.

There’s a truism when it comes to marketing:

It’s a lot easier to lower a price than to raise it.  Once you’re known as cheap, it’s difficult to re-position yourself or your company.

That’s why it’s so sad when higher-priced companies start buckling on price.  Of course it could be that their customer service and quality are no longer deserving of their pricing, and increasing numbers of people are taking notice.

Two examples come to mind, both manufacturers of women’s shoes.  

I love shoes, so I follow the industry pretty carefully.

There’s a manufacturer in Spain that creates magnificent shoes.  In 2008 my ex-husband (we remained friends after the divorce) bought me a gorgeous pair on sale in Florida.  I still wear them, always to admiring compliments; and they still look new.  Around 2011 or 2012, while in Florida, I went to a store with a huge selection of this brand.  They were priced at $149.00 and up, but they were now made in China.  That just ticked me off: same pricing, despite way lower manufacturing overhead.   I mentioned my disgust with this company to several friends and colleagues.

Shoe-shopping in Spain this summer with one of my daughters, we saw some of their shoes.  I even purchased a pair of their sandals, which are really different; better yet, in July there are sales galore.  Jennifer, knowing I always look to see where shoes are made, hunted high and low in the sandals I was about to purchase.  There was a tag about their corporate headquarters in Madrid, but nowhere was there any indication of where the shoes were made.  Given that I hadn’t seen a pair of shoes made in China during our spree, we believed these sandals were probably made in Spain.  We also agreed, however, that this company has received some negative feedback and is now being coy about its manufacturing locale.

Then there’s an American shoe company whose shoes I really admire.  They’re practical and stylish.  Last year I started seeing the term “faux leather” in their catalog.  I uttered a few four-letter words to myself, grumbling over their descent into lower quality for the sake of higher profits.  Last week I received their fall catalog.  The prices are slightly higher, but virtually all of their shoes are once again genuine leather.  Aha!  Market feedback wasn’t so good, I’d guess.  They returned to higher quality and higher pricing, which will hopefully be accepted, given their reputation before the faux leather fiasco.

How is your pricing?  

I’ve long stated that the synonym for “price” is “bottom line,” yet too many business owners allow the price to rise to the top line too quickly.  When someone asks, “”How much?” you’re under no obligation to answer.  That just leaves you open to complaints about cost.  A better response would be, “You know, I’ll be glad to discuss price, once I understand your needs and expectations.”  Get price off the top line.

Another bit about price:

Don’t create a sale for no good reason.  Unsold or discontinued merchandise or services – those are reasons.  Don’t, however, lower the price and continue to offer the same inclusions.  With lower pricing, some services should become add-ons.

It’s easy to follow friends’ advice about price, but too often they’re wrong.  After all, you know what’s right and best for your business.  It’s more realistic to consider how you as a shopper react to pricing, at different times, under various circumstances.  

Remember, marketing is a combination of common sense and The Golden Rule.


As we head into fourth quarter, it’s time to prepare a Marketing Plan for the rest of this year and for the next.  Be sure your Marketing Plan includes your Schmoozing Schedule. 

It’s not too late to prepare a Schmoozing Marketing Plan that integrates your Schmoozing Calendar.    

   

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Our “Do-able Marketing Plan” workbook is $59.95 (the e-version is $39.95). 

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Our e-Schmoozing Calendar, which presents ideas that are good all-year long, is $7.95. 

Order them both for a package price of $61.95.  
(Since this price is not on our website, call us at 970/282-1150 or email to azoble@azobleassoc.com.  No texting, please.)

The holidays are coming, and it’s all too easy to become distracted. 

Your business doesn’t stop, however, and your marketing shouldn’t either.  Take advantage of these resources to keep your business healthy and strong.    

On another note, we’re considering the creation of a “Schmoozing Handbook.”  We would welcome all input and your show of interest in purchasing such a product. Click Here to fill out our survey. (For informational purposes only.)

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Adrienne was a New Jersey public speaker and business expert for over THIRTY years. Now she’s a marketing and referral consultant. Denver and Northern Colorado have depended on her since her arrival here over 12 years ago.


Consulting and speaking to business owners and executives of growing businesses throughout the United States since 1977, Adrienne Zoble has guided companies toward marketing strategies that help them work smart, not hard.