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– Your marketing strategy must be tightly linked with marketing tactics. The classic four Ps of marketing, product, price, promotion, and place. Your strategy won’t succeed unless you execute it properly. Let’s look at how you make this linkage in pricing. Before I do that, let’s make sure you understand what a marketing strategy is. In its most simple form, strategy involves two choices. Which part of the overall market do you want to compete in? And, how you’ll compete, meaning how will you position your offering in a way that beats the competition? Every market has four parts that you can focus on. First, is your current, 100% loyal customers. They buy exclusively from you. Second, are those customers who buy only from your competitors. Third, are customers who buy from you and your competitors, I call them multi-brand customers. And finally, are potential customers who don’t buy anything from you or your competition. I call them non-category customers. They have a potential to become a customer if you give them a good reason. Take a look at this matrix, a good marketing strategist focuses most of their resources on one group at a time, based on which choice yields the best financial return. If you try to focus on more than one, you dilute your resources, and that becomes risky. As the old saying goes, fish where the fish are. Your pricing approach changes depending on what group you’re going after. So here’s how to make that link. If you’re going after non-category users, you set price based on the sum of all the sources of value, economic, emotional, and functional, minus any costs the customer has to bear to use your product. And then, you offer a temporary discount off this price to motivate the customer to try your product. To set price for your loyal customers, you take the same approach, value-based pricing. But then you offer them occasional discounts or other rewards to recognize their loyalty. When going after these two groups, you must avoid making comparisons between your products or services and your competitors. Only focus their attention on the value delivered for the price they pay. When you set prices for customers who use your competitor’s products, the approach is much different. In this case, you have to set your price relative to the competitor’s price. Now, here’s an important tip. Remember, price is a signal of value, and customers use that price to make comparisons between products and the value they bring. So, if your product is better than the competition, set your price higher. If it’s not as good as the competition, set your price lower. And if your products are identical to the competition’s, set your price exactly equal to their price. If you follow these guidelines, price now becomes a very useful piece of information for the customer. They’ll understand exactly what you’re trying to tell them. And most importantly, you’ve made that critical link between your marketing strategy and pricing strategy.
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