Tag Archives: Analysis

3 Golden Rules of Pricing for Value

For any business setting the price of your products is one of the hardest decisions that you have to make (along with picking a brand name, choosing the logo colour, deciding on your range…!) There are a few different approaches that you can take, but the most important thing you need to do is build value. This post will discuss the role of value in pricing and show you the 3 golden rules for building your price on a value proposition.

What is Value?

Value is a perception. It’s the reason why a well cut, good fitting little black dress for $150 can be as savvy a purchase as buying 3 tanks for $20. The price paid is considerably different, but so is the expectation of quality, enjoyment and longevity. Value is the combination of all our feelings towards the item we are purchasing. To set the price, we need to understand the value of our product to our consumer.

Many years ago I was the category manager for a premium cosmetics and perfume company. When it came to setting the price on skin care products that were perceived to rewind the aging process, we set the price by analysing what the consumer would pay, based on what it was worth to them – the value they saw in the product. The product cost was around $10, yet the consumer valued it enough to be willing to pay well over ten times that amount.

In our post “How to Measure Success” we looked at how to analyse your gross profit and your wholesale margin, which are both valid ways to set your retail price. But some products are worth far more than they cost to produce, be it because of desired design, quality workmanship or inherent benefits, and this is where developing your price model around value is most beneficial.

3pricing for value profit margin Golden Rules of Pricing for Value

1.       Understand Value-Based Pricing

When you set price using a value based model your objective is to determine the level of satisfaction a customer derives from your product and what price they are prepared to pay for it. How valuable is the solution your product brings to their life? How long do they perceive it will last? How important are the attributes to them?

Defining value includes analysing tangible and intangible attributes – that is what we can and cannot touch. The price of a Mercedes-Benz is set by what the brand believes the consumer will pay. The value is based on what they can touch – leather seats, alloy wheels, superior styling; but also what they can’t – associations of prestige, confidence and luxury.

There is no formula for value-based pricing, as each product will have its own value. You may find it helpful to do a competitive review to see how others are pricing similar offers and also survey your target market to understand what your offer means to them.

2.       Create a Value Perception

Creating a value perception involves positioning your product or service in the market so that it is desirable. The more consumers want your product the more they will be willing to pay. How to do this depends very much on the type of product or service and who the target customer.

Generally speaking you can create positive value perceptions by paying attention to:

  • The presentation of your brand elements including your logo, brand name and website / store front
  • Building social media networks to have large numbers of engaged and active followers
  • Educating your target on the benefits your product can bring (remembering both the tangible and intangible)
  • Demonstrating brand advocacy through customer reviews and testimonials

 

3.       Maintaining your Value Proposition

When you use value-based pricing, your approach hinges on your target market buying into your offer and seeing the value in it. As it comes time to promote your product, the strategy you choose is critical. Thinking back to Mercedes-Benz, how often do you see an ad for Mercedes-Benz:

“Mercedes Benz A-Class, was $90,000, now $50,000. For three days only!”

A product that is marketed on its value needs to maintain that value and it can easily be tarnished. If you can sell your product for half the price you were charging, your consumer will start to question its true cost, and the value they see in it may decline.

Value adding strategies are the best way to maintain value in your product while creating new reasons to buy. The most well-known value add strategy is the free gift. Offering a free gift with purchase does not devalue the original product in any way, you may be directing some profit into funding the gift instead of using some profit to discount the gift.

Free gifts can also be used to drive multi unit purchases e.g. Spend $52 dollars to get your free gift, setting the spend qualifier above your key products.

With the rise of online stores, another strong value add offer is Free Postage on a required spend. Firstly, we suggest you have a flat postage rate in place e.g $6.95 Flat Fee Postage, that way you have created a value for the postage; then set a minimum spend to receive the postage free e.g. Free Postage on orders over $100. This will encourage multi unit purchases, delivering you more profit per transaction, helping you fund the free postage profitability.

Following the 3 golden rules of pricing for value has the potential to deliver you more profit than pricing to make a margin requirement. What is your product? Can you price for value? As part of our mini marketing plan, we analyse your competitors pricing models and give you recommendations on how you should price within the market. For more information visit our product page.

Until next time, V is for Value and I hope you found it valuable!

Mary-Anne

Advertisements

Qualitative and Quantitative Data in Market Research

Market research doesn’t have to be a pesky phone call during dinner; many of your customers would love to tell you what they think (if you’re willing to listen).

This post will outline how to ask the right questions to ensure your market research effort helps you with the planning and development of your business. The consideration of questionnaire design and its mix of qualitative and quantitative data collection will easily give you the insights you need to grow your business.

How to Conduct Market Research

Conducting market research can be as simple as posting a series of designs on your Facebook page and asking people to vote for which they like the most, to more in depth methods such as emailing your recent customers with 5 questions about their experience with you. It can also be  quite complex, by designing a multiple page survey through a survey interface and sending it out across multiple networks to measure attitudes and perceptions about the category you operate in.

Our first post on the Wise Up Marketing Blog was 5 Steps to host your own Census! (Or Market Research for Small Business), after being unnaturally excited by completing the 2011 Census. Here we explored 5 steps from defining your problem to designing your questionnaire. We followed up a week later with the post Turning Surveys into Solutions which gave an overview of how to analyse your responses and turn the data into answers for your marketing questions.

On reflecting on those two posts, I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to define your problem before you start. Market research is like detective work, you have a hunch but you need to collect all the clues before you know if you are right; you might even end up finding a whole new case to work on.

What is Qualitative Data?

Qualitative data are the answers we collect from our market research that are open ended. They are the responses we get in the respondent’s own words, not constricted by scales or structure. Qualitative data gives us the “why”, not the statistics and numbers.

We use qualitative research to gain insights into people’s attitudes, perceptions, behaviours and motivations. We collect qualitative data by asking open ended questions

E.g. ”What do you think?” “Tell me about a time….” “Explain why…”

We often need to use explorative techniques to draw out more information from respondents, as such qualitative data is best collected in face to face interviews, focus groups and (the dreaded) phone interviews.

Although it is not common to see open ended text boxes on surveys we all complete;

E.gUse this space to tell us any other thoughts”, “Is there anything else you would like to add”, “Describe why you like the first design”

It is not possible for us to “flesh out” those answers or clarify comments that seem more valuable. Most small business will not have the time or resources to run face to face market research and we don’t recommend attempting your own phone interviews. We recommend however still including open ended questions in your survey, with strong prompts;

e.g. describe; in your words; what do you think about; if you could have any feature

What is Quantitative Data?

When we told you qualitative data was not the statistics and numbers we held back telling you that is precisely what quantitative data is. Quantitative data tells us “how many” people think, feel or act in a particular way.

We collect quantitative data as part of our market research by asking closed questions that limit the way in which people can respond. These may be yes or no (dichotomous), multiple choice, rankings or rating scales.

These answers give you the “hard facts” and statistics and also allow you to compare different groups of people directly against each other:

e.g. 30% of Men liked our new design vs 20% of women

With quantitative data it is important to ensure you get a large volume of responses, as we use these responses to make generalisations. You don’t want to change your strategy because 80% of respondents didn’t like your product range, if only 5 people responded.

Feel free to download this infographic that’s a quick reference on Qualitative and Quantitative data. Qualitative and Quantitative data in Market Research

Market research is a marketing activity that can be undertaken for free, costing you just your time, but the benefits of getting to know your target market ensures your products and services are meeting their wants and needs; and that can lead to a more profitable and efficient business.

Until next week, Q is for Qualitative and Quantitative data and also Questions; do you have any you’d like answered? Drop me an email at Maryanne@wiseupmarketing.com.au

Mary-Anne

P.s. This will be the last post for the year; we will come back to the A-Z of Marketing with the letter R on January 12. Have a happy and healthy break, see you in 2012.

www.wiseupmarketing.com.au


How to Measure Success

In my very first blog post (5 Steps to Host Your Own Census) I made this huge confession:

“Being a passionate and dedicated Marketer, over the years I have become near obsessed with measuring; measuring results, measuring profitability and of course measuring the target market.”

So as M drew closer in the ‘A-Z of Marketing’ series I was filled with excitement and jotted on copious post-it notes the measurables I wanted to share with you.

Measuring your performance, not just financially, but also your connection with your consumer gives you a reality check. It uncovers the true effectiveness of your strategies and guides you in how to improve your business and stay ahead of the competition.

5 KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) for your Business

1. ROI (Return On Investment)

In the marketing sense ROI is used to analyse the profit on a campaign you have run, to determine the percent return on investment.The formula is:

Return on Investment Formula

This result would mean we had a 62.5% return on our investment. You will need to get a benchmark of what is acceptable for your own business and work to improve over time. A negative ROI means that you have lost money and in that case you would need to question the appropriateness of your strategy.

2. Wholesale Margin

Use this formula to determine the margin you are giving a retailer. Often the wholesale expectation sits between 45-55% of retail depending on the outlet.

Set the RRP you believe the market will accept for your product and then use this formula to calculate the wholesale margin you are giving to your retailer.

wholesale price formula

GST TIPS: To remove GST divide by 1.1, to add GST multiply x 1.1, to work out the GST component divide by 11

 3. GM (Gross Margin)

Use this formula to determine how much money you will make from each item you sell. As this is Gross Margin, we are only concerned with the costs associated with making the goods or service.

This is the key way we measure if a wholesale price requirement will be profitable for our business. The formula is:

gross margin formula calculation

4. CTR (Click Through Rate)

The CTR tells us how many people are clicking through (clicks) our online advertisement as a percentage of the total times our ad was shown (impressions). We measure CTR on the banner and badge advertising we do on websites and also when we undertake pay per click campaigns E.g. Google AdWords, Facebook Ads. The formula is:

Click Through Rate Formula

The CTR benchmark is different by business and will differ based on whether you operate in a broad or niche category. The DoubleClick Benchmarks Report, published in 2010  lists 0.10% as the CTR benchmark on static online ads.

5. CPV (Cost Per View)

We recommend our clients estimate a CPV when approached with an advertising opportunity. We are all often wondering “Should I advertise in this publication?” and “Is this advertising opportunity worth it? Measuring the CPV helps you to break down the advertising costs and assess them at a leads level. If you could buy a mailing list for $1,000 and it gave you 1,000 names you would say it was a $1 per sales lead. Similarly CPV is calculated with the formula:

Cost Per View

You would then evaluate the CPV against how valuable the lead is. Further you may want to take the distribution and cut it down to what you believe is your target market, e.g. the distribution is 20,000 of which 5,000 are your target, say Elderly Couples on the Pension, you then would work out the CPV against just your target:

2,500
5,000

=$2

 Your CPV has increased greatly, but with few mediums that get in front of that target and the targets affinity with local newspapers, we would say it is a reasonable CPV.

Check your Web Stats to Monitor Web Traffic

If you have a website (is it even worth asking anymore?) you may feel uncertain at times as to whether anyone visits it, if it’s working as hard as it can for you and most importantly, is it converting browsers into customers.

Your web stats are measuring every interaction browsers are having on your website, all you need to do is logon and analyse them.

The two stats we pay the most attention to are both functions of time. When we undertake a Website Effectiveness Audit, firstly we look at the Bounce Rate. This is given as a percent and tells us how many people landed on our page and clicked off (bounced) straight away. A high bounce rate tells you that the majority of traffic to your site are arriving and deciding instantly you’re not the right fit. Work on decreasing your bounce rate by improving your home page appeal or direct traffic to the page most relevant to them e.g. product page, location page etc.

Dwell Time, is the other time based base measurement we encourage you to look at. Once we remove the people that ‘bounced’, we want to know how long the rest of our traffic stayed for. These are usually presented in bands of time e.g. 0-30 seconds, 31 – 2 minutes etc. Again we want our traffic to stay as long as possible, browse many pages and convert. If you have a very low dwell time, work on engagement with your traffic, add more images, a video, a blog, FAQs, any valuable content that will increase the time your potential consumer spends on your site, getting to know you.

We run a Website Effectiveness Audit for just $49.95 which includes a “Traffic Light Report” on how your website is performing, please get in contact if you would like to know more.

When you set out to measure success you need to remember that success looks different to everyone (and to every business). The key is to benchmark against realistic targets for your business.  Focus on how to be more profitable whilst exceeding your customer’s needs and your business will continue to grow.

Until next week M is for Measurement and also for Making it to the halfway Mark in the A-Z of Marketing!

Mary-Anne

www.wiseupmarketing.com.au


Get Competitive with your Competitors

Competitors are the concern of all businesses, no matter their size. Too often we wait until sales have dropped unexpectedly or enquires are down until we look at what the competition are doing. In this post we will discuss how to get competitive with your competitors, to ensure you stay at the front of the pack and connect with your target market.

How to Identify your Competitors

When we ask our clients who they see as their competitors, they always have a list of 3 or 4 businesses offering the same or similar product or service. When we do our competitive analysis as part of our Mini Marketing plan, we generally find quite a few more.

Why the difference? As a business owner, when you look for competitors you tend to think as a business owner. “My business is selling flowers online. What other major online florists are there?” When we identify competitors for a client, we
think like a consumer “My mum’s birthday is coming up, what could I get delivered to her?” All of a sudden we find fruit baskets, chocolate hampers and gift vouchers as competitors for our online florist.

We see most businesses as having two types of competition:

Direct Competitors

These are the companies offering the same or similar product or service. These are our most obvious competitors, but not always our biggest. E.g. Gilette vs Schick Razor, Cornflakes vs Weet Bix, Channel 7 vs Channel 10 etc

Indirect Competitors

These are the substitutes for our type of product or service. These are not always as obvious and are where we need to think like our consumer and understand the options available to them. E.g. Razors vs Wax Strips, Cereal vs Toast, TV vs
watching a DVD etc

So to identify your competitors, consider the substitute categories too and you will have a more complete idea of who your competitors are.

Update your Market Analysis

Many businesses start off with a Business Plan or a Marketing Plan or some points in a notebook on how they could turn their hobby into an income stream. As part of this planning process, formally or not, we tend to do a Market Analysis.

We ask ourselves:

  • Where does my offer sit in the market?
  • Is there demand for it?
  • Are there competitors? Are they doing a good job?
  • Is the market saturated with offers or is it fairly open for a new entrant?
  • Is that market a good size or is it small and niche?
  • What are consumers willing to pay?
  • What is my competitive advantage?

We do a fairly thorough job in attempting to answer those questions. We launch our business and we rarely reassess. When we ask our clients who they see as their competition, they stop and think, they even do
some fresh research and overwhelmingly we hear “Wow! Now that I’m looking I’ve noticed a few more have popped up”.

We recommend a scheduled maintenance program (just like servicing your car)

Competitor Analysis Schedule

Don’t Get Mad, Get Even

Just like when you launched and took share from other players, new businesses are launching all the time and a few are after your piece of the pie, these competitors want to take your consumers and make them their own.

If you follow our scheduled maintenance program above, we are sure your top 5 list of competitors will be constantly changing and we are sure you will find new entrants that look and sound surprisingly (and frustratingly)
like they are trying to be you!

It’s a compliment really; they are competing with you because you are on their top 5 list. Your business is being perceived as successful, credible and desirable and so you are a threat.

The best way to get even is to be even better at what you do. With our scheduled maintenance program, every month you are going to review your top 5 competitors and as part of that you should look at:

  • What part/s of their offer is stronger than yours?
  • What part/s of their offer is weaker than yours?
  • How are they promoting?
  • How many touch point’s they have? E.g. Website, Storefront, Blog, Twitter, Facebook Page, Newsletter
  • How you can stay up to date with their touch points E.g. Subscribe, Like, Follow, Visit

Then take that information and learn from it. Learn how to put your own spin on what you see as working well for the competition. For example, if you are an online florist and a competitor has just put up a section on what flower for what occasion, think how you could implement a similar page, but in a way that it reflects your brand and its communication style.

Competing with your competitors requires you to invest time in monitoring the competition regularly. At a minimum, aim to do the annual review – you’ll be glad you did! We offer a thorough competitive review a part of our Mini Marketing Plan package and sometimes it really works to have an outsider look in with a fresh perspective. Get in touch if you’d like to know more.

Until next week C is for Competition and also for creativity.


A is for Analysis

To start at the very beginning is a very good place to start (or so we have heard), so where better to start our A to Z of Marketing than at A.

A is for Analysis. When I started in marketing well over a decade ago, the era of the long lunch, the fluffy campaign and the big budget with no accountability were on the way out (poor me) and ROI (return on investment), measurement and metrics were the new rage. It suited me fine as I am a numbers girl at heart, but over the years I have had staff come and go with the terrible realisation that todays marketing roles are almost accounting roles in disguise (with better shoes and more interesting events).

5 Easy Areas for Analysis

1. Analyse your Web Traffic Stats – if you have a website, you have access to very valuable information just waiting to be analysed! It is believed that a new visitor to your website spends around 6 seconds deciding whether your business meets their needs, is credible and trustworthy. So how do you know if you are succeeding?

By analysing your website traffic you can begin to understand:
– where traffic enters and exits your site
-how long they stay
-what pages are browsed; and
-sometimes even demographic information.

Half a day a month spent analysing your website traffic can give you some powerful insights into how to adapt your page to ensure you are maximising your traffic.

2. Analyse your Current Customers – if you sell a product, you have already succeeded in connecting with your target consumer. They found you, they trusted you; and they have initiated a relationship with you and your business. Asking each customer a few questions as part of your checkout process gives you the opportunity to collate data that you can analyse. Consider asking “Where did you hear about us?” “What’s your favourite Website?”. A quick question can give you a deeper understanding of who your consumer is and will help you target your message to them.

3. Analyse your Past Performance – when we do our Mini Marketing Plan for our clients, the first step we take is to have them fill out our Business Analysis Tool, which is really a survey of the business’ past. We use this tool to analyse what the business has done and also to consider what has and hasn’t worked before to find clues as to what the target consumer might be like. You can analyse past performance by looking at the results you received and then interpreting what they mean. For example, you have distributed over 500 flyers with an offer (always use a coupon code so you know where the responses have come from) but you only received 5 redemptions. You sent an email out to 100 subscribers with the same offer and got 25 redemptions. On analysing this I would think that perhaps your target consumer responds better to offers they can instantly action or your consumer doesn’t pay attention to flyers. I would analyse over a period of time and if this trend held true, I may decide not to use flyers anymore.

4. Analyse your Competitors – when sales are down and enquiries have gone quiet don’t go straight to market with a deal or fear the end is coming. Analyse your competitors. This is as easy as searching for your product or service, and seeing what comes up. Think like your consumers; how did they find you? Are you a bakery? Do most people find you by walking past? Go for a walk around the local area. Has something else popped up that you didn’t know? Look at the supermarket, have they changed their pricing strategy. Or do you sell Dog Outfits online? Start searching in different ways “cute dog clothes“, “designer puppy outfit“, “dress for my dog“, look at the websites that come up, think your consumer could shop at any of these, analyse the strengths and weaknesses and form strategies of how you can improve your offer.

5. Analyse your Profitability – profitability put simply is income minus your expenses, but do you keep track of all your expenses? So many small businesses muddle the line between the owners and the business and expenses are often covered by an owner without them being factored in against the income of the business to really understand profitability. Analyse the profitability of your business as a whole every 3 months or so. Think of it like a household budget – add up all the payments in, then take away every single expense incurred to determine whether you made a profit or a loss. Analyse the expenses to see if savings can be made. Also analyse the profitability of individual campaigns. For example, if you advertise in a publication for $1,000, and your product delivers you $10 profit per sale, you will need to sell 100 products for the campaign to be profitable. Unless you go back and analyse campaign profitability, you can’t be sure it is a cost-effective way to target your consumer.

What analysis do you do in your business? Are you often surprised by the results?

Until next week, here is some more of what A is for http://www.enchantedlearning.com/Aisfor.shtml

Mary-Anne Amies

Wise Up Marketing Solutions


%d bloggers like this: