Tip of the Day Archives

How To Raise Prices?!

Why do so many people lose at the game of business? The number one reason companies fail is, simply, their costs are low.

How To Raise Prices?!

Unless you are incredibly well capitalized, you shouldn’t try to offer the lowest prices in your marketplace. Bragging that you’re competitive on cost will not gain more customers.

For 25 years we’ve revealed companies, even whole industries, the best way to raise profits by increasing their prices, including those who think, “But our industry is so competitive.” Every industry from insurance to heavy gear to fundraising is competitive.

Trying to match or conquer others on cost is a suicide mission, not a business practice. Increased gross profits are needed by your business service and to enlarge customers. You and cost questions must raise yours.

There is no firm that can not raise prices if more customers understand a few easy hints:

1. Just Increase Price. You don’t need a cause or justification to raise costs, simply do it. Try increasing your prices, even a little, and see whether it stays. If you’re scared to raise the cost, bundle products and services to increase your average sales price.

2. Magic of choices. When you show the price of a service or product, consistently offer services or alternate products to make logical sense of price.

3. Menu pricing. Folks believe what they see more than what they hear. We did this in the automobile industry that is highly competitive. It increased profits $400 per automobile.

Contrary to popular belief, selling your services or products at the lowest cost does not make customers more loyal or more happy. The customers that cause you the most problem generally are the one.

These three strategies work whether you sell a a product or a service, a tangible or intangibles, high-end products that are expensive or entry level trinkets, in all industries.

We really do get what we pay for, so sell value and the entire especial experience connected with what you’ve got to offer. Unafraid to raise price.

 

Entrepreneur.com

Most small businesses have modest marketing budgets, which means you have to make every dollar count. Here are some ways to get big results from a small budget.

Marketing Budget: Same Amount - Bigger Result

1. First, use your ads for more than just space advertising. Ads are expensive to produce and expensive to run. But there are ways to get your advertising message in your prospect’s hands at a fraction of the cost of space advertising.

The least expensive is to order an ample supply of reprints and distribute them to customers and prospects every chance you get. When you send literature in response to an inquiry, include a copy of the ad in the package. This reminds a prospect of the reason he responded in the first place and reinforces the original message.

Distribute ads internally to other departments–engineering, production, sales, customer service and R&D–to keep them up to date on your latest marketing and promotional efforts. Make sure your salespeople receive an extra supply of reprints and are encouraged to include a reprint when they write to or visit their customers.

Turn the ad into a product data sheet by adding technical specifications and additional product information to the back of the ad reprint. This eliminates the expense of creating a new layout from scratch. And it makes good advertising sense, because the reader gets double exposure to your advertising message.

Ad reprints can be used as inexpensive direct mail pieces. You can mail the reprints along with a reply card and a sales letter. Unlike the ad, which is “cast in concrete,” the letter is easily and inexpensively tailored to specific markets and customer groups.

If you’ve created a series of ads on the same product or product line, publish bound reprints of the ads as a product brochure. This tactic increases prospect exposure to the series and is less expensive than producing a brand new brochure.

If your ads provide valuable information of a general nature, you can offer reprints as free educational material to companies in your industry. Or, if the ad presents a striking visual, you can offer reprints suitable for framing.

Use your ads again and again. You will save money – and increase frequency – in the process.

2. If something works, stick with it. Too many marketers scrap their old promotions and create new ones because they’re bored with their current campaign. That’s a waste. You shouldn’t create new ads or promotions if your existing ones are still accurate and effective. You should run your ads for as long as your customers read and react to them.

How long can ads continue to get results? The Ludlow Corp. ran an ad for its erosion-preventing Soil Saver mesh 41 times in the same journal. After 11 years it pulled more inquiries per issue than when it was first published in 1966.

If a concept still has selling power but the promotion contains dated information, update the existing copy – don’t throw it out and start from scratch. This approach isn’t fun for the ad manager or the agency, but it does save money.

3. Don’t over present yourself. A strange thing happens to some entrepreneurs when they get a little extra money in the ad budget: they see fancy four-color brochures, gold embossed mailers and fat annual reports produced by Fortune 500 firms. Then they say, “This stuff sure looks great–why don’t we do some brochures like this?”

That’s a mistake. The look, tone and image of your promotions should be dictated by your product and your market–not by what other companies in other businesses put out.

Producing literature that’s too fancy for its purpose and its audience is a waste of money. And it can even hurt sales – your prospects will look at your overdone literature and wonder whether you really understand your market and its needs.

4. Use “modular” product literature. One common advertising problem is how to promote a single product to many small, diverse markets. Each market has different needs and will buy the product for different reasons. But on your budget, you can’t afford to create a separate brochure for each of these tiny market segments.

The solution is modular literature. This means creating a basic brochure layout that has sections capable of being tailored to meet specific market needs. After all, most sections of the brochure – technical specifications, service, company background, product operation, product features – will be the same regardless of the audience. Only a few sections, such as benefits of the product to the user and typical applications, need to be tailored to specific readers.

In a modular layout, standard sections remain the same, but new copy can be typeset and stripped in for each market-specific section of the brochure. This way, you can create different marketspecific pieces of literature on the same product using the same basic layout, mechanicals, artwork and plates. Significant savings in time and money will result.

5. Use article reprints as supplementary sales literature. Marketing managers are constantly bombarded by requests for “incidental” pieces of product literature. Engineers want data sheets explaining some minor technical feature in great detail.

Reps selling to small, specialized markets want special literature geared to their particular audience. And each company salesperson wants support literature that fits his or her individual sales pitch. But the ad budget can only handle the major pieces of product literature. Not enough time or money exists to satisfy everybody’s requests for custom literature.

The solution is to use article reprints as supplementary sales literature. Rather than spend a bundle producing highly technical or application-specific pieces, have your sales and technical staff write articles on these special topics. Then, place the articles with the appropriate journals.

Article reprints can be used as inexpensive literature and carry more credibility than self-produced promotional pieces. You don’t pay for layout or printing of the article. Best of all, the article is free advertising for your firm.

6. Explore inexpensive alternatives for lead generation, such as banner advertising, organic search and PR. Many smaller firms judge marketing effectiveness solely by the number of leads generated. They are not concerned with building image or recognition; they simply count bingo-card inquiries.

New-product press releases lead the list as the most economical method of generating leads. Once, for less than $100, I wrote, printed and distributed a new-product release to 100 trade journals. Within six months, the release had been picked up by 35 magazines and generated 2,500 bingo-card inquiries.

Post all your press releases in a media or press section of your website. Optimize your press releases with key word phrases to draw more organic search traffic.

7. Do not overpay for outside creative talent. Hire freelancers and consultants whose credentials – and fees – fit the job and the budget.

Top advertising photographers, for example, get $1,000 a day or more. This may be worth the fee for a corporate ad running in Forbes or Business Week. But it’s overkill for the employee newsletter or a publicity shot. Many competent photographers can shoot a good black-and-white publicity photo for $200 to $250.

When you hire consultants, writers, artists, or photographers, you should look for someone whose level of expertise and cost fits the task at hand.

8. Do it yourself. Tasks such as distributing press releases or creating simple squeeze pages can usually be done cheaper in-house than outside. Save the expensive agency or consultant for tasks that really require their expertise.

If you do not have a marketing manager or assistant, consider hiring a full-time or part-time administrative assistant to handle the detail work involved in managing your company’s marketing. This is a more economical solution than farming administrative work out to the agency or doing it yourself.

9. Get maximum mileage out of existing content (text and images).Photos, illustrations, layouts and even copy created for one promotion can often be lifted and reused in other pieces to significantly reduce creative costs. For example, copy created for a corporate image ad can be used as the introduction to the annual report.

Also, you can save rough layouts, thumbnail sketches, headlines and concepts rejected for one project and use them in future ads, mailings and promotions.

10. Pay your vendors on time. Why? You’ll save money by taking advantage of discounts and avoiding late charges when you pay vendor invoices on time. And, you’ll gain goodwill that can result in better service and fairer prices on future projects.

Robert W. Bly

Entrepreneur.com

Pinterest – How It Works?!

Pinterest has become hard to ignore. If you need proof, take a look at this article about how Pinterest has surpassed email in social sharing. That’s a major shift.

Coming up with the right Pinterest strategy – or deciding whether to use the service at all – can be a challenge. The good news is that there are a few basic rules you can use to home in on the right way to employ boards for your brand.

1. If you’re managing a lifestyle brand, Pinterest is your oyster.

Pinterest is made for lifestyle brands. Your customers expect to see amazing photos of your products, from food to clothes to electronics.

Don’t forget that Pinterest enables you to express the brand in many more ways than just product. For example, Sonos makes music systems, so its Pinterest board of music-related tattoos is in line with the brand, but isn’t just a bunch of photos of speakers.

Pinterest-How-it-works-Infinite-Profit

Sample board: Sonos’s Tattooed Tunes

2. If you’re managing a ‘boring’ brand, get creative.

You don’t have to manage a lifestyle brand to take advantage of Pinterest to gain awareness. The trick is to get creative with what you share, and create partnerships with your customers and like-minded pinners.

Don’t be afraid to offer humor, as in the example below, which stays true to the heart and soul of the General Electric brand while winking at online culture at large.

Pinterest-How-it-works-Infinite-Profit

Sample boardGE’s Hey Girl

3. Got graphics? There’s a board for that.

Or at the very least you can make a Board for that. Data visualization is perfect for Pinterest, especially if the data in question is amusing, timely, or interesting.

Even better: If you’re able to get across a core brand message by making it one of those three things. These can be relatively simple (but colorful) graphics as shown in the example below fromThe Wall Street Journal, or they can be more elaborate infographics.

Pinterest - How it works - Infinite Profit

Sample boardWSJ’s Graphics

4. Pick colors that pop–or maybe stark black and white.

The most eye-catching pins tend to be those with bright colors and plenty of contrast, as on Benjamin Moore’s Doors Board.

Another tactic is to create a board with bold shapes or contrasting patterns. Or try for a black and white theme, like the popular example below from One Kings Lane.

Pinterest - How it works - Infinite Profit

Sample boardOne Kings Lane’s Black & White

5. Get introspective with B2B.

Business-to-business marketing is a difficult on Pinterest, but there’s still an opportunity to raise brand awareness, not to mention give potential customers–or job candidates–an inside look into your company culture.

At the very least, the platform can be a useful HR tool, whether it’s inspiring creativity and camaraderie among employees, or providing a peek for potential hires. No surprise here that the prime example below is a social media tool itself.

Pinterest - How it works - Infinite Profit

Sample boardHootsuite’s #HootsuiteLife

As for what doesn’t work, be sure to space out your pinning with reasonable timing. No one wants his or her feed overtaken by one board all at once. Also, remember that Pinterest is mostly an evening and weekend activity, so try not to pin too much early in the week.

Finally, don’t leave things blank; you want to have plenty of details on your profile page and provide a description for each pin. If you follow the rules of thumb and avoid the pitfalls, you’re sure to use Pinterest fully to the advantage of your brand.

 

Carm Lyman

Entrepreneur.com

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