Making the World Go Round: Why Companies Should Confront the Issue of Pricing in Marketing
One of the most difficult parts of car and/or home ownership is that you could only have a vague idea on how much these things are going to cost you in the long run. Oh sure, chances are high that you know the cost of the actual car and/or the property but it’s hard to quantify just how much money is going to go down the drain for the purpose of upkeep. Utility rates tend to fluctuate over the course of the year and your total bill is going to vary depending on usage. By the same token, fuel prices too tend to fluctuate and the amount you spend on fuel also varies depending on how much you drive. Making decisions would be much easier if you know how much one decision is going to cost you but as the kids like to say, “it be like that sometimes”.
It boggles my mind then to see businesses being so hesitant to publish pricing information in their websites and in social media. I understand that some businesses, such as bespoke suit makers, law firms and other professional services, don’t do this simply because they’re unable to but I’ve seen more than a few businesses with simple business models that still insist for potential customers to get a quote directly from them instead of just making that information publicly available. The issue of pricing is one of the main factors that potential customers use for considerations, making it important for marketers and content marketing services to make pricing information available in their marketing materials.
All the money in the world
If you’re the kind of person who has lived their whole lives never actually needing money for anything, you might not know this, but people all over the world tend to base quite a large percentage of their decisions based on money. I never realized for example just how how expensive computer software can be until I arrived at a point where I’m required to own an office suite of my own upon which I realized the actual cost of entry for the full Microsoft Office suite. It was then I made the conscious decision to go with a free alternative in the form of LibreOffice and Google Docs and I haven’t looked back since.
I still use Microsoft Windows for my own PC since Linux isn’t exactly a viable alternative when it comes to gaming which illustrates the point I’m trying to make when it comes to money. I prefer to not spend them needlessly if I can but when it comes to something that I consider to be important, I want to know first just how much it’s going to cost me. In my circle of friends, I’m considered to be fairly generous in my spending which is actually pretty hilarious as most of my friends make considerably more money than my underachieving self but I digress. The cost advantage is what helps services like Agoda and Booking.com thrive as they allow users to compare prices easily.
I do understand that sometimes, making pricing information publicly available can seem a little crude. That being said, given how the internet and search engines have made it astoundingly easy for you to have your questions answered no matter how absurd, deliberately hiding pricing information from potential customers would result in nothing more than giving your potential customers simply another hurdle to jump over which can get incredibly annoying. If this is how your business has been operating so far, hopefully the reasons I’m about to go into will be able to convince you otherwise.
Anything and everything can be looked up from Google
A couple years ago, there was this one short period where I flirted about having a gym membership before thinking better of it and simply exercise by running my usual route added by a series of exercises I found online. During that short period, it dawned on me just how secretive most gyms are about their membership fees. Quite literally none of the gyms in around where I live make this information publicly available and I had to look each one of them up on Google and found a blog entry that posts a detailed comparison between several of the gyms I had my eye on.
As I’ve pointed out earlier, Google has made searching for an answer considerably easier and since potential customers can get this information on their own anyway, why not make sure that said information comes directly from you? Making this information available also has the added advantage of making sure that the information is correct as it’s possible that a potential customer has backed away from your business because of incorrect pricing information that has portrayed your business as being considerably more expensive than it actually is. As disappointing as it is, money makes the world go round.
Pricing information serves to funnel potential customers
Not everyone who is interested in what you have to offer is going to turn into paying customers. Sometimes it’s because you are out of their price range or it could be because your value proposition isn’t what they’re looking for. For example, someone who’s not interested in jeans might scoff at spending $250 on a 17 ounce unsaforized selvedge Japanese denim but for those with a discerning eye for high-end denim, that’s actually a pretty interesting deal.
My point is, publicly making this information available upfront can act as some sort of a funnel so that you could separate the wheat from the chaff. Why spend time and effort trying to woo a potential customer only to see the deal fall apart once the issue of money enters the picture? In 90% of the time, potential customers already have a budget in mind and it doesn’t really matter if your product meets all of the superlatives you’ve been touting if the product is outside that budget.
If you can deal with it now, why wait?
The issue of pricing is something you’re going to be dealing with eventually so why wait? In fact, I’m willing to bet that if a business deliberately hides their pricing information, it’s going to be the very first thing potential customers ask. I’ve seen this play out in dozens of comment sections on Instagram and it got so bad that a bespoke shoe maker I’m familiar with went the extra mile of posting pricing information from some of their previous works just to give potential customers an idea of how much each project is going to cost which goes to show just how much the issue of pricing can important for customers.