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Five Reasons Your Advertising Shouldn't Lead With Price

November 30, 2010  

Especially in this economy, small businesses are tripping over themselves to tell customers about their low, low prices. But in an article at MarketingProfs, Dan Hill argues strenuously against price-leading campaigns and gives reasons like these:

It is not a sustainable long-term strategy. "One of the key advantages of a sale is the element of surprise," he says. And the stopping power of a low price will fade quickly when repeated surprises lose their power to surprise.

It reminds people that they're paying money they don't want to pay. Research has shown that any price tag produces disgust in a buyer's mind. A discounted price doesn't cause positive feelings—it simply lessens the degree of disgust.

It shifts a customer's mind from right-brain emotion to left-brain analysis. "That's a bad tradeoff, given that everyone feels before they think," he notes. Especially when you consider an IPA study that found "emotion-oriented campaigns generate twice as much profitability as traditional, hard-sell, reasoning-oriented campaigns."

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  • by Vegas Bob Tue Nov 30, 2010 via web

    The price war is a war no one wins.

  • by David Tue Nov 30, 2010 via web

    I don't believe there is a "one size fits all". I think what you are saying does apply quite a bit of the time, especially offline, but I run our clients' paid search campaigns. Most of our clients are hotel/resort/casino clients. One client is a very high end hotel/resort (room nights starting at $400+ per night).

    When creating text ads or display ads (for DR purposes) I make certain I include the price point. In this case it isn't about competing on price. It's about prequalify potential traffic.

    Not everyone can or is willing to to pay $400/night and I include the price to make sure those people do not click on the ads. There are very few keywords/placements you can target which ONLY reach those people who do fall in your target.

    As far as brand loyalty, people who are familiar with the property (and search for it by name) are likely to know the price range to expect.

  • by Jeffrey Summers Tue Dec 7, 2010 via web

    You're right David, there is not "one size fits all" marketing strategy but there are self-evident truths and one of them is that you can create a commodity at any price point. Using price as a "filter" is also totally antithetical to playing at a higher price point to begin with.

    You lead with your brand's best attribute and that is never price.

  • by Kapil Thu May 3, 2012 via web

    great article ! it saved me from one big potential threat, as we were about to start on a campaign with Low Budget websites ... while I always had an inner feeling that the QUALITY that we provide should be prime factor for marketing.. but was a bit forced due to market circumstances...

    now, I am quite sure, that Quality can be the best attribute to focus than the price ... those who are looking low price, will certainly not bring great experience or margins ...

    Thanx Jeffrey !

  • by Vinod Tue Jul 10, 2012 via web

    Thanks for this article. Wish I follow it.

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