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Small Business Marketing Lessons: Learning something from Gas Prices

OK, we're all a little bit steamed about rising gas prices. But from a marketer's perspective, I've found a new reason to get steamed. It's the "immediate price increase" capability that gas stations now have. Just as recently as a year or two ago, most gas stations made price changes using a long pole with a suction cup at one end.

But now, a price advance is just a mouse click away. In fact, on more than one occasion I've driven past the same gas station an hour later and seen the price go up. This causes the subconscious to become a little frantic, I think.

I mean what if your grocery store placed a digital price sign above milk? And the price fluctuated constantly? Wouldn't you be just a bit skittish as you headed over to the dairy aisle every time you shopped there?

Two things to remember:
1) Use an analytical approach when raising your prices. Study what effect it will have on tiers of your customers.

2) Communicate a LOT about why your prices have to increase. Explain to buyers why prices are going up. They'll understand.

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June 30, 2008 in Small Business Marketing | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Small business marketing mistakes - Self-servicing service

Unfortunately this is going to turn into a small business marketing rant, but what happened yesterday gets to the core of what's wrong with many small business' marketing efforts.

I'm coming up on the end of my car lease and so scheduled a lease inspection with an independent firm hired by Honda, my car make. I was told that I could schedule an on-site inspection at my home...great. Then I was asked to choose "8 to noon" or "1 to 5". Most of us have been that route before with the cable companies.

After pressing them to see if there wasn't a more accomodating schedule I was told no. Fine. So I scheduled an appointment for 8 to noon.

Yesterday, I waited and waited and waited to get a phone call, an email, or some form of communication telling me when I could expect to see my inspector. Nothing. Finally at 11:45, after I canceled a lunch appointment, my guy showed up.

Sure, I object to the 8-noon and 1-5 approach because it's at THEIR convenience not mine. But even more so, I object to not receiving any sort of communication from them about the progress the inspector was making.

Let this be a lesson for your small business marketing efforts. Every form of interaction should at least attempt to be seen as being made at your customer's convenience, not yours. Anything less than that is self-serving service.

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June 4, 2008 in Small Business Marketing | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack