Speaking of experience, I came across a term some years ago that explained what I was already doing in my marketing, and explained how I was able to get the highest prices. The term “experiential marketing” is sort of an unusual, obscure term, but is key to getting the highest prices for your service. In his book Experiential Marketing, Bernd H. Schmitt states:
Today, customers take functional features and benefits, product quality, and a positive brand image as a given. What they want is products, communications, and marketing campaigns that dazzle their senses, touch their hearts and stimulate their minds. They want products communications and campaigns that they can relate to and that they can incorporate into their lifestyles. The want products, communications, and marketing campaigns to deliver an experience…
Notice that it says to deliver an experience in the marketing campaign. Hopefully all of us know that we must create the most unique and powerful experience when we actually serve our clients. But what this is saying is that it is created in the marketing campaign. Interesting.
The quote goes on to say:
The degree to which a company is able to deliver a desirable customer experience (in the marketing) and to use information technology, brands, and integrated communications and entertainment to do so, will largely determine its success in the global marketplace of the new millennium.
You may not be concerned about the “global marketplace” in your industry, but the degree to which we understand and implement this concept determines the degree of success we will have in getting higher prices.
What is the marketing message of most business owners? How do average, everyday businesses advertise their services? If your industry is like most, you will find that the message is either about price or about how they do their work. If you sell a product, it’s all about the features of the product.
Let’s deal with price advertising first. Price advertising comes in many different ways. The most common type of price advertising is placing an ad that offers a low price. But that’s not the only type of price advertising. The way that you carry yourself as the business owner is a reflection of the value of your service experience.
How you dress, what your company materials look like, what your office looks like, how you answer your telephone, etc. You see, you will take up a position in the marketplace, just by existing. The question is whether you will take up the position that you want or not. You have to design and create your position, rather than letting it happen by accident.