Regardless of price, value is always determined by the customer. And often, that value will rely upon how well the customer leverages your product or service. Many software or a service (SaaS) vendors utilize value-based selling to determine their price. That is, rather than pricing out a flat monthly rate or a rate based on usage, they work with the customer to determine the value the platform can provide and then work that back to a price that's equitable for both parties.
Here's an example… email marketing. I can sign up for one email marketing service for $75 per month or go with a premier service for $500 per month. If I don't promote the email and use it to upsell, acquire or retain customers, $75 per month is of little value and may be too much money to spend. If I went with the $500 per month service and they helped to develop my messaging, helped me to implement campaigns for upsell, acquisition and retention… I could succeed in leveraging email to drive hundreds of thousands of dollars. That's a great value and well worth the moneys paid.
There's a reason why marketers use percentages in their presentation to provide evidence of an increase in value for their products and services. If I switched to your product and it could save me 25% on my payment fees, for example, that means thousands of dollars to the business. But if your business pays millions of dollars of fees, the value of the product is much, much higher to your business than mine.
Marketers often make the mistake of defining a unique value proposition that defines a subjective value based on their opinion. This can lead to a gap in expectations between what you think your value is and what the customer identifies your value to be. An example: We work with many clients on their Search Engine Optimization. Clients who have solid platforms, agile marketing and development processes, and can implement significant changes to respond to the demands of the search engines get incredible value from our services. Clients who don't listen, don't implement the changes, and challenge our recommendations often suffer and don't realize the full value we could provide.
As you write your marketing content, there are strategies that will help:
- Utilize percentages in your value statements so that visitors do the math and calculate savings and improvements on their revenue statements rather than your customers.
- Provide use case scenarios, case studies, and best practices that help your visitors determine your value to their organization.
- Provide content that speaks directly to specific industries, company types, and audiences so that your visitors find similarities between your content and their own business.
- Provide testimonials from an array of customers, their titles and positions in the company, so that decision-makers who match those titles and positions can identify with them.
Some folks believe that value-based marketing and selling is somewhat deceptive. They believe that everyone should pay the same price. I would actually argue the opposite. Companies that have flat pricing regardless doesn't account for the customer and how they can leverage your products and services. Even worse – marketing that guarantees visits, ranking, revenue, etc. are terrible. They're front-loaded, money-down engagements so that you spend your money and leave when you don't get the results they promised. I'd rather work with a vendor who listened to me, understood my resources, recognized my needs, and worked to provide a price that both met my budget and provided the value I needed.