Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

FE, Education & Business Marketing: Quick, Effective, Low Cost Marketing

Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

Category: Communications

Why You Must Break the Rules

Screwfix billboardIn Advertising Secrets: Essential Advertising Tips That Advertising Sales Reps Prefer You NOT To Know, I Proposed Certain Rules.

Now I’m going to tell you to break them. 

Let me explain. When I wrote Advertising Secrets I said you should never start an advert with the name of the business. My logic was that you are selling your offer and not the business.  So the advert might be for “grass reared steaks”.  Anyone thinking about buying steaks or something for dinner will quickly engage with that message.  But they aren’t as likely to engage with Stefan Drew & Sons …. even if I added the word butcher underneath. 


And if people don’t instantly engage they are extremely unlikely to get pass the headline to those juicy steaks.  Of course if you use images of mouthwatering steaks with a small headline that is a good way to overcome the headline issue.  Best of all would be the mouthwatering image with words like “succulent grass reared steaks” as a large headline. You can add the call to action and add the business name later.


But You Must Break Rules Sometimes

The poster image above is an example of where adding the name first is actually preferable. People in construction know Screwfix and it will engage them …especially if the image reinforces this. If you can then just add a few words like Kensington Now Open in very large print you have delivered a powerful message in just FOUR WORDS. 


The Call to Action (CTA) is very simple .. it’s Find us on Kensington High Street. 


As Harry Day once said, 

“Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men”.

I say, some rules need breaking once in a while. 

Should You Put Your Prices On Your Website?

What is the Value of Putting Prices on a Website? 

I’m often asked if prices should go onto a website.  To be honest the answers depends on the product or service you sell and how you sell it. And it doesn’t apply just to your website; this advice applies to your printed material as well. 

Let’s face it if Amazon didn’t quote prices then it wouldn’t sell anything.  The fact is it is an online retailer.  So obviously it must put prices online.

But what if you don’t sell online?  For example you might be a painter and decorator. You can hardly say it costs £x.xx per room or building as rooms and buildings are all different. 

And if you sell consumable products you don’t want to get into a price war where your competitors can undercut you. That way lies madness as low prices mean no profit and bankruptcy.

In this case you want to demonstrate some of the benefits of dealing with you rather than a competitor. Make it things they can’t or will not do. It might be things like same day delivery or free refills … there are thousands for things it could be and I would choose them based on the perceived shortcomings of your competitors.  So businesses that deliver might want to say that “because we charge marginally more we don’t  leave parcels in the rain if you aren’t there”. (This is a problem where I live).  So you indicate you are not the cheapest but show a benefit .. but don’t necessarily quote a price. 


Quoting Prices for Intangible Products and Services

As a consultant I don’t like to quote a price on my website (but I am reassuringly expensive).  To be fair a price doesn’t mean much.  It is what is achieved for the price.

Let me explain.  I recently had a call from a prospect that wanted me to go to them for two days a week over 10 weeks. They asked for my day rate. But when I looked at what they wanted it was clear that the project could be achieved in 10 days and NOT the 20 days they thought.  So I quoted a project rate rather than a day rate and explained that this would less than that they would pay if I quoted for what they thought was necessary.  My rate per day is actually far higher than what they thought they could get someone like me for.. but that didn’t matter as they had a guaranteed project rate, with agreed outputs, at a price lower than they expected. And it gave me time to get on with my life rather than try to look busy on their project. 

So in the above case .. and in most cases .. what we want to do is NOT quote a price. 

What we ought to do is move people to the next stage in the buying process.

In my case that usually means talking to me. In the case of many of my education and training clients it means getting their prospects to attend an Open day or other event. Only once we have talked to the prospect can we be in the position to quote a price.  Raw prices, quoted on the website, are actually not refined enough to give an accurate idea of what it is really going to cost.  So like a painter and decorator that needs to price a job, as a consultant I also need to check the job out first! It often costs the client far less this way. 

So should you quote your prices?  It depends on many factors .. but I’d be happy to talk to you and quote a price to help you discover the best strategy for you.