Don’t be cheap

When Santander says, “price is not the be-all and end-all”, it’s a sign that something’s up. 

Santander has made a name for itself through good deals and aggressive acquisition offers. Call me a cynic, but I suspect its change of tack is less about rebuilding consumer trust and more an attempt to remedy its unsustainable business model. 

The lesson that businesses can learn from this is that cheap is not a sustainable strategy. In fact, cheap is very expensive. 

It’s expensive to acquire price-focused customers – you sacrifice margin to create attractive prices, and price wars can render entire industries unprofitable. Such customers are disloyal, and consumers don’t want ‘cheap’ at all costs anyway – they’re looking for something that offers real value. Successful businesses are those that focus on adding value where
it matters, rather than reducing costs. 

Competing on cost is tempting, especially when your business is in a fix. It can drive customer volumes quickly. But as every savvy clothes shopper knows, it’s better to invest in a few quality pieces than fill your boots with bargains. Invest in giving quality customers good value and, through repeat business, you’ll get value from them in return. 

Nicola Carter, senior planner,
Rufus Leonard

Facebook facts

The apparent conclusion in Forrester’s report that Facebook has no intrinsic value to marketers is simply not true. When used correctly, we know Facebook ads lead to attributable sales and that engagement on the platform is commercially valuable.

The phrasing of the question upon which the position is based is ambiguous at best. People were asked: “How satisfied are you with the business value your company has achieved by using [….]?” This is not the same as: “How good do you think this channel is, or could be, at delivering value?” It’s closer to: “How do you think you are doing?”

This is a pretty big difference. Many clients may think their paid search is all tied up, but are struggling to make social media work the way they know it can. That’s a story we hear all the time.

Phillip Dyte, paid social media manager, iProspect

In the driving seat

It was interesting to see Motoring.co.uk’s research revealing rising confidence and budgets among UK car buyers.

Our own survey of people intending to buy a new car revealed that for premium consumers, the most common journey is one seeking reassurance on choice; whereas for low-cost and mainstream buyers, it is heavily reliant on a visit to the dealership. Some 61 per cent of low-cost buyers cited the test drive as the most influential step on a final decision
on model, compared with 46 per cent of mainstream buyers.

Premium buyers take more steps when evaluating a car, but many are validation steps rather than exploratory and are conducted after the decision on make and model has been made. The final step they take is negotiation – finding the best price possible and using that as the basis to ensure they are not “conned by a salesman”.

It’s good to know people are willing to spend more money when buying a car, but it’s just as important to understand how they came to decide which make or model to purchase.

Scott Logie, strategic marketing director, St Ives Group

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