Should price-focussed selling have a place in your marketing plan?

I've been giving this a lot of thought over the last few months. As you'll probably know, we run a monthly promotion where we offer a few different items at half price. To promote our offer of the month, we produce copious marketing collateral which have our low prices plastered all over it. We put posters in our window, send out mailers and email all of our clients too. Undeniably, it's a great way to get new clients who are attracted by the low prices - and it's useful for saving our existing clients money, too. But should price be your only selling point?

When you're short on sales, it's tempting to offer cut prices in a bid to generate some cashflow. It might work quite well - you'll get some sales, possibly some new clients and you'll probably make some money. The problem comes when your competitors realise what you're up to and start doing the same. Price wars aren't something any business relishes, and can result in selling at a loss just to steal a sale from the competition. The thing is, what does it say about your product or service if you're always discounting it?

It's so so important to set your price right and charge what your service is worth. Know the value of what you do and don't be afraid to shout about it. If your competition is charging less than you, ask yourself what you do differently which make life easier for your client or enhance their buying experience which sets you aside from everyone else and makes you worth paying extra. The new iPhone is a fabulous example of knowing your audience, setting your price and successfully charging it. The iPhone cost upwards of £499 without contract, and despite there being arguably better handsets out there, fans queued for hours to secure theirs. Just goes to show that clever marketing aimed at a specific audience really can help you sell, regardless of what you charge.

We've been working with several of our clients recently to help them figure out what differentiates them from their competition, and how to communicate that in their marketing. It's been a really interesting exercise for all of us, and focusses you on what really goes on in your business that makes you so much more special than anybody else. It's even helped our clients go away with new ideas on how to refine their service to add value and confidently charge more than their competition. Our free one to one marketing sessions are a great way for us to add value to our service and have helped us raise our profile as design and marketing experts. So what do you think - are your customers motivated by price or value?