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Setting Profitable Prices: A Step-by-Step Guide to Pricing Strategy--Without Hiring a Consultant, + Website by Marlene Jensen

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Chapter 2

Why Most Companies Stink at Pricing (and How You Can Do Better!)

Pricing is a specialty topic in marketing—one with very few practitioners. You can get a doctorate in marketing (like I did) without ever taking a course on pricing. That’s because most marketing professors don’t know enough about the topic to be teaching it. There’s an annual pricing conference for academics and there are typically only 30 to 40 of us there each year—and that includes a number of professors from outside the United States.

Most people with specialized pricing skills are working in or have their own pricing consultancy. You can find me and the other pricing consultants at PricingSociety.com under their Pricing Experts Directory. Other pricing specialists work at very large companies and multinationals that can afford their own in-house pricing staff.

If you’re a new, small, or medium-sized company, this means there’s nobody who can give you the pricing help you need. Not unless you’ve got an extra $30–$250K you can afford for a consultant.

What can you do on your own? You can buy a book on pricing and hope to learn what you need from it. The best all-around book on pricing strategy is The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing by Nagle, Holden, and Zale. If you can take the time, I recommend it. I even use it when I teach pricing. However, it can be pretty rough going for a newbie. I was already a pricing specialist when I first read it, and it still took weeks of my time and most of my focus to ...

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