I research, teach and work with executives on the “back end” of marketing.
That is, I am fascinated by how organisations choose to earn a profit from their efforts to stand out and serve customers. It is exactly at this moment—the moment when a firm asks the market to exchange good money for the products and services it supplies—that bad practice tends to creep in.
Indeed, prices and pricing are topics that business people seldom talk about with enthusiasm. Although most understand that their decisions can make or break a bottom line, they act without the aid of a carefully crafted strategy. Rather, you witness collections of tactics held together by questionable assumptions and crude heuristics that, by shunning customers and obsessing over just about everything else, not only put financial and brand health in jeopardy, but also carry serious consequences for society as a whole.
I often stress that the right approach is part economics, part psychology—as prices invariably play different roles in a market. Mastering this blend introduces new opportunities to capture, communicate and even grow value in the eyes of customers.
Teaching monetisation implies covering several topics. Above all, it is important to understand that an effective strategy first addresses the revenue model of the business, then reviews processes to set prices and defend them against customers and competitors, and finally sets rules to vary prices according to the circumstances of the market. At each point, the discussion usually turns to the question of “value:” is the business truly different from competitors and meaningful in the eyes of customers.
Work with companies
I engage with practice in several ways. By far the most common formula is work tailored to the specific need of the business—a keynote speech at a conference or important gathering, a private workshop, or a consulting project where I act as an independent advisor. However, I also run open executive education programmes on behalf of academic institutions, including of course at ESADE. Finally, I am constantly on the lookout for collaborations slanted toward research (whether this be a formal academic study or, say, a case study).
“There are two fools in every market: one asks for too little, the other for too much.”