How COVID-19 will change pricing

In a global pandemic, how can we charge the right price for the value that we create? That was the big $64,000 question we looked at in the second of JGA’s ‘Lunch and Learn’ webinars on ‘How COVID-19 is disrupting marketing and sales.’

We wanted to explore how Coronavirus is changing pricing and what this means for how organisations can stay profitable during a time of great uncertainty. For those of you who haven’t yet heard of our ‘Lunch and Learn’ webinars the programme is designed to bring together learners, alumni and other JGA stakeholders so that we can all learn together about how the world around us is being changed by these historic events.

We were joined by 2 excellent speakers, Robin Marks, who has over 25 years of creating, organising and managing events, and Richard Goodwin, Managing Director of The JGA Group.

· Changing your product can lead to better engagement. Robin Marks described how shifting to online events meant that more people were able to attend, and how some delegates were looking at new ways of collaborating as a result. If you’ve had to change your product or service, how can you bring them together through that change?

  • Accept that any change may last some time. Richard Goodwin talked about how face to face training needed to be shifted online, and by working with this and being creative (eg adapting the format of face to face training so that it works for digital) and curating JGA’s existing digital resources, he and his team were able to do this by maintaining a clear focus on optimising it to make sure that the learning is as effective as possible.
  • Build any changes around customer needs. With everyone’s needs shifting so quickly during a fast-moving situation it’s vital to stay in touch with customers so that we all have the data and insights to inform the adjustments that we make. Rather than doing this through formal research (which may be out of date as soon as you’ve done it) making the most of informal conversations with customers is key. If they have a good relationship with you they may well open up and tell you what they’re really thinking.
  • Look ahead. Robin and Richard both referred to how some of the changes we see may be temporary, and some may be for the long term. As you develop your products and services, keep an eye on the trends that are coming over the horizon and continue talking to your customers so you can anticipate how their needs are changing.

It’s often been said that pricing is an art, not a science. There’s a complex range of factors that need to be considered, from profitability to demand and reputation. With large parts of the economy shut down and social distancing rules in place for the foreseeable, previous assumptions about volume and therefore pricing will need to be revisited. Only one thing is certain: being flexible and thinking through all the different factors which influence it is key.