What motivated the author to produce a book about pricing and its function in fostering client loyalty?
The author's background in financial markets and developing pricing algorithms led them to observe the lack of attention given to the concept of price in fostering customer loyalty, which prompted them to write a book offering suggestions and challenging readers to reflect more deeply on their pricing regimes.
How do you start assembling a team that collaborates, specifically for the price team, product development team, and marketing team?
To prevent homogenizing it, the first step is to comprehend and gather data about the actual customer base. Use technology to collect and safeguard data, and find chances for account growth with recurring clients. Focus on account growth because it is more expensive to acquire new clients than it is to sell to existing ones.
How do tiering and tailored pricing affect consumer behavior?
As opposed to depending on generalized segments or loyalty tiers, personalized pricing and tiering schemes, if done successfully, can better adapt to specific consumer preferences and improve motivation for loyalty. Also, this strategy might give clients a better tailored experience.
Marcus Cauchi: Hello and welcome back once again to the Inquisitor Podcast with me, Marcus Cauchi. Today my guest is someone who's really got my interest, a chap called Cactus Raazi. He's written a book called Price, and it's one of those topics that's so many people completely butcher and leave a huge amount of money on the table, but more importantly, they don't use price to its full effect.
And the discussion we're gonna have today is going to explore ways that price can be leveraged in order to drive things like loyalty. Cactus, welcome.
Cactus Raazi: Thank you very much, Marcus. It's my pleasure.
60 seconds on your background and how you came to write the book
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. Would you mind giving the audience 60 seconds on your background and how you came, uh, to write the book?
Cactus Raazi: My background is really in, in financial markets, primarily the bond market.
And, uh, over the last several years I've been developing pricing algorithms in the bond market, ingesting a bunch of data to price thousands and [00:01:00] thousands of bonds individually in real time. And at the same time, there were various other forces going on in the mar in not only in the bond market, but in the world at large.
One is obviously e-commerce and, and, and the growth in internet-based shopping, which is only accelerated since the pandemic. And the other is sort of the growth of the availability of data analytics, where you don't necessarily have to build your own computer stack and, and hire armies of quants, uh, in order to, to do it really sophisticated, uh, data analytics.
And I thought to myself, you know, I'm observing what's happening in the, in the world around me, away from the bond market is this very little attention paid to the concept of price. When attention is paid, for example, in the airline industry or other industries that have relatively sophisticated pricing regimes, it tends to be focused entirely on re uh, near term revenue maximization.
And as I did more and more work around customer centricity, uh, around how to build loyalty over the long term, I observed that firms [00:02:00] that have recurring revenue streams tend to have much higher valuations. And I really started to think, how does price fit into this broader conversation? And is the topic of price at a level of strategy rather than tactics, is it being handled in the appropriate manner?
Is it being given the amount of attention that I think it deserves in business? And as I started to write the book, I then started to observe that not only is price, I think mishandled on a lot, at a lot of larger companies that do business with consumers, but even down to the level of the sole proprietorship.
Some of the, the, the impacts that I mentioned to you such as the internet and Groupon and general discounting have, have actually stripped even small companies. And I use many examples in the book of agency around price. So I thought to myself, you listen, the data analytics are available. The customer information is available.
There's a whole slew of tactical possibilities to start [00:03:00] to think about pricing as a, as a function to create loyalty and really extend the revenue streams of the segment of your customers that you actually care about. And I thought, why not write a book at the level of strategy that proposes a variety of ideas and really challenges the reader to say, have you thought sufficiently deeply about price?
And is your pricing regime oriented around near term re revenue maximization? Or is there a smarter thing to do, which is to orient your pricing regime really around maximizing loyalty.
Do you see any parallel in terms of how business to consumer behavior is moving into the B2B space?
Marcus Cauchi: Tell me this then, if we look at consumer versus business to business pricing models, do you see any parallel in terms of how business to consumer behavior is moving into the B2B space?
Cactus Raazi: I do. I think that the easier, uh, point of departure is the B2C because generally speaking, most B2C businesses would prefer a repeat customer, and that's a, that's a fair [00:04:00] statement, I think.
Marcus Cauchi: Yep.
Cactus Raazi: To the degree that your B2B business is also sort of a repeat customer style of business. I think a lot of the, a lot of the, uh, points made in the book and a lot of the ideas around thinking about pricing for essentially for the long term or to lock in a customer for multiple years, all these types of ideas, they definitely apply.
There are certain B2B cases where it's, it's such a, uh, episodic transaction that, you know, loyalty becomes, um, an abstract concept. And perhaps in those cases it's not as important an idea to think about pricing. And perhaps in those cases, near term revenue maximization really is the name of the game.
Marcus Cauchi: I would challenge that certainly in terms of software as, or anything as a service, because those are subscription models and slight variance in pricing over the ti, uh, the term of an a customer's lifetime, uh, can be very significant. And increasingly, [00:05:00] price is being made more and more available. Procurement departments are very savvy at getting pricing from unwitting vendors, but w let, let's ex, uh, park that for the moment, uh, and explore it later. Let, let's start with what is price, first of all, let's just define it.
Cactus Raazi: Yeah, it's interesting. Um, you know, uh, if we wanted to sort of, uh, take a philosophical approach, you would say it's a, it's some, you know, es establishing a price is some way of trying to capture the customer value or capture a portion of the value that the customer has ascribed to whatever good or service you're offering.
I don't actually delve, delve into sort of the philosophy of price per se in the book, but I do certainly suggest that pricing in my personal experience and in my, in my research has either some sophistication around it, again, around near term revenue maximization, or more often in what we'll call the rest of the [00:06:00] world is a guesstimate on the part of, of subject matter experts.
So people that have been in a specific industry could be drugs, it could be concerts at some of the financial services that we developed. We then went around and priced. And in every one of those instances, smart, ex experienced people would essentially sit around a, a meeting table and say, look, what do, what do we think we should charge?
And right off the bat, there's a divergence in that question and in, in what I'm mentioning in the book, because the, you have to ask, what will you charge to whom? Should you be treating your customer base as a homogenous block of people? Should you essentially be implying that I don't really care who buys this good or service, I'm totally indifferent.
I'm simply establishing one price for everyone. I would argue the answer to that is no. And frankly, we're discussing sort of customer segmentation via the lens of price. But I think there's a lot of literature out there and a lot of research out there that suggests you're not gonna be the [00:07:00] perfect, uh, good or service to 100% of your potential, of the potential of customer base.
Define who your customer is and ensure that you're, for example, not only should you be marketing effectively to that customer, you should be doing product development effectively to that customer, to the segment of the population that you're trying to win with. And by the way, you should think about what the right price is.
Marcus Cauchi: Well, and yeah, heaven forbid that we actually put the customer at the heart of what we do. That would be, uh, heresy. Let's delve a little bit deeper. I mean, certainly in the B2B space, you have time and materials. You have cost plus, you have value-based pricing. And increasingly we're starting to see outcome-based pricing for some of the more forward thinking businesses.
So, uh, wonderful example of this was Palo Alto Networks in Q4 of last year grew their professional services business for the year by 93% by implementing outcome-based pricing. Cuz [00:08:00] customers loved it, you know, they could buy from this cafeteria, uh, menu. These are the outcomes that we want and we'll pay you for delivering those.
Cactus Raazi: For delivering the actual outcome, yeah.
Marcus Cauchi: And you talk about using pricing to position yourself and to attract the right kind of customer. The wrong kind of pricing can appeal to the wrong kind of customer. And if, if you take on the wrong type of business, you bri attract the wrong customer, that can be incredibly damaging not only to your brand because they're, you know, going around wearing your clothes and you don't necessarily wanna be associated with them.
But it can also mean that you get pulled down a rabbit hole in terms of product development.
So what would you advise people to do when they're putting their teams together in terms of making sure that the pricing team and the product development team and marketing in general are working together?
Marcus Cauchi: So what would you advise people to do when they're putting their teams together in terms of making sure that the pricing team and the product development team and marketing in general are working together?
Cactus Raazi: Well? Uh, it's an interesting question. You just mentioned four pricing paradigms that sort of are associated with B2B, but it [00:09:00] even in B2C we have sort of, we do have a cost plus approach. And, and, and you know, there's also this sort of, what's my competitive set? Just price to the competitive set approach. And there's various methodologies there.
And I think, again, these, while those are, I would say perfectly adequate ways of approaching pricing, they tend to homogenize the customer base. So, so what we advocate is in the first instance, start to understand and, and collect information about who your actual customer is. Utilize technology and, and we're seeing this a lot actually, by the way, when we do traditional commerce these days where even in brick and mortar stores, you are increasingly asked for, for example, for your phone number or as you you do a credit card transaction, you're increasingly asked whether you would leave your email address to receive an electronic receipt, which for all of us is more convenient than a traditional paper receipt, I would argue. Although obviously the background story there is they, they're want, there's, it's an attempt to identify the customer and, and track the customer.
And of course, we could go down a rabbit hole of [00:10:00] what, you know, how you're supposed to treat that information and whether you're supposed to abuse it. That's a, that's kind of a side note, but the starting point would say it's very important. I shouldn't use the term side note. Yeah. I should say those are very important questions.
In fact, they, they're sufficiently important that there's a whole chapter o on those questions in the book. But no, they're obviously not a great use of your audience this time today. Assuming that you have a sound, uh, data capture, uh, and data security framework, you wanna then start to think about, um, I'm now observing, uh, of the total, uh, you know, 100 sales arbitrarily a hundred sales that I've made in the last time period.
A certain percentage will repeat sales. In other words, my customers are telling me who the better customers are right off the bat. And then that then feeds back in from a marketing perspective, but also from a pricing perspective, feeds back it, it, it begs the question, should I be treating these customers any differently?
And this question is one that applies to companies, large and small. Airlines, global hairstylists, a sole proprietorship operating locally.
Marcus Cauchi: We see this a lot. I mean, [00:11:00] for those of you in the UK who subscribe to Sky often feels like you're being abused by the tv uh, networks because they give great offers to new customers.
Whilst, um, if you're a loyal customer who's been with them 3, 5, 10, 20 years, um, your subscription just seems to grow and grow and grow. And the only way to level that out is to leave for a while. To wait for their marketing people to try and entice you back with an offer.
Cactus Raazi: Marcus, this is exactly my point. Which is someone, some smart Alec.
And by the way, I, one of my professors in my master's program was really one of the pioneers of, of churn, uh, using, you know, a data analytics to limit churn. And that's a really big part of the analytics is churn limitation and churn limitation is a wonderful concept, of course, and we all think it's smart, but conceptually you have a hundred units of customers to start the month.
You know, 90 units of those customers are actually gonna stay with you. And yet the focus is on the people who have threatened to leave, which creates by [00:12:00] definition an incentive within your customer base to threaten to leave. You all are almost through your, the way that you treat your customer base.
You're creating the exact problem that you're trying to solve. I couldn't agree with you more. And we see this in a lot of, you know, we see this obviously with a lot of subscription businesses where the focus on growth, I think ends up with a program that essentially neglects those who are operating in a way that you would argue is your better customer.
Marcus Cauchi: I took on a client recently. Helping them align their marketing, their sales, their customer success, their account growth team. And uh, what was really interesting was when the CEO came to me originally, uh, he, what he really wanted was new business, new business, new business. But as we discussed it, it became obvious that the cost of new business acquisition was about nine times more expensive than selling to existing customers.
And none of his existing customers were [00:13:00] using him for a hundred percent of that service. So the emphasis is now on account growth. And I use the term account growth rather than account management, because we don't want to have zookeepers, we want farmers or hunters with a plow, uh, if you like. Because, um, it, it's really important that what we're doing is we're delivering ongoing relevance and value.
So you cite in the book, uh, Amazon Prime as a great example of using pricing to identify, uh, loyal customers and the customer is willing to pay more for that service, for the speed of delivery and for the convenience.
Some other ideas around loyalty based pricing, because I think that's a really important subject
Marcus Cauchi: So talk to me about some other ideas, uh, around loyalty based pricing, because I think that's a really important subject.
Cactus Raazi: You know, it's interesting, we have a bunch of analog examples of attempts to generate loyalty and what I would refer to as sort of the analog world. You know, we have these loyalty cards. When you go [00:14:00] to your coffee shop, we have a very anecdotal, but it does exist, which is if you're a regular at a pub or at a restaurant or places, you're oftentimes given an ad hoc premium of some sort.
Maybe a free dessert at a, at a restaurant of, of, you know, moderate
Marcus Cauchi: Meal ticket.
Cactus Raazi: Yeah, it could be, it could be a free drink at the local because you know, this one's on me and all, all of these kinds of things. And of course, as, as you go up the level of sophistication, you have various loyalty, uh, regimes.
Uh, Starbucks has their points system where if you use the app to make your, you do your commerce, then you collect, uh, points. That's a very common way of doing things. Of course, airlines and, and hotels have various loyalty programs as well. I'm not arguing that these, that these more traditional approaches to loyalty are necessarily flawed.
I'm suggesting that in today's world, what I'm suggesting is that the world in general has changed primarily through price transparency. [00:15:00] The, uh, advocacy and the growth of e-commerce has created, uh, uh, the ability for the consumer to constantly check price at all times. And in fact, it's starting to become an automated function, as we all know.
There's entire companies now that have been built to scour the internet, uh, or the mobile net. Anytime you want to buy a good or a service and present you with potentially, uh, cheaper options, and in that regard, then you have to say, look, the loyalty programs that sort of sprung up back in the pre eCommerce days, these approaches, perhaps we should revisit them.
And I would argue that creating a digital corollary to the old analog's analog approach suggests, look, let's just cut to the skinny. It's really a question of price. Marcus, when he buys flights, for example, on British Airways, should log into the website, which is something that's very commonly done. In order to complete a transaction, you have to log in anyway.
They need to know who you are and should actually be displayed a price that's consistent with [00:16:00] where he is in our customer, in the range of our customers. Right? Is, is he a first-time guy? Is he primarily a, let's, as an example, primarily Fri flies Ryan Air because he, he loves to have a terrible flight experience.
This one time he happens to be on BA and frankly, we couldn't care less about this customer. He hasn't shown us that he, we mean anything to him and he means nothing to us, and he's gonna get a, a, a, a price that represents that. But if this is in fact the 10th flight he's taken this year, you know, we need to treat him differently than that Ryan Air guide that just popped over because, you know, maybe the flight schedule suits him better or something.
You know, each individual use case of course, differs a bit, but the starting point of the conversation is the same, which is who is this customer? And should our price to this customer reflect their improved loyalty or their, or their different segmentation. And when we think about segmentation, this is the important part.
When you start to think about the capabilities of data analytics, you can start to segment really at scale. So there's a lot out there in [00:17:00] terms of applied data analytics to personalization. For example, personalized marketing message, personalized goods or services. And my argument is within the concept of personalization, price must be part of the conversation and, and the analytics allow it.
Marcus Cauchi: I have an issue with personalization, not that it's not a good thing, but I think what a lot of people have done is they've obsessed about personalization at scale, but most of them do a really terrible job. And certainly in the B2B space, where you can really scale is through relevance. And that's where I think your pricing ideas could really be very useful because by being relevant, it becomes personal.
But the problem is that I think often marketing approaches customers using persona rather than looking at real life behavior. And one of the things that we are seeing happen over here in Europe and certainly [00:18:00] in the uk, is this concept of open banking.
Cactus Raazi: Yep.
Marcus Cauchi: Now, for those of you who aren't familiar with open banking, it allows you to register your bank, uh, accounts and your cards on, uh, an app.
And as a result, then the owners of that, uh, data now are able to use that to deliver very good offers to you based on your personal preferences, but also it gives them visibility of up to two or three years worth of real life spending data so they can see where you spend, when you spend, how much you spend, which competitors you spend with.
And that's incredibly powerful from a marketeers perspective. Because up until now a lot of the data has been based around third party data and cookies. Instead of giving your real email address, you give one of the five that you dole out in order to, um, avoid being [00:19:00] spammed and uh, to get the same offer five times over.
So I think if we look at, uh, the potential of using price as a demonstration of how much you value that customer's business and to be relevant, that's incredibly powerful. And al also makes the experience better for the consumer. So if you look at how a lot of these loyalty programs have worked, they te have tended to be quite generic.
How does that drive tiering scheme behavior?
Marcus Cauchi: I noticed, uh, in the book you talk about, for example, Uber offering everybody the same price, but now they have a tiering scheme. So it, whilst it's not variable, you do have a choice of going in a luxury limo or in yeah uh, a Toyota Prius and everything in between. How does that drive, uh, behavior?
Cactus Raazi: Yeah. You know, it's so interesting you say that I, I, again, coming from [00:20:00] financial markets, I thought to myself, boy, these guys that who were really, really bungled the, what do you say in your country, really cocked up
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah.
Cactus Raazi: Their pricing process. And they did so because, well, for a variety of, of different reasons, but as you know, there's not a lot of price transparency there. But they have implemented a very, very weak attempt at supply and demand with this surge pricing. I thought, this is pathetic. This is, you know, there are so many ways of approaching what you should price a ride at given a person's, you know, individual demand curve and given their, their, what you would say is their likelihood of, of willingness to pay and I had sort of a, a realization one day it was about 5:00 PM on a Friday. I was on a corner trying to get a cab in New York, of course, which was impossible, and trying to get an Uber, which was equally difficult. And yet, you know, the price was gonna be $7 to go downtown. And I said, this is absolutely ridiculous.
There's probably 10,000 people [00:21:00] looking for transportation right now to some part of Manhattan that would, they're almost indifferent as to price. And if Uber changed its prices to reflect a variety of factors, one is individual and one is just general demand, it would be better for the driver, it would be better for Uber, but most importantly it would be better for the poor son of a bitch standing on the corner just trying to get home or trying to get to his, wherever he or she might be going.
There are some asterisks around the Uber example because of the, um, the nature of the drivers being employees or not. Uh, I think disempowering them to set their own prices. There's all sorts of complexity in, in that specific example. But I think that you mentioned, uh, more generally speaking, two things that I, that we should probably unpack.
The first one is that although this personalization concept sounds great, it's relatively weak so far. And I would agree with that statement. I do believe we're in the early stages of attempts to personalize. So as you said, you create three or four personas, so it's not [00:22:00] really personalization, it's more like a segmentation that's put lipstick on, on the old school segmentation.
And I also think that even within loyalty programs, the old, you know, most of them are set up with various tiers. You're, you know, your gold star tier, you're, or you're, uh, sort of maybe not quite there in tiering space and, and you're in the middle of the tiers. Most of those approaches I think, have been reasonably ineffective.
I don't know that people get out of bed every day and aspire to achieve a tier in their BA uh, loyalty program as any sort of a meaningful motivator. So I would think to myself, if I were to set this thing up fresh in 2021 rather than when the loyalty program was set up probably 30 years ago, I would use a much more nuanced approach that doesn't, doesn't create three segments of customer as an example, or maybe four for the people that are not part of the program, but rather, uh, gives each customer sort of a much more individualized experience.
Um, an example is the intersection [00:23:00] of two things that where the customer commonly flies or likes to fly and the routes in which you have greater or or less pricing flexibility. And I think that people do get a thrill from getting a price that's unique to themselves. And I think that, that that type of, that's an example of an individualized approach that doesn't require a lot heavier analytics necessarily.
Does not require you to shoehorn a customer into one of X number of tiers. And I think also with personalization, what we're really seeing is commerce, uh, going through its entire li uh, life cycle over the past a hundred years where much of commerce had a personal element before the growth of what we will call, you know, big corporations and, and sort of, uh, anonymous commerce and big box stores and all the things that we have now.
And now with data analytics, with modern data analytics, you're able to start to use techniques that identify the customer, but now at scale rather than the number of, you know, the [00:24:00] 200 to 250 customers that a salesperson might be able to recognize and remember that, you know, you tend to buy X, you tend to favor Y or your tastes are what they are.
And now you're able to do that at scale with data analytics, but really create a very similar experience, the experience that provider of the good or service is familiar with my behaviors, is familiar with, with my preferences and has catered to them.
What about the accusation that variable pricing or individualized pricing would be unfair?
Marcus Cauchi: Okay. What, what about the accusation that variable pricing, um, or individualized pricing would be unfair?
Cactus Raazi: I think it's true. First of all, fair is a little bit of a dangerous word because as you know, we all have a disagreement about what faire is. If you would suggest that individualized or personalized pricing, even if it's, uh, you know, it doesn't have to start out with, if you have a thousand customers, you don't necessarily have to have a thousand prices, right?
You can start with two prices, go to four, go to eight, and, and continue to build out your infrastructure around pricing. But conceptually, I would argue [00:25:00] that there are gonna be winners and losers, and this kind of goes back to the start of our conversation, which is your customer base is not homogenous.
There are people that, for example, let's use the sole proprietorship and yeah, let's use a large multinational sole proprietorship. My mom is a hair stylist. Sh some of her customers are pains in the ass. In fact, she told me two weeks ago, she fired her first customer. She's been through the pandemic. She just had it
She's getting older. She just fired the customer. But conceptually, her customers are not homogenous. Some are really tough to deal with, constantly complaining, and others are a dream and they tip her well. I don't believe that those, that those people should be treated equally. And if you go all the way to a multinational, we could talk about an airline as an example of we have loyal customers and we have customers who treat the staff well.
And these are all elements of how you should be thinking about your customer base. The point that I'm making is if I benefit, and if you make the argument that I benefit, because let's assume I'm a good customer and, and I'm also well-behaved and I benefit at the expense of whom because they're, [00:26:00] they're, you're exactly correct to say that if there are people who benefit, perhaps there are people who suffer.
And the answer is, I benefit at the, potentially at the expense of someone who's frankly just not a great customer for whatever reason. Mm-hmm. , and, uh, you know, you can define that. Each company can define that differently. It's not to suggest that that person is treated poorly by every company out there.
It's to suggest that the relationship between the provider or the good and service and the poor customer isn't working very well. And the customer's gonna experience that in a variety of ways, one of which should be priced.
Marcus Cauchi: There's the flip side of price, which is cashback. And increasingly, I, I, I work with an open banking business that, that provides instant cashback and it, it's a wonderfully powerful tool for driving loyalty and rewarding loyalty.
But it's also a, a great way of consolidating spend and for driving affinity spend.
Have you done any exploration in terms of that element of pricing?
Marcus Cauchi: Have you done any exploration in terms of that element of pricing? [00:27:00]
Cactus Raazi: You know, it's interesting. That's a first a great question and I have not, however, I would make the argument that if it is instant cash back, most people's brains would call that a different price.
That's a very, very close to the, to the kind of the, I'm suggesting in the book. I think you're getting as close as you possibly can without actually just altering the price, is to say instant cash back. Most of us can do the arithmetic to figure out, you know, if it's $74 and you instantly get $5 back, it's actually $69. Great.
Marcus Cauchi: I think there's a a, a very subtle, uh, neurological and psychological difference where if it's priced that 64 rather than $69, then that's the price. But when you get the $5 back, yeah, you get a great big dopamine hit. It just appears on your phone. And what's really interesting about the cashback element of pricing is that the dopamine hit and the [00:28:00] oxytocin that get released mean that the brand and the individual have a relationship, like a friendship, and that is almost priceless because if we associate a brand with a friend, then that's another hook that goes beyond the financial.
Cactus Raazi: Yeah, I agree completely. You're absolutely right. Uh, this actually, you know, I, one of my, one of my professors, uh, wrote a book called TAP about the growth of mobile commerce.
One of the things that we're seeing, I'm, I'm sure you're familiar with this, is in brick and mortar commerce, many people do real-time price checks with their phones. So you see, an an a garment is a typical example, but you see a garment and as you said, it's $69 and you do a real-time price check. Your statements around the dopamine hit and the oxytocin and the sort of like the, the emotional impact of such things and, and, and the connection to the brand is absolutely true.
My argument would be you could do the, the cashback and that's great. The other potential way of [00:29:00] doing it is, for example, what is one of your High Street Common High Street clothing retailers? Uh, top, top and
Marcus Cauchi: The Gap Top Shop.
Cactus Raazi: Yeah, sure. It's Top Shop. So the Top Shop app allows you to actually get the Marcus price.
And it simply just says, you just scan the barcode there and it says it's $72 and you're looking at a tag, it says $78. That does create the same effect.
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah.
Cactus Raazi: And you do have that thrill. And by the way, it doesn't ha and I'm not necessarily suggesting that every single time you either get, you know, $6 off or just doing the rough math.
Maybe that's, that's, uh, uh, in this, in this example, maybe it's about eight and a half percent off. That's not the assertion I'm saying that you may get, in certain cases, eight and a half percent off. You may get, in certain cases, 4% off, as an example, because you're, you're one of their better customers.
And frankly, if an item is about to go on sale anyway, and they know that within it's not moving, and within a week it's gonna be 30% off, why not give you 50 and you're gonna be thrilled, just blown outta your socks. Maybe you'll buy two. Of course, [00:30:00] each specific industry and specific tactical situation.
Is this a for example, a great ex, uh, you know, one end is we produce way too many of them. They're sitting around. By the way, you know what that means? That means you mispriced them just to be clear, because, uh, by definition, if you produce too many it, the other way of looking at it is you mispriced them.
But that's a side note. And then maybe on the other end would be something where we only have a few of these. And you know, this is a big thing these days as well, these limited runs. And, and younger people tend to go crazy for the fact that there's only, you know, a hundred of these t-shirts produced or whatever, and they all end up on resale, on, uh, on eBay.
And, and that's a, a different conversation. But conceptually, either you can discount something that, uh, for the, for your customers. The other thing you can do is actually offer them something unique and say, our better customers get access to something before everyone else that no, that, that is simply gonna be unavailable and we'll likely sell out.
This is something very common in luxury markets. Uh, but my point in saying this is there's many ways of approaching this conversation so long as the [00:31:00] conversation starts, uh, with the idea that the customer's at the center of it, loyalty is the objective and price is gonna be one of our key tools.
Marcus Cauchi: Again, it's really interesting.
I, I recently interviewed a procurement specialist for the podcast, uh, a chap called Mark Shenkius, and he wrote a book called The Other Side of Sales. And what's really interesting is, uh, he put together this Kraljic matrix. Looking at the way professional buyers buy was very interesting because professional buyers are looking at financial impact versus supply risk.
And as the buyer where you have low financial impact and low supply risk, that's a commodity, that's a routine purchase. And you get driven down on price. And this is where the aggregators have really created that kind of environment for airlines and [00:32:00] mobile phones and all the other gabinets. Where you have high financial impact, but low supply risk, then that goes into a leverage purchase where they don't wanna make the wrong purchase, but they do have lots of choice. Now, the one that, uh, they find themselves in most of the time, but they like to pretend it's into, uh, the routine kind of purchase is the bottleneck. And this is where you have a high supply risk, but low financial impact.
So it's necessary and you don't want to do, uh, run out. But there are not many suppliers. And the problem is that if you have limited choice and it's something that you want now, then you do actually have the ability to negotiate. So what I'm very curious about is the flip side of the pricing conversation from the consumer side.
How do you judge when it is an appropriate opportunity for you to barter or haggle?
Marcus Cauchi: Uh, when you are a buyer, how do you judge when it is an appropriate opportunity for [00:33:00] you to barter or haggle?
Cactus Raazi: You know, it's interesting, uh, there's a little bit on, uh, on this topic in the book, but not specifically in the, in the sense of professional buyers. What, what would even as a consumer, yeah, as a consumer, what I advocate is that, is that you, uh, as part of your engagement with your customer, you should consider, this is a little bit of a crazy idea.
So I shouldn't say, some of your listeners may, may, you know, hit, uh, you know, just cancel the after what I'm about to say. But I said, you should consider soliciting information from your consumers as to what they would be willing to pay. And I think that, that you're gonna be surprised by how many consumers actually respond by the, by definition they didn't buy it.
Cuz if their willingness to pay is, is, is the price, then they just buy it. But that information can be really valuable when you think about, um, what your discounting curves should look like, discounting over time. And, and it just, it's, it's, it's priceless information and it's information that is. I think [00:34:00] most companies don't think about asking that question.
Marcus Cauchi: It's a really good bit of advice.
Cactus Raazi: You capture this information and, and I, and you have to make it easy of course, that, that this all goes without saying that proper UI and proper UX design I is an important part of this conversation. But if we can just assume that, cause that's true for all businesses, then you can say, look, there are, there are a variety of products out there.
A great example of this, when you do e-commerce these days, the better websites will keep track of what you looked at and some of them send you an email. This is, we noticed you were looking at this thing. It still exists. If they're even better, they may say, for example, this thing you were looking at two, three weeks ago is now on sale.
And that's, that's an okay, you know, that's a step in the right direction. My argument would be if a customer looks at something and goes away, it's appropriate task and what they would've paid. That's valuable information.
Marcus Cauchi: I'm gonna challenge you on how, whether that's, those are good websites because actually that, that kind of programmatic ad has an average click rate [00:35:00] of 0.38%.
But asking the question, I think is a much better use of that stalking technology. Just I inflicting the, the advert on the product that they didn't buy on them time and again for weeks afterwards, that's just invasive. But finding the information, my, uh, pal Matt Suze has come up with one of the best customer experience surveys that I've ever come across.
And it's what got you to this moment? Did this experience meet your expectation? And have you seen better? Now those three questions, I mean, that last question is just genius, but if you were to adopt a, a similar simple approach, uh, when someone bought and to ask about price, you would start getting some actual useful information.
But one, one of the things that really pisses me off is the amount of marketing attempts that marketing organizations inflict on you [00:36:00] in order to try and gather data, which they don't know how to use and isn't of any value anyway.
Cactus Raazi: And by the way, you look at some of these questions and you say, this was clearly asked by someone that hasn't had much, uh, experience moving data around.
Cause this is a totally, it's a useless question. It's, it, it, it's not able to be contextualized in the context of any traditional data analytics. It's just freeform text. And, and, you know, not only is it free form text, but it doesn't ask a question that you can use in some ordinal manner.
Marcus Cauchi: Again, I think one of the challenges here, and again, I, I'm taking this from my conversation with Mark Shenkius, is that a buyer's object at a very deep emotional level when a seller offers them a discount to try and buy the business. And the question going through their minds is, well, why the hell didn't you offer me that price in the first place? Yeah, I feel like you were trying to stiff me. And then it, what it does is it drives further pressure from the buyer to the seller or on the seller to try and see [00:37:00] just how far down they will go, sends the message, I lied.
Good pricing strategy upfront prevents that disconnect and that dissonance, but using price as a mechanism to try and buy business as an afterthought is really bad practice
Marcus Cauchi: So good pricing strategy upfront prevents that disconnect and that dissonance, but using price as a mechanism to try and buy business as an afterthought. I think is really bad practice.
Cactus Raazi: Yeah, I agree with that completely. And I think it's also important to recognize that to the degree that you're able to move your pricing approach to increasing levels of personalization, I think it actually takes the concept of discounting off the table.
Because discounting almost by definition is this idea that there's a price, a correct price, and now there's, it's now lower. We've discounted it. And conceptually, if you think about the I, uh, in the limit case in a, in a sort of perfect outcome, which of course is, would take some time to achieve, you simply have many prices out there and no one of 'em is the right or wrong price.
And therefore, by definition there's no, not really a sense of [00:38:00] discounting. There's just different, I will receive a different price than you. I'm a different customer to whatever provider of good or service we're talking about. I have different behaviors than you, and there's different prices. In my previous comment I mentioned that.
When an item of clothing just to use clothing as an example, goes on sale, you could say that it was they overproduced or you could put another way they mispriced it initially. And when you start to think about, you know, when you get your pricing, uh, um, um, regime in place and your personalization in place, there's a lot of ways of approaching these things where you're, you're starting to head towards a zero discounting world there because the concept is going away.
It's just that for, you know, you're able to affect price in real time for each individual, uh, in a way that's not transparent to every other one of your customers. And therefore, a lot of the brand, uh, I would say destruction, value destruction that takes place from widespread discounting goes away.
Naming conventions around pricing levels
Marcus Cauchi: One of the things that you touch on in the book, which I, uh, sparked my curiosity, um, is naming [00:39:00] conventions around pricing levels.
And so dream sleeper, cloud sleeper slash sleeper and so on. Could you go into some more detail around that?
Cactus Raazi: You know, that is a great question. I haven't given that beyond what I wrote in the book. I haven't given it a ton of thought, but now you've, maybe you're inspiring my second book to be perfectly honest with you.
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. Well, I'll take a credit.
Okay. I was hoping for a longer answer so I could,
Cactus Raazi: Oh, no, I apologize. I apologize.
Marcus Cauchi: That's all right. No, no, no, it's fine. The audience have to edit that
Cactus Raazi: Part out and say, this knucklehead hasn't thought about it.
Marcus Cauchi: No, no, no. The the, the audience will, uh, enjoy my suffering. So is there a significant difference in, uh, buy behavior between in-store, online and mobile ,uh, when it comes to pricing?
Cactus Raazi: I think the short answer is yes, certainly right now, but I feel like that these experiences are converging, [00:40:00] particularly from a pricing perspective. I use the anecdotal example, and it, it is anecdotal, but it is also true that we see a lot of lookie loo real-time price checks.
In traditional brick and mortar, you get a lot of real time price checks on mobile, uh, on your mobile. And it's also true that there's, um, you know, multiple extensions in place that are, uh, browser extensions to sort of shop around behind the scenes as you're doing your shopping. I think that, that these things are only gonna get more sophisticated whether we're talking about the browser extensions, whether we're talking about you and I could imagine creating a startup that allows you to scan the barcode, uh, you know, as a third party allows you to scan the barcode and then reveal whether there's either some discounting out there or some couponing out there, and do that in real time and allow the consumer to go to the, to the checkout clerk and say, Hey, you know, the tag says X, but I've seen a 20% off coupon out there, and so I, I expect 20% off of X to complete this purchase.
I do believe that in [00:41:00] the brick and mortar space, the analog, a tactile experience, uh, of a, of the good or service tends to create a different set of behaviors than online. We could talk about the scent of a fragrance, the feel of a fabric or whatever other good or serv, you know, the smell of the food. It could be a lot of different things, but I would only point out that if it's important to understand where we're going. Right now, I think there's some differentiation.
Yes. I think that the likelihood is that in the future, these, these modalities of doing business will likely converge to an increasing degree. And, you know, the pandemic has accelerated some of these effects because we've all spent so much time over the last year locked up and doing, doing a lot of things online, not able to shop in stores.
And I think that it has accelerated the convergence of thinking about commerce.
When people are just buying through voice apps, then that will dramatically shift towards a more price sensitive commoditized state
Marcus Cauchi: You talk about convergence, but in the book you also highlight the voice activated technologies that are starting to [00:42:00] really come online. And, uh, you posit that when people are just buying through voice apps, then that will dramatically shift towards a more price sensitive commoditized state.
Why do you think that is?
Cactus Raazi: Thankfully, I have thought about this question, because right now, if we think about where we are currently in what we'll call a generalized price aggregation within, you know, within websites of course, great example would be the airline industry. Uh, I think the hotel industry racks things up according to price, and I think to a surprising degree other more, uh, heterogeneous sort of more personalized products are starting to be displayed.
And then you can sort by price, right? So the price is starting to rear its ugly head in a wide variety of. e-commerce and even mobile commerce. And, and what tends to happen right now is that the, your, the choices are presented to the consumer. You're able to filter through them and then you're able to sort, and so often people sort by price, [00:43:00] what I'm suggesting to you is that if you think about taking away the visual user interface and make it an audio user interface, then that modality changes a bit because I don't believe, and you hopefully agree with me, if you tell Alexa to buy a case of a case of Evian water, uh, you know, Hey Alexa, buy me a case of Evian water.
I don't think you expect Alexa to come back to you and say, there are 11 cases of Evian Water a available, and they range in price from, you know, X to Y. And, uh, you know, which of these 11 would you, would you prefer? You're gonna say, that's a, that's a, it's supposed to say the cheapest case of Evian out there is X and I'll make the purchase.
And you'd say Yes, something like that. And of course I'm using an example of a homogenous good Evian water. But, um, you know, let's just assume blue jeans are not homogenous. People have their preferences for the, for the, the cut and the brand and the fade and the, and all the various things that people care about with their jeans.
You're gonna tell it, I want a pair [00:44:00] of X brand, Y style in this size and in this wash. Why would Alexa as an example, it could be Siri, it could be any of the voice assistants, Google Assistant. Why would it come back with anything other than the lowest available price? And so you realize that to the degree that these sort of voice commerce and increasingly automated, increasingly computerized and simplified commerce takes hold.
And I'm not necessarily arguing that it's a certainty we'll get there. I'm simply saying to the degree that you believe will get there, and I have some confidence, we will. I believe that this question around price will, will become even more acute.
Marcus Cauchi: Well, I think there may be other elements like, um, speed, convenience, two hour delivery time, uh, for groceries. We saw this happening there, there were tests in London, uh, about 18 months ago. One of the supermarkets was looking at a pretty much immediate delivery. So within a two hour window, uh, ordering, and [00:45:00] there was a premium for that. But I, I think generally you'd be right.
What, what I ha what I'm also seeing is the growth in the hospitality sector. I'm helping a startup at the moment, and, uh, they're creating a voice activated concierge within the room as a byproduct of Covid, so you don't have to touch the, um, you know, the, uh, very dodgy UV unfriendly, uh, remote control.
Yeah. And, uh, you can, uh, order room service and all that kind of stuff. So I, I think we will see a, a definite growth in that area. And it's gonna be very interesting to see. How that affects consumer behavior. Marriott did something really interesting, uh, very recently, which was they moved the customer satisfaction survey to within about an hour of someone checking into their room, because what they found was that the satisfaction rates went massively higher when they caught a problem [00:46:00] early and within an hour.
They then could send a maintenance person around to fix the problem or move them to another room without a rattly aircon. So if we think about the types of technological setup that a small business is going to be able to afford and be able to maintain and run.
What advice would you give to an SME or sole proprietor in terms of getting this kind of technology in place so that they are offering good pricing strategy and driving loyalty in order to, uh, use price as a powerful lever to help them grow their business?
Marcus Cauchi: What advice would you give to an SME or sole proprietor in terms of getting this kind of technology in place so that they are offering good pricing strategy and, uh, driving loyalty in order to, uh, use price as a powerful lever to help them grow their business?
Cactus Raazi: The first thing I would suggest is to get a, you know, off the shelf CRM system in place and start utilizing it. And step one is to just understand who are your customers and start to take what I would say just a generalized view of their behavior. How often average spend, a lot of the, the pretty common metrics that I think [00:47:00] most business owners would know and understand.
I think also business owners these days to some degree are, are utilizing third party services. You may be running, for example, uh, an e-commerce business out of and utilizing Shopify services or Big Commerce or some of the other platform providers. And I think that to the degree that the platform providers are either offering help around price and pricing and allowing you to use more sophisticated pricing techniques, or b, a demand from them a better, I would say, framework for using the specific customer information that you have in pricing.
In fact, I, I, I sent a note to the head of AI at Shopify saying, you know, this is something that you should be, you should be providing your customers because Shopify as a platform sees many more customers and can actually be much more useful and helpful to your merchants. Um, if you don't wanna go down that route, uh, there's a lot of resources out, uh, available on the internet as well as in writing in [00:48:00] books around how you would think about data analytics and using data analytics to further the aims of your business through a data-driven approach.
And I think what's important for most owners, you know, sole proprietorships or, or small to medium sized businesses is most of the methodologies and most of your, your sort of objectives and approaches already exist in your mind. They are, they exist in the analog world. You think about your business, you think about success.
Uh, most business owners are obsessed with their business. It's just a question of, of taking that information that currently resides in sort of some combination of what you would say in your head and in sort of an analog form, or perhaps in a slightly less accessible form. Maybe your CRM system, for example, doesn't allow meaningful data analytics and start to move down the road of using a more sophisticated analytic approach to accomplish the same goals that exist right now.
And then of course, the purpose of the book is to say, let's get price [00:49:00] to be part of that conversation.
Marcus Cauchi: I wanna build on that because I think price is a very important component, but at the end of the day, we're still dealing with human beings and what I think many organizations have done, is they have sacrificed humanity in their marketing and in their strategy, and they've replaced it with data.
Most of them don't do that well. Uh, I was at a Forester dinner, uh, Christmas before last, and, uh, they were saying only 7% of companies are using big data well. So I think there are two really crucial elements that if you're gonna look at your pricing and, um, do what Cactus is advising here, then you have to have conversations with your customers.
And you have to listen to the small data that exists in the raw, unfiltered conversations between the people who are [00:50:00] engaging with your customers, whether it's your shop assistants, uh, your salespeople, your marketing people absolutely have to be speaking to customers. And you need to listen to what they are telling you because they will guide you.
But I think far, far too few organizations use the most obvious resource. And one of the ways that I'm seeing this really explode is in community. And you only have to look at what, um, happens when there is a poor customer service. There is some poor E-florist who on Mother's Day this week, managed to butcher a number of audit.
Now, I'm, I'm guessing outta the quarter a million they did, there were maybe a hundred or so that they ended up sending the wrong stuff to, or, but you know, the, the bouquets weren't great, but that gets massively amplified. Um, in the Twitter sphere, on Facebook. It even made it onto the television news. So I mean, it, it's a low [00:51:00] news day, but these people were, they, they, they were dragged over the coals.
Now justifiably cuz the service was terrible in those instances. But you've got to spend time engaging with your customer and community is a way to ensure that when you hear people talking behind your back, you can get ahead of the problem and your customers are your best teachers. All the great lessons I've learned throughout my sales career have come from a damn good kicking from a customer or some insight they've given me, and that's helped me to get better because now I've, I'm able to say, all right, okay, this is what I need to do differently.
I need to stop doing this. I need to do more of that.
What would you advise human beings in companies to do in terms of developing closer working relationships with both their most loyal customers and their most ardent opponents and detractors?
Marcus Cauchi: So, In wrapping up this part of the conversation, what would you advise, um, companies to do? No, let me rephrase that. Human beings in companies to do in terms of [00:52:00] developing closer working relationships with both their most loyal customers and their most ardent opponents and, uh, detractors.
Cactus Raazi: One thing that you said that I think is very important is, uh, getting in front of a problem. Uh, I think that it, it's important to let the customer know, regardless of whether they're a great customer or a pain in the neck, that you take their issues seriously and you take your business seriously. So when you see something negative, when you, when you get a phone call, that, that where there's been some sort of a problem, uh, however it is that you're receiving that negative message, I think it's very important to sort of essentially, uh, overcompensate for it and ensure that especially these days, that this, this problem doesn't spin wildly out of control.
I also think that it's important to recognize what the limits are of your sort of techno driven attempt to do customer outreach. Uh, one great. I think a, a good example of a bad idea is receiving a happy birthday [00:53:00] email from a corporation. Gap Inc. says, happy Birthday Cactus Raazi. I mean, cap. What, what does that even mean?
I think it's counterproductive, frankly speaking. And the last thing any of us want is a happy birthday wish from a faceless corporation with whom we did business eight months ago. That doesn't make any sense. So I think those are, those are sort of generally speaking, I think to be avoided some sort of a, uh, you know, bastard child out of someone from the marketing department with that idea.
Horrible idea. You know, we argue for personalization and I think that, that the message around doing things that are personally relevant would have a lot more to do with observing the actual behaviors of the customer and messaging them in whatever way you feel is appropriate. Email, it could be a, a one of these notifications on the phones that seem to be popular these days.
Surprisingly, I do get text messages, which I'm not a fan of, but there's that as well. But messaging people with something that's actually relevant to them, that, that, that you have a high level of confidence that they're gonna care about and you have a high level of confidence, they're gonna [00:54:00] want to hear that message from you, you, the company, cuz it's not likely to be an actual individual at your company that has some sort of actual relationship.
So those are a couple of what I would say generally best practice is to guide how you want to think about your customer engagement as a, you know, larger company that's trying to do these things at scale. And then when it comes to pass that you, uh, there, there's two things we touched upon. The idea of a dialogue and, and an informational dialogue can be quite interesting.
You mentioned a simple three, three question, customer survey. It does make a lot of sense to ac ask an occasional question of a customer. That's just one question. Something quite simple. Do you like. You know, it could be a lot of different simple questions. We've talked a lot about price, so a great example would be, do you feel that this item is fairly priced, a yes or no question and allows you to capture a lot of information because the concept of fair has to do with what the com competitive set might be, and you, you do gain a lot.
What did you like or dislike about this item or about this experience? There's [00:55:00] a lot of different ways you can, and you don't want to pound your customer with it, but if the customer gets that type of question once a month, I think they'll feel it's actually an interesting engagement, particularly if it leads to something else.
Marcus Cauchi: But you have to then feed back. This is the problem with most customer surveys. You know, you leave the hotel, you get the email, and they ask you about the check-in the checkout, the check our cap, but they don't ask you questions in freeform about the noise levels and the fact that you are, uh, your room overlooked the pool. The, uh, aircon didn't work. So you had to have the windows open and there was a stag that you got no sleep and you were next to the lift and you were next to the ice machine. Unless it's personalized in that way. And then you get feedback as to what they have done about it. And this is something that's terribly lacking.
Very few organizations give the instant feedback and, you know, coming back to what Upside does with the instant cashback, you know, you need to [00:56:00] give the brain because the brain is little more than a biochemical drug addict. It can take adrenaline and cortisol to sort of negative hormones, or it'll take dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin doesn't really care which one it gets, but if you don't feed it the right ones and it doesn't feel like, uh, you don't, you don't feel like your opinion matters.
They're just gonna dry up. And that's why the response rates on these things are so low.
What are you struggling with? What are you wrestling with at the moment?
Marcus Cauchi: Okay. Cactus, we've come to time and what, what are you struggling with? What are you wrestling with at the moment?
Cactus Raazi: Well, um, you know, the book has been very well received, which is great, and, uh, and I'm having a lot of really interesting conversations around it.
My day job is still what I do. I, I still price bonds and financial services , so that tends to be between that and my nine week old son. Uh, that tends to to be the bulk of what I'm dealing with these days. When it comes to this notion of, of pricing, you know, we've [00:57:00] implemented a lot of these things in the bond market already.
So I do speak from experience of how to use applied data analytics on a really heterogeneous set of many, many thousands of individual things. Uh, in my case, they're bonds, but they should be customers in the, in the context of our book. And, um, I think the biggest, uh, challenge I'm having, I suppose this is really very much an important strategic conversation, and I feel so many companies are, have a difficult time anticipating where the marketplace is going, and they turn a blind eye to the very clear signs that some of the, some of the things I mentioned in my book, but I, I'm, I'm, I'm not acting as a sage here.
It's very clear from what we're seeing around us, where the marketplace is going and what the potential impact will be on pricing power. And I think it's, it's, it will be quite important for companies to really sit down and think about everything from their, not only their pricing regimes, but also their loyalty regimes and how they're interfacing their customer in light of the changes that this pandemic has [00:58:00] brought and ha and the accelerate acceleration the pandemic has caused in the various social forces that perhaps would've taken longer.
Marcus Cauchi: Definitely, I mean, the pandemic seems to accelerate a lot. And what, what I'm really excited by is historically, after a global event like this, you end up with a renaissance. So I'm very excited to see what's coming.
What one choice, bit of advice would you, uh, would you give the idiot, 23 year old Cactus?
Marcus Cauchi: Tell me, you've got a golden ticket and you can go and whisper in the ear of the idiot, 23 year old Cactus.
What one choice, bit of advice would you, uh, would you give him?
Cactus Raazi: You know, I've been thinking about this a lot, uh, since, you know, have a a, a young child, I take more risk and I've taken a lot of risk in my career. I wanna be clear, like I've taken a lot of risk in life, but as I look back, I'm not sure I've taken enough.
Most of my friends have taken far too little. I think you are supposed to go for it. I think that our culture, I, I'll speak, I'll speak to American culture, but having lived in London for four years, I think what I'm about to say is true of British culture as well. Really punishes [00:59:00] failure and defines failure as anything other than, you know, monumental success.
We're not all gonna be Elon Musk or anywhere near that, or Jeff Bezos or whatever, whoever, you know, whatever champion hero you wanna pull out of the air, Steve Jobs, whatever. But we should all, uh, take, take more risk in our career. We shouldn't be as worried about what our resume is gonna look like, and we jumped around or we tried something and you know, it, it's very clearly was a terrible idea.
Why was it a terrible idea? Learn from it, move on, and who cares if there's a six month stint on your resume? And so that's probably the number one thing that I am advocating for, uh, young people, is to dispense with the old stodgy perspective that you should work at, you know, a big corporation for nice five year blocks of time at a minimum, and have a resume that reads well so you can, so you can get somewhere.
I don't think that that is a no longer a useful piece of advice for the new world that we live in. I think it's about being very dynamic and being unafraid to [01:00:00] take risks and try new things.
What are you reading, watching, listening to, that you think other people should really pay heed to?
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. Thank you for that. Tell me, what are you reading, watching, listening to, that you think other people should really pay heed to?
You mentioned tap. Any books or audios or videos that you'd recommend people read?
Cactus Raazi: I do recommend, oh, well, there's, there's two things that I find really useful. Um, I'm sure many of your, uh, listeners have heard of this, this nutcase, Scott Galloway, he is an NYU professor, but that's besides the point. He's a marketing, he's a, you know, very strong in the marketing field.
He wrote a book called The Four, and it's really an analysis of the four largest, uh, technology companies. It's a great book, and he, he's a great writer and he's a funny writer, but he points out the path to value creation for companies large and small, and the interaction between marketing and other elements of the business that I think is really useful and his framework.
He also has a email blast called [01:01:00] No Mercy, No Malice.
And he, it's very good. And then he also does a podcast with Kara Swisher. That is also an excellent podcast. So, um, I would say he's a, he's great. And then, um, on the FinTech side, because FinTech is near and dear to my heart, there's a, a sort of a, a newsletter called the, uh, the FinTech Blueprint by a gentleman named Lex Sokolin, S O K O L I N.
Lex is his first name, and he is, uh, he's outstanding, outstanding source of information there on FinTech, if that's your thing.
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. The FinTech newsletter in, sorry, how do I spell Sokolin again?
Cactus Raazi: S O K O L I N. And it's called the FinTech Blueprint.
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. FinTech Blueprint. Wonderful. Thank you very much.
How can people get hold of you?
Marcus Cauchi: Cactus. How can people get hold of you?
Cactus Raazi: Well, you know, it's funny. Um, LinkedIn is great. I'm not a huge, you know, sort of, uh, I, I don't like to give Zuckerberg my information, so, uh, I use LinkedIn and, and it's very [01:02:00] easy. There's not that many Cactus Raazi on LinkedIn, so you can find me very
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. Cactus Raazi thank you very much. Thoroughly appreciated.
Cactus Raazi: My pleasure. Thank you so much. It's been, it's been wonderful speaking with you.
Marcus Cauchi: Wonderful. So, if you are the owner or a CEO of a tech company in the 10 to 50 million mark, and your objectives are to grow a strong, fundamentally strong business and achieve real, sustainable hyper growth, have highly engaged, highly productive employees who give massive discretionary effort.
And clients who stick with you year after year after year and bring their wealthy friends. Then let's schedule time for a brief conversation. And if you've heard about the Sales A Force for Good community that we've launched, we exist because customers are the reason for sales people and companies being out there.
And the problem is that sales and commerce has [01:03:00] been derailed. Uh, we've so focused on profit, so focused on growth, so focused on an exit that the customer has been forgotten. Sales A Are Force For Good is a community on a mission to turn sales back into the powerhouse that it all or used to be? In the economy that, and to put the customer first front and center.
So if you'd like to get involved in that or you'd like to be a guest on the podcast, then please email me, firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me on LinkedIn. And if you've enjoyed this conversation, then please like, comment, share, and subscribe. And if you feel the edge, go to Apple Podcast, scroll about a third of the way down the page, and then give me an honest review, a onestar or a fivestar.
Really don't mind which one it is, as long as it's honest. In the meantime, stay safe and happy selling. Bye-bye.