Pricing

What Does a Pricer Do?

By Christine Carragee
April 12, 2013

Yesterday I meet with a woman from my alma mater whose job is to network with alumni and fundraise. She gave me her best shot at describing what she thinks I do professionally as a “Pricing Consultant.” Her depiction was a reasonable account of Activity Based Costing, the basis of Cost-Plus pricing. It was probably a fair assessment of what some Pricers do in certain industries, and surely a more accurate representation of my job than what my mother could have come up with, but I felt slighted none-the-less.Pricing Professional meme

In an attempt to employ the Socratic method, I asked her if she thought her description was the way the university determined their pricing. (It’s a more reasonable question when you consider I worked briefly for a for-profit online Higher Ed institution.) She readily agreed that University pricing was not the Cost-Plus type she had described and that there were a lot of other pricing models operating across industries she hadn’t immediately considered.

With the Spring Professional Pricing Society Conference coming up I’m sure there will be a lot of discussion around the evolution of the profession and the importance of moving up the competency curve. We’ll have to continue strive to fight the impression that we walk around with pricing guns and arbitrarily set discount thresholds. Across industries the only consistency seems to be Microsoft Excel, however much we’d prefer not to admit it.

I invite you to comment on what it is that you “actually do” and why it is an important and distinct function from finance, accounting, and product marketing.

    Christine Carragee

    Christine has a diverse background in pricing analysis and implementation across industries. As a pricing practitioner, she has worked in both B2B and B2C environments and collaborated across functional areas to improve margin performance. Applying her passion for data analysis, Christine has helped Vendavo customers to anticipate their data and reporting needs during requirements gathering in anticipation of the on-going the value realization process. Another component of her work has focused on corporate education and training; ensuring strong project ROI through user adoption and increased pricing understanding.

    Post Comments 3

    Steve Goble Apr 15 2013
    Is there one or two favorite books you could recommend regarding pricing strategy? One that aligns with the Vendavo culture. I have attended one of your summits in the past with a previous company I worked for (Pentair) but couldn't get them interested in your company. I try to stay connected with communication and am interested in getting a better grasp on complex pricing strategies.
      Edward Gorenshteyn Apr 15 2013
      Hi Steve, thanks for commenting. A couple favorites around the office are The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing and Contextual Pricing: The Death of List Price and the New Market Reality. Enjoy!
    Christine Carragee May 29 2013
    Steven, Sorry for the belated response. I was recently poking around on the MIT open courseware site and found the Slone Pricing course: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/sloan-school-of-management/15-818-pricing-spring-2010/readings/ The main text is in fact The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing which Edward suggested. Personally, I also like Tim Smith's book "Pricing Strategy: Setting Price Levels, Managing Price Discounts and Establishing Price Structures" for the quantitative exercises and practice problems. Also on my reading list this year was a suggestion from our CEO, "Competing on Analytics: the New Science of Winning" by Davenport and Harris. This one isn't solely focused on pricing, but is none-the-less highly applicable and informative for pricers especially those who have large data sets to play with.