Listening Script Vocabulary
(Section 3: You will hear a conversation between a male student, a female student, and a tutor in a marketing class. The male student is giving a presentation. First, you will have some time to look at questions 23 to 31 [20 seconds]. Listen carefully and answer questions 23 to 31.)
T = Tutor
M = Mike
S = Sally
T: Good morning, everybody! Right, well, it’s Mike’s turn to give the presentation today so over to you, Mike.
M: Right! Thanks.
T: So, last week in our tutorial with Susan we discussed different approaches to marketing and, Mike, you said you would start off today’s session with a brief overview of a new kind of pricing strategy that is becoming popular with large companies known as ‘revenue management’. So, before you give your actual presentation on Sales Targets, is that still your plan?
M: Yeah, that’s right.
T: So, what exactly is revenue management?
M: Well, it’s a pricing strategy that involves treating items like theatre tickets and hotel rooms as if they were perishable goods like tomatoes and daffodils.
S: Yeah, I just tried to book a ticket yesterday for a performance in London and when I looked on a couple of websites it turned out there were 3 or 4 different prices for the same ticket!
M: Exactly! And what is the rationale for that?
S: Well… the ticket agent said the price you pay depends on things like whether you make a group booking and whether you want to go to a weekend show or one during the week. And it’s cheaper if you buy a ticket where you can’t get a refund if you have to cancel; if you do that the ticket costs about half the normal price. You wouldn’t think it would make that much difference, but it does.
M: Well yes, it certainly does, and that’s basically because the tickets are treated like a commodity. So, if you want a ticket today, then you pay far more for it than if you want it in a week’s time.
S: That doesn’t seem fair.
M: Well… not really… when you think about it, that’s just common sense isn’t it?
S: Mmm. I suppose so.
T: What it means in practice is that you could have three members of the audience sitting in a row in the theatre and each one of them would have paid a different price for their ticket.
S: And is this just happening in the UK?
M: No, no it’s the same all over the world. Theatres are able to “market” a ticket as if it were a perishable product, so its value goes up or down depending on the stage in its life span.
S: So like bananas and milk at the market.
M: Yeah, it’s exactly like that. The truth is that theatres are not actually concerned with selling you a cheap flight. They just want to sell as many seats as possible and make sure that the theatre is full.
T: Mark, why do you think revenue management has become so popular?
M: Well, there seem to be two basic reasons. Firstly, because the law has changed recently to allow companies to behave like this. In the past, they weren’t allowed to change the prices of the tickets. And secondly, we now have computer programs that do the calculations, so the prices can be changed very quickly and accurately.
S: So, you mean ten minutes could make a difference to the price when you’re buying a theatre ticket?
T: That’s right!
S: Are there any other industries using this system, or is it restricted to theatres?
M: Oh no. Airlines have been using this system for some time and many of the big hotel groups use it, too. That’s why the price of a hotel room can vary wildly depending on when and where you book it. Car hire companies are beginning to introduce it, too.
S: It’s all a bit of a gamble really.
T: Well, thank you Mark, for that overview… that was well researched. Now let’s move on with your main topic for today…