Whether we’re creating a marketing plan, implementing a creative campaign or setting up for a key sales call, there is always a big question lurking in the background of all of our efforts – “What is the value of our product/service to the customer?”
Most marketers can create a list of features that show off their product, might even do enough to differentiate it from competitors, but features don’t really drive response or sales. A list of benefits, what good things your product or service will result in for the customer is better, and will drive response and sales. But showing value, real intrinsic and perceived value, is where the true art of observation, listening, distillation and research converge to drive real results. This is where experience will pay off.
Take for example a simple cleaning service: the features they might offer include trained personnel, bonded service agents, natural or organic or hypoallergenic cleaning products, long-term contacts and one-time specials for realtors and landlords. But those features will make the reader work to derive the benefits from them, if you’re lucky. More likely they will go on to the next competitor.
Benefits derived from these might include peace of mind for landlords and homeowners, high quality cleaning jobs above and beyond the normal, fixed and reasonable pricing, flexible scheduling for repeat customers etc. Good benefits, if you know you have a need and understand how such services work and the challenges that they can bring. Again, a lot of work for the reader to figure out whether this service is for them.
But what is the real value – a good impression on viewers or potential renters or buyers of the house or it’s residents, reduced risk of disease and infestation because the house is clean, reduced risk of allergic reaction due to reduced dust and allergens, and the bottom line – you don’t have to put in the work to clean the house! People hire a cleaning service because they don’t have time or expertise or inclination to clean it themselves. Luxury, convenience, time saving, thoroughness and a quality result are the key value triggers for marketing those types of services, so make sure you highlight them in your outreach efforts.
Those values can be derived from some quick customer and ex-customer research, maybe a card after the service is SOLD, not after services are rendered, that’s a service-level evaluation, not a buying reason. Maybe a quick online survey or e-mail survey to your current and past customer list would reach the audience effectively. But you have to ask the right questions to extract this actionable information, and some analysis is needed to apply the newly derived data to your creative and strategic executions – that’s where the experience comes in – a highly experienced marketer can do that distillation of data and analysis and derive a strategy based on that knowledge and execute it for real results.
Do your homework, do the analysis, and show the VALUE in your offering, not just features and benefits – value finds a home in buyers minds every time.
If you found VALUE in this post and would like to receive even more, be sure to pick up a copy of “The Marketing Doctor’s Survival Notes” –