Marketers will tell you that to market your product or service well, you need to highlight the benefits of what you are providing. As discussed before, this is more about selling the “hole in the wall” than the “drill” (please see previous blog post on this).

So, how do you establish your products’ benefits? How do you then choose the ones that are most likely to grab attention (of the right sort) and help move people along your sales pipeline?

Easy: start with your target group. Then go back to them. And finish with them.

First, begin by imagining your typical customer that uses (or buys/consumes; whichever is most appropriate) your product or service. Answer these questions:

          What are they using it for?

          Why are they using it?

          How are they using it?

          When are they using it?

          What other options do they have apart from your product or service?

          Why have they chosen yours? Why have they NOT chosen yours?

For this exercise, I would always recommend getting as many of your team, at all levels, involved. This way you will get different views and often something is brought up which you haven’t considered. Definitely involve all customer-facing staff.

Next, observe your target groups using your products, ideally in the environment in which they are used. Even better, without people knowing you are observing them, as we all change our behaviour when we know it is being scrutinised. Yes, even sit in a coffee shop pretending to read a paper if you have to. Some of the best product innovations, feature enhancements and changes to products have come from quiet, unobtrusive observation.

Once the questions above have been answered, based on the target group, you will find you can start to write statements that begin:

“People use my product/service to….

…work faster

…deliver business results

…make their lives easier”

Now you have your list of benefits and these are what need to appear in your marketing. Entice them in first by letting them know how you are going to solve their problems and make their lives easier; then establish your credentials by listing your features. Do it the other way round, and you risk being ignored and having wasted your time.

By Kara Stanford, MD, KMS Marketing

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