Less experienced marketers often define value purely in monetary terms, but creating value isn’t just about how low you price your product or service. In fact, the cost is only a small part of the marketing process. Creating value, however, is about selling the benefits to your target audience.
In other words, people want to know what’s in it for them when they make a purchase. They want to know what is so great about the individual features of your product and how they can benefit them.
Talking only about the features of your product or service is generally ineffective, since consumers cannot or do not want to bother matching features to benefits. Unless they are experienced professionals who already know exactly what they want, you need to create value by selling the benefits of using the product. By contrast, if you’re trying to sell the features, you’ll likely fail to make any kind of meaningful connection with your target audience.
Let’s compare the following:
The 34″ LG-34UC88 curved UltraWide Monitor features an aspect ratio of 21:9 and a display resolution of 3440×1440.
Immerse yourself in movies and video games and enhance your productivity with the curved LG-34UC88 UltraWide Monitor.
Unless you’re somewhat of an enthusiast who happens to be completely familiar with the terminology, you’re not likely to be able to make a great deal of sense out of the first feature-focussed example. However, the average user can clearly see the benefits of buying such a monitor from the second example. Someone who plays video games, watches movies or uses a computer for productivity-related tasks can immediately see why they should buy the product from that one sentence alone. This certainly does not mean that features are unimportant, but it is highlighting the benefits that reach out to the right people and draw their initial interest. You can certainly talk about the features later on but, when you are trying to draw attention and make a sale, benefits are everything.
Features Bring Forth Benefits
Every product has features ranging from construction materials used to physical size, aesthetic options and much more. However, people don’t want features; they want benefits. Fortunately every feature typically has multiple benefits associated with it. Going back to the example of the LG-34UC88 computer monitor, we can see that it sports a screen resolution of 3440×1440 pixels. To many people, these are just numbers that might not necessarily mean much, especially at a fleeting glance. However, the 3440×1440 resolution presents some key benefits, including more on-screen space to work with and a crisper, clearer display.
Similarly, saying that the monitor is curved leaves a lot of people puzzled. People want to know what’s so special about having a curved monitor. They want to know that the benefits of a curved design include greater immersion and a more comfortable viewing angle. Ultimately, being a good marketer is about being able to identify the benefits that each feature brings and being able to match them to people’s emotions.
You might have the best product in the world to sell, but it’s all for nought if you are not marketing it in the right way. To begin, you will want a long list of features, but stopping here will do nothing for your marketing strategy. Next, you will need to ask why each feature is present so that you can turn them into benefits that actually make sense to the consumer and inspire emotional responses. If you can’t think of an answer to the reason for each feature existing, then it might be that the feature is completely pointless.
Bring the Benefits to Life
The next step is to bring each the key benefits of your product to life. It is fine to say the LG-34UC88 monitor is great for immersion in video games and movies, but as far as the consumer knows, that could just be a bunch of advertising hype. To really make your sales copy effective, you will need to take more of a case-study approach and provide a more in-depth look into how the product can truly help people:
The LG-34UC88 UltraWide greatly increases your field of view in modern video games while doing away those annoying black bars in standard movie recordings, bringing a whole new level of immersion in multimedia content.
In the above example, the key benefits of the LG-34UC88 UltraWide are clearer than ever. Field of view is a major concern for any serious gamer, while most of us can count ourselves less than satisfied with the letterbox black bars accompanying movies on most screens. In other words, the above makes direct references to the consumer’s pain points and illustrates, through product benefits, how purchasing this monitor can help them.
As Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt famously said, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want to buy a quarter-inch hole”. In other words, consumers are interested in results brought about by a product’s benefits which, in turn, are brought forth by its features. Including a list of specifications of your product is great, but when it comes to your sales copy, you should focus almost entirely on the product’s benefits to build its value.