successful small business marketer is a cross between an eternal
optimist and a hard-nosed realist.
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Focus On Benefits Not Features
By Joel N.
Sussman Copyright © 2004
Do they think it
would compel them to take action if they were prospective customers, or
just blend in with the hundreds of other marketing messages they're exposed
to day after day? Finding a way to stand out and be noticed is often
hurdle in a successful advertising or marketing campaign.
The most effective way to conduct
a focus group is generally to hire an experienced advertising agency
or marketing research company to
for you. They should know how to guide discussions in a productive direction
and ask questions that elicit unbiased, honest, and useful responses.
getting too caught up in the creative process, the pressures of sales
your own ego, it's easy to lose your objectivity. That's when outside
feedback can be really helpful and necessary.
Whether you're in a restaurant, a dry cleaners, or a repair shop, make a mental note of the things that rub you the wrong way or that make you want to continue doing business there. The same holds true of your reaction to print ads, commercials, billboards, yellow pages ads, or sales pitches. What is it about some of the marketing messages you hear or see that motivate you to pick up the phone, get in your car, write a check, pull out your credit card, or choose one business over another?
thought to why you
keep going back to the same coffee shop, chiropractor, mechanic,
hair stylist. If you can figure out why they've earned your loyalty,
that might shed
some light on how you can improve your own company's ability to attract,
acquire, and retain customers.
Stop and write down
all the strong
selling points that can be used in presentations, brochures, ads,
business cards, sales letters, and web pages. Then figure out
improvements, and enhancements need to be made to your service
quality, your marketing
strategy, and that list of advantages to make it more
The secret, which you and just about everyone else in business has heard of but may not have acted on, is to focus your marketing message on "benefits" rather than "features".
In other words, customers are more strongly persuaded by knowing how a product is going to benefit them, rather than what it's made of. That doesn't mean you should leave out the descriptive features of your product or service; but, in most cases, the main thrust of your presentation or ad should be the benefits your customer will enjoy.
More specifically, focus on your ability to solve their problem, make their lives easier, or help them feel happier, have more fun, be more confident, enjoy better health, or increase their family's safety. They may also be in the market for a product or service that makes them more financially secure, personally admired or loved, more attractive, prosperous, prestigious, comfortable, or pain free.
People have dozens of fundamental needs and emotional triggers, and are motivated by everything from fear and greed to love and vanity. If possible, find out exactly what your prospects' "hot buttons" are, and then tailor your presentation, ad, or web page to those needs.
If you can reach them at an emotional
otherwise convince them that
you can satisfy their needs or solve their problem better
the competition, then
the probability of gaining their business and winning
them over as a loyal client will increase tremendously. Do
and you'll have a
winning formula for small business marketing success.