Last week I discussed the importance of understanding your market and introduced an exercise called market segmentation to help you identify your target market. This week I will introduce the second reason that marketing plans fail: focusing on features instead of benefits.
Features are those things about your product that explain what it will do – e.g., a smart phone that can record video. Most good sales professionals are very knowledgeable about their product’s features and emphasize them during the sales process.
The problem with selling features is that it doesn’t allow the customer to make an emotional connection to the product. Why would I want to record video on a cell phone? How this question is answered will determine the benefit of the product. For example, since my cell phone is in my possession at all times, I am more likely to catch my grandson’s first encounter with the neighbor’s new puppy. Okay, now I’m very interested in your product – not for the features, but because on-demand video is the only chance I have to capture an unanticipated special moment. It’s this benefit – a strong emotional connection for me – that I’m going to buy, not the feature.
It’s important that your marketing focus on the benefits your product will deliver to the customer. The more powerful your benefits are in connecting the customer to your product, the more successful your marketing process will be.
“Rational thought leads customers to be interested but it is emotion that sells.”
From the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, Vadim Koltelnikov