Romeo & Juliet. Antony & Cleopatra. Frida & Diego. Napoleon & Josephine. Yes, these are some of the famous romances of all time. But there’s one famous couple that’s missing from the list:
Marketers & Our Features and Benefits
Oh, how we love the features and benefits that make our products and services special. We print them out on brochures. We bullet them out on our websites. We spackle them across billboards. We even memorize them for networking events. Can I share a dirty little secret with you? It’s a doozy, so make sure you’re sitting down. OK, here goes: Your customers don’t give a rat’s patoot about your features and benefits. What they do care about is your answer to this question: “Can you take away my pain?”Let me illustrate with a little parable:
Let’s say I’m walking down the street on my way to work. All of a sudden, the sky blackens, the morning breeze accelerates to a gust, and the inky clouds unload a deluge on us unsuspecting pedestrians. I’m getting soaked, with six blocks to go and no time to stop. And just for the sake of argument, let’s say that I have no idea what an umbrella is.As I trudge through the torrent, I pass several shops proudly displaying their umbrellas. Their beautifully-printed signs herald the good news:
- ’4 out of 5 consumers prefer our umbrellas’
- ‘Bob’s Umbrellas: Solid construction and stylish design’
- ‘Big umbrellas, small umbrellas, umbrellas that glow in the dark—we got ‘em all!’
All terrific marketing copy that would totally entice me to buy … if only I knew what an umbrella was. Finally, I see another sign, emerging like a beacon in the darkness. It says: ‘Getting wet? We can help.’ I dash in, and after a brief but educational chat with the clerk, I walk out with my shiny new umbrella. And I’m thrilled.
Even if your prospects know what your product or service is and what it can do, you need to figure out that point of resonance between what you do and what keeps them up at night. Moral of the Story: Take your marketing message and flip it around. Forget about your features and benefits and speak to the pain you can take away. And you just might end up with a customer for life.