If you want your content to perform like a marketing superstar, it may need a healthy dose of sales training. Salespeople know that in order to effectively sell products or services, they must focus on benefits instead of features.
Creating marketing messages which are focused on benefits instead of features may be even more important than tightly targeting your marketing message.
The following phrase is relentlessly pounded into the heads of aspiring sales people, “Features tell – while benefits sell.” Those aspiring sales people are taught that they key to successfully closing sales is to focus upon benefits instead of features.
Unfortunately, many people have trouble distinguishing between features and benefits.. This point was driven home recently when I picked up a box of facial cleansing wipes. On the side of the box in bold print was the following:
4 Benefits in Every Cloth
Did you notice a problem with that list?
The ability of the cloths to cleanse, exfoliate, tone and hydrate are all FEATURES of the cloths – not benefits.
If you’re one of Proctor & Gamble’s multi-billion dollar brands, then you have the luxury of allowing the consumer to “fill in the blank” with the unspoken benefits your products or services. For the rest of us, let’s clarify the difference between features and benefits.
The Why Behind the Buy:
In the case of the box of cleansing wipes, the benefits are almost “self – explanatory.” This is dangerous territory – because one must never “assume” when it comes to customer communication.
The benefits of the cleansing cloths would include:
1. Younger looking skin
2. A radiant, youthful glow
3. Smoother, firmer skin
4. A more beautiful you.
FEATURES describe the cloths and what they do. They clean your skin, they exfoliate, they tone and they hydrate.
BENEFITS describe why the features matter to a buyer. For example, skin that is clean, toned and hydrated looks younger than skin that is not. Exfoliation is also an important part of helping skin to look its best.
Remember, women who purchase this product aren’t buying the features listed,what they’re “buying” is younger, better looking skin.
Features tell – Benefits Sell
Charles Revson the founder of Revlon cosmetics once said, “In the factory we make cosmetics; in the drugstore we sell hope.”
Despite launching a cosmetic company during the depths of the Depression, Revson was able to build a multi-million dollar company on the power of focusing on the benefits instead of the features.
If your marketing messages aren’t making an impact on your bottom line – check to see if you’re confusing benefits with features.