Monday, March 11, 2013

Return on Investment: Are You Selling & Marketing Benefits?

As a former fundraiser, I was always marketing and pitching the benefits to donors. If they chose to invest their donation in the cause, what benefits would they receive and where would their money go? In this tough economy, whether you sell the latest widget or gadget, or want to increase your donor all comes down to benefits.

Don't Just Talk About Your Products & Services: Show Worthwhile Benefits
I recently had the benefits vs. products conversation with a client partner. When I write sales copy for my clients, this is always in the forefront of my strategic brain. I explained how these certain products needed to show the benefits as opposed to just talking up the brand as a product unto itself.

Yes, people invest in the brand solely for the brand name, but that brand name comes with benefits - usually high quality and reliability that people can trust and rely on every time they "invest" in that particular brand. When people drop a chunk of change for a product or service, they don't fork over their money blindly. They want to receive value, in the way of benefits, in exchange for their investment.

Show your benefits - whether visually/graphically, audio/video, or via the written word (or all of the above!)  It all comes down to a valuable investment. People want to know what they get in return for the money they plan to spend on your products and services...and are they a worthwhile investment that will yield successful results? How will these benefits improve their bottom-line, and even more important, how will these benefits improve their LIFE?

Are You the Only Person Who Likes Your Product or Service?
I know that sounds like an odd question, but look at the show "Shark Tank" -  many contestants have competed on there with products that don't make sense (or they are the only one who likes their product). Yet they still ask investors to back a product that honestly won't sell in the "real world." If you haven't done your market research BEFORE you launch a product or service, you are looking at problems down the road.

If you are the only one who likes the product or service, it's going to be a tough sell. You need to think strategically - who are the target markets and who would actually use this product or service and will they invest in it? It won't do you any good if you are the only person on this planet who believes in or likes your product or service. You want others to like and believe in your products and services BEFORE you sell or market it.

I know that sounds like a no-brainer but there are some businesses who take the knee-jerk approach. They realize, after the fact, that they can't sell anything because no one else is invested in the "benefits" of the product. You could have the most amazing product or service in the world, but if you can't show why your products and services could make someone's life easier then you need to start at square one.

Tunnel Vision Content Won't Win You Fans
This also holds true of your content marketing. If you create a blog or website and you only write about topics that interest you, then you'll be your biggest - and ONLY - fan. Think about content that interests your target markets. If you don't care about sales or a bottom-line, that's one thing. However, if you want people to jump on your bandwagon then don't produce contently solely for yourself.

Whether you are a fundraiser or a new start-up, think return on investment when you market your products and services (or cause)...and show don't tell!

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Therese Pope, Copywriter/Content Developer & Digital Buzz-icist

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