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Marketing / Business marketing

Promoting your product: Turn features into benefits that sell

Promoting the benefits of your product rather than just the features will make an emotional connection with your customer and persuade them to buy.

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If you want your marketing to be as effective as possible, it has to really mean something to your customers. And one of the best (and easiest) ways to make sure of that is for you to communicate the benefits of your products or services.

Here’s a bit of homework to do right now. Go and grab one of your ads, a brochure or even an email you’ve sent recently and read it. Does it list a bunch of features about your product or service? Such as a 42-inch television with 1080p high definition?

Or does it clearly explain the benefits of your product or service – why the customer needs a 42-inch television with 1080p high definition?

Speaking in terms of benefits rather than just listing of features, whether it’s in writing or in person, means that you’re speaking in a language that your customers understand. They wouldn’t even need to understand what “1080p high definition” is, so long as you explain to the benefit – why they need a TV with 1080p high definition resolution. If you only tell customers about the features, how will they know if those features are good or not?

"If you don’t show your customer what benefits those features offer, your message will fall on deaf ears."

You will likely know why the features of your products or services are important. But if you don’t show your customer in very clear terms what benefits those features offer, your message will fall on deaf ears.

Explain why the customer will be better off with these features, or how a feature will make their lives different and straight away you’ll be able to give those features a lot more meaning.

There is a simple three-step process that you can use to turn all of your amazing features into benefits that sell – and if the ad or brochure you found earlier only listed the features of your product or service, what better time than now to apply this simple process?

Want more articles like this? Check out the business marketing section.

1. Features

What are the features of your product or service? Try to list things that are important to customers, not things that are important to you. And if you don’t know what makes your customers tick and motivates them to buy – find out!

2.  Advantages

Write down the advantages of having each of those features. An easy way to do this is simply write, “which means…” after the feature.

3. Benefits

Now it’s time to list some really clear benefits. The question you ask yourself this time is: “so what?” And the more times you “so what?” your features and advantages, the clearer and deeper the benefits will be.

Let’s look at an example.

Product: XYZ accounting software.
Feature: Provides easy access to your accounting data…
Advantage: … which means no matter where you are in the world you’ll have access to your financial figures.
Benefit: “So what?” So you could be sitting on a beach in Hawaii, sipping on a cocktail, and still have the same access to your accounts as you would if you were sitting in front of your usual workstation. Not to mention that you can use an iPhone, iPad or any other smart device. Plus you can let your accountant have that same level of access, without ever having to see them or see a single USB stick ever again!

Can you see how listing the benefits start to make the features that much more compelling? I’d much rather imagine relaxing on a Hawaiian beach, cocktail in hand, than being told I’ll have “easy access to my accounting data.”

People buy with emotion and justify with logic. They buy the benefit, with which they make an emotional connection, and they reinforce that decision with the feature.

So, how did you go promoting your product? Did you create some no-brainer reasons why customers need to buy your product or service? 

Comment below, or even better – share the benefits you came up with.

Mike Smith

helps small businesses grow, both online and offline. His focus is on simplifying the marketing and IT process for business owners so that they can focus on their passion – running their business!

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