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Marketing an experience, not a product

by nmerrett on ‎11-24-2010 09:13 AM (1,033 Views)

We’re all familiar with the product capabilities feature checklist — we use ‘em too. And sometimes they’re exactly the right thing to use to communicate the information your prospect or customer is looking for.

And we all know the aspect of translating features into benefits … that’s supposed to do the trick in communicating right, right?

But even that’s not enough anymore. More often than not, marketing an experience, and not the specific features and benefits of a product, makes more sense in getting your audience to understand the virtues of your product/company. Today’s business purchase decisions tend to be based as much on emotion as on reason: Did they treat me right? Did I feel good about the experience? What’s the company’s reputation? Will I be happy as a customer of this company? Do I feel like it’s a good decision?

Customers now think in terms of not only features and benefits, but also your product’s effect on their lifestyle, values of the company and how they mesh with their own, satisfaction in doing business with you, willingness to recommend (blog, talk about, rate and review) your company, and more.

So finding the right happy medium between giving the audience the right amount of details about features and benefits, along with the subtler but just as important messaging about the personality of your company: what you stand for, how you handle customer service, the ownership experience, flexibility in helping them buy, set up, and use your products, is key in producing the winning outcome in marketing.

We’re still working on finding that balance and mix: through customer segmentation and research, storytelling marketing (communicating the whole user experience), and more transparency around tangential aspects of our products and services. It’s been interesting going through this process, and we’ll keep at it, refining as we go. Good luck to you as you find the balance too.

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