Thursday, March 25, 2010

Getting Specific About Value

We now know that providing relevant content to potential buyers is essential for effective B2B marketing.  One key to increasing the relevancy of marketing content is to make it more specific.  Consider the following two statements:
  • "Our new ProWidget can enable you to reduce equipment downtime and improve manufacturing efficiency."
  • "Customers using our new ProWidget have reduced the cost of equipment downtime by an average of $100,000 per year."
Which of these statements is more compelling?  I think it's clear that the second statement is more powerful because it's more specific.

To make marketing content more specific, you need to have a thorough understanding of how your products and services produce value for customers.  In an earlier post, I explained how to build a customer value matrix that will provide detailed insights about this critical issue.

Now for a confession.  You may need more than one customer value matrix to get a complete picture of how your products and services produce value for customers.  This is likely to be true if you sell to more than one industry or type of business.

To understand why, we need to review a few principles about value.  All products and services have features and attributes that enable certain jobs to get done.  By providing ways to get things done, features and attributes produce benefits for the people and companies that use the product or service.  The value of any product or service depends on the value of the benefits the product or service produces.

The catch is that the value of any particular benefit can vary significantly from customer to customer depending on the nature of each customer's business. 

To capture these differences, you need to create a separate customer value matrix for each industry or major type of business you serve.  After you've created your initial "catch-all" matrix, think about one of the industries of major types of business your serve.  Go back through your catch-all matrix and create a separate version that is targeted to that industry or type of business.  What you are likely to find is that some benefits or sources of value become much more important when you're focused on one particular type of business.  This insight will enable you to develop content that is more specific, and therefore more relevant, to that industry.

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