I have a new client who wants to launch an email marketing campaign. When I asked what business he is in, he said, “We sell telephone equipment and services.”
I offered a gentle correction. “Your business is to help clients operate with greater efficiency and less hassle by deploying smart telecommunications solutions.”
What business are you in? If you say you sell product “x” or service “y,” step back and reassess. Ask yourself, “Why should someone purchase my products or services? How will they benefit?”
The answer to those questions reveals what your business does. You are in business to provide value, to create a benefit. The benefit is what they seek. The product or service is just a means to that end.
Why is this distinction important? Your marketing communications must do more than merely inform prospects and clients about your products and services. You should design communications to interact and collaborate with prospects and client. Content, itself, can deliver a benefit.
My telecommunications client will send emails with tips (best practices for running a teleconference sales call), case studies (how a business like yours used video conferencing to reduce training costs), product comparisons, and other valuable content. He will solicit feedback through interactive surveys.
This will reinforce what the business does. It provides value and benefits. Because they benefit from this content, they’re more likely to see the value in buying the telecommunications products and services.
What benefit do your prospects and clients desire? Answer that question and then create valuable, benefit-driven content. Sales will follow.
(This article first appeared in St. Louis Small Business Monthly which publishes a monthly column, High-Voltage Marketing, by MarketVolt’s Tom Ruwitch.)