What makes your business valuable? Do prospective customers know? If you asked them, what do you think they would they say?
Uncovering Customer Value
Before you can launch any successful marketing campaign, you need to have a thorough understanding of what your customers value. Even if you have a superior product offering, unless you’re able to communicate customer value your target audience will have no way of knowing what makes you different—costing your business potential leads and sales revenue.
Earlier we wrote about communicating brand value to customers and the critical importance of knowing your competition—those you know are generally in the conversation when prospective customers are deciding between your business and another. When possible, compare their marketing messaging side by side. This can include their website, brochures, rack cards, print advertisements, etc.—anything you can readily access.
- Who are they targeting?
- What words/phrases/themes are they using to describe their products/services?
- Are there particular areas where they do a better job of communicating customer value? If so, what makes their messaging different?
- How are they using their images to showcase their core offerings? Are they effective? If so, why?
- From the eyes of a prospective customer, how likely would you be to make a purchase when objectively comparing their marketing messaging to yours
Ask for Customer Feedback
We can’t say this enough. Spend time learning more about why they like your products, what they feel makes you stand out, and what makes them keep coming back for more. There are many different ways to get feedback from your customers including email surveys, face-to-face conversations, or by phone, depending on your business. Possible questions to consider include:
- What do you like most/least about our products/services?
- What’s one thing we should never stop doing?
- What made you choose us over our competitors?
- What do you feel our competitors do better than us?
- When you think of our business, what words come to mind?
When we work with small business clients, the most common marketing mistake we see is underselling the potential value add. Instead of providing descriptive content that 1) not only could help improve their online visibility but 2) also give prospective customers helpful information to compare one option versus another, they often “mail it in” with a bulleted list or generic descriptions of their products and services.
Articulating Your Value Proposition
Communicating customer value requires capturing the little touches that make your business unique—how your products are made, what makes your process different, the quality of your materials, etc. For example, it’s not enough to just say you’re “innovative.” You have to provide additional texture to show what makes you innovative—especially compared to everyone else. Likewise, when you’re in an overly saturated market, you need to flesh out your unique expertise and what your business brings to the table. That could be expert design and installation, the exceptional quality of the products and brands you work with, ongoing customer support, or a number of other factors. Once you’re able to clearly identify your unique value proposition and any key points of differentiation, you want to communicate those themes across every marketing channel.
Delivering a Consistent Marketing Message
Every social media post, advertisement, and page on your website should either directly or indirectly reinforce your value—something that becomes even more crucial as your price point goes up. In most cases, customers won’t know what they’re getting for their money unless you actually tell them. If you’re charging thousands of dollars, there are generally certain expectations that will automatically come along with the purchase that have to be addressed in your marketing messaging.
Where to Start
Spend time upfront uncovering the value of your products and services and look for opportunities to communicate that value to your target audience. When you do, you’ll be able to increase leads and continue to attract new customers.