Traditional marketers are still, for the most part, selling the features and benefits of their products and why they are better than the competition.
Look at any trade magazine for example, and look at the headlines. I’ll bet 80% of them are promoting just that fact.
To stand out in the crowd and really get some traction in the market, we need to put the WHY before the HOW. The reader wants to know or is searching for solutions to his problems. Ways to make his life better. Here’s an example of someone doing it right (disclaimer, they are a former client of ours).
Osborn is a global manufacturer of surface treatment solutions. In other words, they make stuff to remove and polish metal parts. They are one of the major players in the world, but like everyone else, they have a ton of competition.
A typical method of selling these types of products is on price since most users can differentiate the different levels of quality. It’s hard to make any margin if price is the topic of conversation. So what Osborn did was ask the WHY question to find out what kind of pain points their users are having. One identified they can help in the production process to get the most productivity out of their processes. Whether it’s in their facility or Osborn’s test lab, they can help find a solution.
It’s ironic that many of the performance issues aren’t with the product, but how they are running it on the equipment. Even though they are in the brush business, their ultimate goal is to help the customer. Thus their value proposition isn’t selling grinding wheels, but selling solutions. Do you think price comes into the selling equation now? Nope.
Their program identifies and talks to different end-user groups as well as a different message to their distribution partners. All directing them to specific landing pages.
So if you put the WHY before the HOW, chances are you’ll be noticed more, get more interaction and sell more stuff with price not being the leading topic of conversation.