There’s a belief in the marketing and sales industry that customers want to know the features of your products and services. And while this is true to a point, it is by no means the method or the driver of increasing sales.
For example, let’s say you’re a company that sells the best chainsaw in the world. You might want to talk about the machine’s locking differential, its custom grip or even the safety braking mechanism. But for the average customer, this may not be that intriguing. The reason being is they aren't shopping for a chainsaw, they're looking for a solution to their problem: They need to cut down a tree.
And this is true for almost every service or product in the market. Customers aren’t coming to you because of your feature sets, they’re coming to you because you help them solve a problem. So shouldn’t your marketing be focusing on their problem, rather than your product? The answer is a resounding YES.
We run thousands of ads for our clients. And the ones that perform head and shoulders above the competition are the ads that promote the solution to a problem. Many marketers and small-business owners believe their customers will be enticed to come shopping if they are shown a list of features in an ad but time and time again, the ads that speak to the solution outperform feature ads.
Indeed, we recently ran an A/B comparison to prove this point. Our client provides software to large corporations that helps them manage their IT security. We created a piece of content that discussed the software’s features and how those features could help a director of IT. For the test, we also created content that discussed how to solve a common IT problem by using a software like our client’s.
Next, we created two separate campaigns. One campaign put the features of the software front and center while the other campaign promoted the solution to a problem.
After eight weeks of running these campaigns these were the results.
Product Features Campaign
Product Solutions Campaign
Click Through Rate
Conversion Rate (form fill out)
Close Rate (successful sale)
Avg. Deal Size
And these results aren’t out of the norm.
I didn’t invent the idea of selling the solution instead of the product. In fact, there’s a famous quote that states: “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.”
So, the next time you’re trying to market your service or product, look past what you offer and focus on the solution that your customer is really buying. Then craft your message to speak to the solution. It will take some time to perfect the message, but when it’s honed in just right, it will provide you with a much more effective marketing pitch.