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Marketing Features Vs. Benefits

Learn the difference, and then see the difference in your bottom line.

By Laura Clampitt Douglas • Oct 10, 2014 Originally published Dec 12, 2000

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There isn't a business owner in the world who hasn't wrestled with the features vs. benefits dilemma tossed at them by well-intentioned marketing gurus. The funny thing is, as critical as the concept may be, I've found that not one in 10 businesses really understands the difference. And that's one of the main reasons most small-business marketing plan efforts don't work!

Most SOHO owners decide what business to start based on two factors: 1) what they're good at and like to do, and 2) what they assume possible customers will buy. Often those latter assumptions are correct, but small-business marketers also assume that prospects will understand why they should buy the product or service just because they've been told about it. Thus, business owners only communicate the features of their product or service to prospective customers and neglect to mention the benefits.

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