When consumers use a product or service, they do so because they seek the bundle of benefits that a particular product or service delivers. Take a look at this ordinary drill bit. When you go to the hardware store to buy the drill bit, what are you actually buying? The drill bit? No. It's the hole that the drill bit will make that you're actually buying. The hole is the benefit of the drill bit. But we can take this idea of benefits even further.
Why do you need the hole? So you can hang that picture of you winning that special award at work. Keep going. Why do you want to hang that picture of you? So you can stay motivated to keep doing a great job. You may not have realized it, but you bought that drill bit to advance your career. Sound crazy? In marketing we call this Feature Benefit Laddering. Take a look at this example. Think of the steps of a ladder. At the bottom rung is your product.
Right above that are its main features, sharp spiraling edges, length, material, and so on. Then, above each feature is the primary benefit it delivers. In the case of a drill bit, that is simply a hole. Keep going, and you see that you can do a lot of things with a hole, including hanging a picture, and so on. We do this so we can understand how our product delivers value to the customer. Later, we'll use it to test whether consumers understand our product.
That might affect how we communicate to them. Let's create a feature benefit letter for a maker of high quality men's wallets. You start by listing all the product's features along the bottom. Then for each feature you write the benefit it delivers for each benefit you list the value it delivers. By value I mean the motivation a consumer would have for wanting the product. Our completed ladder looks like this. It's a bit like unpacking your product or service so you can see what the various features actually deliver.
To complete the product analysis, you need to test each feature of your product compared to the same feature on your competitor's products. You need to determine which feature performed better than the competition, which performed the same, and which performed not as well. When you complete the analysis, take a close look. Are there features that need to be improved? Are there certain competitors you want to avoid or possibly go after based on product performance? Later on, you'll be choosing a high-performing feature and its benefits to base your marketing strategy on.
Here's why. When you outperform the competition on a feature that is important to consumers and they know it, guess what? You earn a lot of customers. And that's what good marketing is all about.
You'll also learn to address tactical challenges and present the plan to get buy-in throughout an organization, from the C-suite to the sales team, as well as use the marketing plan to guide outside agencies and vendors. Finally, you'll learn how to launch the campaign and measure its performance.
- Define marketing in an organization.
- Explain the planning process.
- Determine the scope of a marketing plan.
- Research competition and analyze products.
- Describe how to segment and target customers.
- Explain the 4Ps model.
- Understand and design distribution channels.
- Measure Key Performance Indicators.