Nov 20, 2015

Why customers value your product?

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One of the important lessons I learnt in product marketing is - Emphasizing on benefits (and not features) is extremely important when it comes to marketing collaterals and product messaging. Most of the times, we don't give much thought into the benefits our product offers to your customers. We get obsessed about the cool features of our product and our messaging would proudly list them out. Even if we do talk about the benefits, it's more superficial and biased by our own assumptions and experiences. But if we dig deeper, we can figure out the actual value our product can bring into the lives of customers. I call it the "benefits discovery" exercise. This can be done before launch - either as part of your customer development interviews, MVP validation or usability testing feedback.

Ask this one question repeatedly to atleast 12-15 target customers:

 "How does that help you?"

To illustrate the power of this simple question, let me take you through an app that I adore. It's a maps-based mobile app that helps me to track where my daughter's school bus is. Simple information but tremendous value it brings to my morning rush.

How does this tracking information help me?

It helps me to know exactly how far the bus is from my home.

How does that help me?

So I can decide when I need to step out of my apartment with my daughter
So I don't have to go to the front gate early and wait for the bus
So I don't have to cross the road and let my daughter inhale the vehicle polluted air
So I don't have to look at the piled up traffic and get frustrated with the number of single-person self-driven sedans and SUVs

A simple location-tracking app is helping a little bit towards my health and my daughter's health, helping us manage time and catch the bus without any issues.

I can't imagine how I managed earlier when I didn't have this app. On those days (like today), when the app didn't work for some reason, I find it extremely difficult to manage.

If your product/app provides certain information, try to understand deeper on why this information is important to your customers and how does that impact their lives, their routine etc. Interviewing with open-ended, unbiased and empathetic questions can help you figure out the benefits in more depth and can give a lot of clarity. This can eventually empower you to create powerful and compelling messaging for your marketing campaigns.

Try it out and let me know if it works for you.

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