It is important in crafting a digital marketing strategy and in its effective implementation that a businessman or marketer understands the relevance of the product/service features and benefits.
Let us discuss how product/service features and benefits affect the effectiveness of digital marketing.
What are features?
The features of a product or service are its physical and palpable characteristics that highlight its usefulness to potential consumers or users.
Such characteristics include its design, components, operations, and individual and overall functions. Essentially, as a whole, it describes what a product/service can do.
Usually described in technical terms, features or combinations of features are intended to provide specific benefits to the users of the product/service.
To illustrate a product feature, let us take an office chair. Its features can be an ergonomic design with pneumatic height adjustment.
What are benefits?
The benefits of a product or service are more complicated to define as these are relative in application and subject to individual users’ or consumers’ perception.
Benefits are fundamentally what a product or service can achieve or deliver in relation to the needs or problems of its users.
Such accomplishments are relative in the sense that needs satisfaction level are different among consumers. These are also interpreted based on the mental impression and emotional response of individual users.
Let us again take the office chair example above to illustrate a product benefit.
Users may or may not give importance to its ergonomic design (relative application). What is important for some users is that it is a functional office chair and looks nice (mental impression). It is comfortable to sit on and relaxing (emotional response).
Other related discussions may take up the subject of product advantage, which explains what the product/service feature does which consequently result in benefits delivery.
In the case of the office chair example, its marketer should explain what an ergonomic design is and how it contributes to an efficient and comfortable work environment.
Why are features and benefits critical to customer acquisition?
In marketing and in sales, it is critical to emphasize the benefits rather than the features.
Customers buy benefits, not features. As mentioned above, benefits are perceived and felt. Benefits tap into the mental and emotional faculties of the consumers/users as to how their needs or problems are addressed.
As with the office chair example, what matters to the users is a comfortable and relaxing working environment. The users care not about ergonomic design but do care about what the particular office chair can do for them while working.
While benefits are crucial in the successful presentation of a product/service, the features, as well as advantages, should always explain clearly and in a verifiable manner the claimed benefits.
How do you present features and benefits that lead to sales?
All marketing messages and sales presentation should highlight the benefits in a direct, concise, unequivocal, and compelling manner that is aimed at the emotion of the target consumers. It should make an emotional connection.
The creatives (drawing, picture, video, graphical representation, color scheme, and the like) and the text (headlines, sub-titles, message) should create a pleasant mental picture and evoke positive emotion among the target audience as to how their needs and/or problems are addressed by the product/service.
Marketers should be able to present their product/service benefits in a way that creates desire and drives action among the target customers. Features should clearly and convincingly support it.
Digital marketing will be more effective if marketers know, understand, and implement these concepts well.