January 22, 2019

The problem with benefits

Marketing 101 is to convert features into benefits. A feature is what your product or service does. A benefit is the implication for the person buying it.

The trouble is, benefits come with multiple layers. You can always go a level deeper by asking “so what?”

If you ran a podcasting service, a handy feature might be automatic listing with various podcast platforms. The benefit is that saves me the time of doing it myself, and the headspace of figuring it all out. The end benefit of which is more time with my son in the evenings.

Which actually is a very compelling end benefit, but one that is basically impossible to use in your marketing unless you know I have a son, and store that in a custom field in your database.

End benefits usually boil down to time… people are generally more interested in saving time than earning money. Unless you’re perhaps 21, and have much more time than money to begin with.

The trouble with end benefits is you risk ending up with a generic message. Basically everybody in the world is claiming to save you time, or earn you money. Big deal.

Besides talking about the time you’ll help someone reclaim, it’s also worth thinking about how they are different after working with you. Do you deliver a fundamental change in perspective, greater confidence, or a permanent skill?

People want the benefit, but need the transformation.

To come up with a unique message you should write about both.

Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond runs the Maze Marketing Podcast and Maze Mastery. Rob specialises in content production, ad creation, storytelling and CRM systems. He has two published books, Magnetic Expertise and Simple Story Selling, affordable on Amazon.