How are you marketing/selling your product or service? Are you catering to your product team or to the prospect you have on the phone or on your website? Are you sure?

People make purchase decisions based on emotion but justify their buying decisions based on fact. Chances are you’ll defy this statement. You may say, “Absolutely not! I am a rational human being with a well-thought-out decision-making process that has nothing to do with emotional reasoning!” But the reality is different. People rationalize buying decisions based on facts, but they make purchase decisions based on emotions.

The biggest motivator in marketing and selling shouldn’t be the features of your product. Let’s say you are selling a computer to a customer that isn’t familiar with computers. The features may be the technical specs such as the operating system, wireless data network and CPU, but what the customer is really looking for is the storage of photos, video and music. The difference is that in the former, you are trying to sell the features of the product to a customer that doesn’t understand computers, but in the latter you are catering to his or her needs with your abilities to meet them. One thing is fundamentally true in the world of Sales: Product features are not important to customers, helping them achieve their goals by tapping into their wants and needs is.

Using Emotions as Part of a Branding Strategy

Best-in-Class marketers construct stories around their brands. Branding is the process of attributing certain personality traits to a product so that customers can better identify with it. If certain words resonate with a particular audience, the likelihood of that association means better reception.

DeBeers uses the slogan “Diamonds are forever”, Volvo uses “Safety”, Nike uses “Just Do It”, and HBO uses “It’s not TV, it’s HBO”. There are countless other taglines that top brands are using in their content marketing strategies. Personalizing a brand works to really tap into the minds of our customers. Features don’t sell. It’s the solution to customer wants, needs and goals that do.

Selling with features is like educating a sales team. What really works is getting to know your audience and how your product or brand can help them resolve the problems they face in their daily lives.

The more you know about customers, the more equipped you are at helping them solve their needs with your product. Knowing customer preferences allows you to uncover hidden solutions to their problems even further. When marketing understands the needs of the audience, it enables it to construct targeted messages that resonate with their wants.

If there is one takeaway from this post it’s this: don’t sell your features – cater to your prospect needs. A sound content marketing strategy is customer-centric, not product-centric. Chances are that B2B prospects are already familiar with your product’s features – it’s how the product will help them achieve their goals that matters.

Are you targeting your customers with the right messages?

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