The Gillette Safety Razor ad from the 1950s or 60s that featured a baby covered in shaving cream and holding a razor probably wouldn’t fly today. Similarly, we probably won’t see anything like The Soda Pop Board of America’s “For a better start in life start cola earlier!” slogan being used in any modern marketing campaign. (Let’s hope we don’t!) Nevertheless, you have to admit that there’s something compelling about those ads from yesteryears. After you chuckle over what might be inappropriate or downright erroneous messages, you might take notice that old ad campaigns tend to be results-driven. They deliver results-driven messages. They make promises. They get the point across.
In the B2B space, and in the B2B tech sales space, in particular, sales and marketing professionals tend to overcomplicate things when it comes to messaging. We like to talk about how we developed our products and services, what our processes are like, and boast about the details and capabilities of our technologies, etc. There are times and places to talk about those things, but when you’re trying to get the attention of new prospects, it can be a lot more effective to simply state what the customer is going to get out of your product or service. If you think about, the one question every consumer—including you—always wants answered is: What is the benefit?
It is worth noting that social media posts that are promoting a product or service are typically far more effective when they’re results-driven versus explanatory or blatantly asking for a direct sale. Facebook has taken a lot of criticism lately for allowing promotional posts or sponsored ads to appear in individual news feeds. One way to distinguish your posts from annoying or unwanted posts is to simplify your messaging and focus on consumers’ wants and needs.
If you’re in B2B tech sales, you probably see overly complicated statements like this one on an almost daily basis: “ABC Product is a proprietary, logistics cost data analytics and visibility platform designed to enable total supply chain spend management.” A statement like this probably isn’t going to be very effective as a social media post, or in any initial marketing collateral or message you deliver to prospects. The good news is that when you put the consumers’ wants and needs first, it becomes fairly easy to whittle down complex statements and generate a message that is focused on benefits. A similar and much simpler statement might be: “Generate greater supply chain cost-savings with ABC Product.” You could also turn the statement into a phrase such as, “The supply chain visibility you need to save big.” You might be surprised by how much traction you can get out of a simple, results-driven message and a link to an appropriate landing page.
By asking, “What is the benefit to the consumer?” at various points as you work on any piece of sales and marketing collateral, you can make your messaging a lot clearer and your audience a lot more willing to listen.