Best Practices in Defining Your Value Proposition

content marketing, content management, content strategy, strategic marketing, marketing strategically, strategic communicationsThe value proposition for a product or service is a foundational element in any sales and marketing activity. The value proposition responds to consumers’ question of “why” related to your products and services. “Why should I buy your product?” “Why should I subscribe to this service?”

A value proposition isn’t an off-the-top-of-your-head pitch to potential customers. It has to be carefully crafted, based on a solid understanding of your audience’s needs and values. Writing for Forbes, Rebecca O. Bagley recommends a three-step process for developing a value proposition:

Identifying Customer Benefits

What is it about your product or service that will benefit customers? This isn’t the same thing as touting the bells and whistles of a new product that you or your operations team are proud of. It’s not about features—it’s about benefits. What’s in it for your audience? How does your product or serve address their needs or add value to their lives in some meaningful way?

Linking These Benefits to Mechanisms for Delivering Value

This step involves making the leap between your product or service benefits and actual results or impacts for customers. “Broadly speaking, all businesses deliver value in one or a combination of three categories of differentiation: cost, technology and service,” writes Bagley. “These bases for differentiation include many value delivery mechanisms such as warranty, performance and accessibility.”

Mapping the Basis for Differentiation or Market Play

Bagley recommends mapping the benefits of your product or service on a chart with three axes: cost, technology and service. Use this chart to help identify your strengths and key areas of differentiation.

A value proposition can be treated like an elevator pitch for your product or service. Value propositions work for business-to-business (B2B) audiences, just as they do for business-to-consumer (B2C) audiences. Writing for Entrepreneur in an article titled “6 Fatal B2B Sales Mistakes You Must Avoid,” Marc Wayshak says, “Every time a B2B prospect asks what exactly it is that you do, you should have a quick and rehearsed response that succinctly describes the value you create.” Getting clarity around the value you provide is important and, recommends Wayshak, you should: “Clarify, script out, and memorize your value proposition. This is the only part of your sales presentation you have to memorize, so there’s really no excuse for hazy, rambling answers to this question.”

One final point that we would stress. You need to make sure that your value proposition is based on what your potential customers value—not on what you think they value. Don’t leave this to chance. When we work with clients and hear them say something like: “Our customers don’t get our value proposition,” that’s a clear signal that they haven’t done enough work to understand what their customers value.

A well-thought-out, succinct and compelling value proposition, aligned with customer needs, is a must for any marketing and marketing effort—whether B2C or B2B. It’s the kind of fundamental business element that you should spend serious time crafting, refining and perfecting.

What’s your value proposition?

 

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About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We are adept at evaluating and analyzing communication efforts and working with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content, through both on- and offline media to achieve desired results. Our background in business journalism, marketing, PR/media relations and online communications makes us well-positioned to serve the needs of 21st-century marketers.

We serve clients who are looking for help creating content for a wide array of channels—from social media posts to full-length manuscripts, and everything in between. We focus primarily on service-related B2B topics and work with a number of independent consultants interested in building their thought leadership through online channels. For ongoing content management, our first step is to fully understand your goals, objectives and competitive landscape.

Then we’ll conduct a thorough analysis and assessment of your digital presence, compared to competitors, and recommend a communication strategy to achieve your goals. But, we also regularly take on individual projects – white papers, blog posts, contributed articles, etc. If you’re interested in learning more, let us know!

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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