Lecture 4. Customer Benefits
It’s vital to communicate what’s in it for the customer rather than our own perspective on our products.

We need to emphasise customer benefits, based on a deep understanding of what they are really buying from us.

We can describe our enterprise and the products we offer, from two points of view: from our own perspective; or from the point of view of the customer.

Marketing is very much about looking at things from the customer’s point of view. In fact it has been said that marketing is not a separate department of a business; it is the whole business seen through the eyes of our customers.

This is much easier to say than to do. Naturally, we see our creative enterprises from our own point of view, because we are inside it. Also, we know a great deal about the processes, creativity, methods and other details of our business.

But what does the customer care about? The customer is only interested in what we can do for them. We talk about the features of our products but the customer only wants to know about the benefits – what’s in it for them.

If we talk about our products and the customer’s reaction is “So what?!”, then we have likely been talking about features, not customer benefits.

In order to be able to communicate customer benefits effectively, we need to see things from the customer’s point of view. This means standing in their shoes, looking at our business from the outside, not the inside.

Crucially, it usually means listening to customers before talking to them. In this way we can understand more fully their perspectives, their needs, their preference and all the things that they care about. In this way we can understand more deeply exactly what the customer is buying from us – and this may not be exactly what we think we are selling. Sometimes they are buying intangible benefits: for example some kind of status, or sense of community or other ‘feel-good factor’.

It is only when we understand our customers’ point of view that we can sell to them by focusing on what they value – the benefits to them.

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