Business Plan Center

Tips for marketing your product or service

Your main selling points should be front and center. Here are some ideas for showing off your features and benefits.

Published: April 24, 2015

Your marketing should show your customers how each feature of your product solves a problem, meets a need, or satisfies a desire.

Here are four tips to help you communicate the value of your offerings.

1. Identify the features of your product or service.

Look at what you offer, and ask:

  • How is it made?

  • What is it made of?

  • How is it packaged and delivered?

  • What is new or unique about it?

  • Does it offer a bonus?

  • What is its life span?

Your marketable features might include free consultations, the technology you use, the contractors you hire, overnight delivery, or follow-up services. Not every feature is worth marketing, so consider what will appeal most to customers.

2. Showcase features and benefits.

Features are the actual characteristics and capabilities of your product. Benefits are how these features provide value to your customers. For example, a digital camera's features might include megapixels, lens type, and memory card size, but its benefit would be the ability to capture action shots without motion blur. Analyze your offerings to make sure you understand your features and benefits, and can leverage both in marketing.

3. Craft benefit statements.

For each item on your list of product or service features, consider the advantage it provides to customers: Does the feature solve a problem or address a frustration? Does it satisfy a need or desire? Then, use that information to create benefit statements, which list the larger benefit of an offering first and follow up with the specific features. Here's an example:

"Picternity Photography captures and preserves your cherished family memories for generations to come. We print on archival canvas so your portraits will stand the test of time and become cherished heirlooms."

4. Revise your message as needed.

Adapt your benefit statements for different media types, including packaging, product descriptions, advertising messages, and in-person meetings.

For example, you should develop a very short version of your pitch for your packaging and mobile website, which consumers are likely to just scan. Consider writing it as bulleted list. Zappos.com is one online merchant that uses this approach:  

  • Water-resistant upper for durability

  • Cushioned midsole for all-day comfort

  • Lug sole for stability and traction

While this format isn't suitable for all marketing messages, it can help you communicate features and benefits to customers quickly and clearly.

By highlighting the direct benefits that come with the features of your product or service, you can show customers why your offerings are the best available. Consider these techniques as you develop your advertising and marketing strategy and include it in your business plan.

Continue to regularly evaluate your marketing strategy. Look for these signs that it may be time for an update.

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