No One Cares About Your Features, So Start Defining Your Solutions

One of the biggest problems I see when companies market their technology solutions is that they incorrectly focus on defining the features instead of the benefits. Customers are less interested in the specific functionalities of your product and more concerned with how it will add value to their lives.

While features are important, they aren’t the driving force behind why users purchase software, and therefore they shouldn’t be the focal point of your marketing and sales messaging. Instead, you must identify the specific pain points of your target audience as well as the actionable benefits that your solution provides. Doing this gives you the opportunity to apply targeted marketing and selling strategies, and a little strategy can go a long way toward driving new business and reducing the cost of sales.

Ideally, your product or service should solve a problem for your customers, and your marketing should showcase the ways in which you provide high value. Switching to a more customer-focused strategy based on what you continuously learn about client needs and experiences is what will transform marketing from a cost of business to reducing the cost of a sale.

So, how do you get out of this feature description mindset? Make a list of each feature – What problem does it solve? How does each solution differ from those of your competitors? Go through this process with each feature, one at a time. Doing this will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of what each feature brings to the table, and you can begin to identify the specific needs and pain points of your target audience. This becomes the foundation of the messaging used for sales and marketing collateral, as it connects your features to the goals of your customers. Taking the time to go through this process of understanding your audience can give you a competitive advantage – which translates to more business for you.

Once you’ve moved past the basic features by defining your audience’s pain points and discovering solutions to them, the challenge is letting other people – existing and potential clients – know about it. Spread the word about what makes your solution stand out from the competition. Use every communication channel available to you, especially digital and social channels because they tend to be very low cost. Test a few different strategies and strategy mixes like nurture approaches, digital advertising, pay per click ads, and SEO – learn what resonates with your audience, then measure the approaches that drive the most lead conversion.

Taking the time to extract pain points, solutions, and differentiators and using them to market your solution will earn you the designation of top choice by your customers.

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About the author / Jody Haneke

Jody Haneke is President and Founder of Haneke Design, a full stack, custom software development agency in Tampa, Florida. Mr. Haneke was part of the emerging field of user experience design from the day he graduated Ringling College of Art and Design with a degree in Graphic Design in 1995. Haneke Design has become the go-to resource for companies such as NYSE, Paramount Pictures, Target, and the One World Observatory to launch digital products that amaze and delight end-users.

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