Value Propositions: The Foundation of Any Marketing Story
Everyone loves a good story. It’s the way humans have been communicating for thousands of years and a powerful strategy for retaining information. In marketing, your value proposition should be at the heart of all your storytelling and the theme that guides all of your sales and marketing efforts.
A clear and compelling value proposition can move your company to the top of the consideration list with just a few sentences. A well-crafted value proposition not only explains the value of your product or service, but also the value of your company and how you’re unique from your competitors.
1 in 20,000: Does Your Company Stand Out From the Crowd?
Prospects have many choices for purchasing technology products, services, and solutions. Today, there are nearly 20,000 cloud and hosting partners within the U.S. – and most sell similar products or services. With so much competition, it is critical that your business articulates a meaningful and differentiated value proposition to prospects, customers, and even employees. How can a prospect choose your company if they don’t understand, and believe, that you will solve their business issues?
If your organization already has a value proposition, how do you know if it tells a good story about your company and the services you provide? Based on our work with thousands of partners, our team at Extra Mile Marketing has created a quick and simple exercise to test if your value prop may need some refinement.
Take the “FedEx” Value Prop Test
Read your current value prop aloud and see if it could be used as a description for FedEx. If your company name is in the value prop, replace it with “FedEx”.
You can use the value prop we made up below as an example: “Company X has been working with companies of all sizes delivering solutions that give your business peace of mind. We work hard to keep your business productive, so you can focus on your core business competencies.”
Could this value prop apply to FedEx? Is it clear what Company X provides to its customers or what makes them unique?
How to Get Out of the "FedEx Business":
If your value prop doesn’t pass the “FedEx Test”, what can you do to take it a level deeper and make it resonate with your target audience? Here are just a few questions we ask partners when creating a unique value prop:
- Who is your primary target audience or marketing persona?
- What does your target audience care about, what keeps them up at night?
- What type of customer experience or service do you offer?
- What are the main benefits of working with your company?
- Does your team have any industry or product-deep knowledge/certifications?
- Are there any particular industries your organization knows deeply?
- Do you offer any differentiated auxiliary products or add-on services?
- Do your customers have any compliance, regulatory, or security needs?
Critical: Name 3-5 words that describe your company personality.
Answering these questions will get you on the path to creating a unique value prop. Once you have crafted your unique story, make sure it doesn’t go untold. Integrate it into all of your marketing materials, your sales materials, your on-boarding materials for new hires, your product training, and, of course, on the company website. Make sure everyone within your organization knows your story, since your employees are your best ambassadors!
Fun Fact to Make an Impact
Did you know, if your prospect can’t determine the purpose of your page within the first 15 seconds, they will move on.
Ask a colleague or friend to review your page and have them describe to you what value they gained by reading the page. Often, hearing another person interpret your content will strengthen your understanding and help you craft a more effective value proposition.