What's In It For Me?
May 21, 2013
What's in it for me if I'm the listener? Why should I spend more time with the station, compared to all the other ones who are presenting similar ideas with the same features to drive up the ratings? Mr. Trumper was asking questions that I was totally unprepared for at that moment, after presenting my marketing plan for the next ratings period for the group of stations he owned in Lexington, KY.
I was a very young marketing director, getting my first opportunity to present my ideas directly to the owner, and I was sure that all the bases were covered to make him feel confident about an investment in our campaign for the next 12 weeks ... at least I thought so, until that moment.
I had met with the key management team members to discuss the concepts, carefully laid out the ideas to drive listening, which included cash giveaways that would be promoted through well-planned tactics to get a result. I researched what the plan would cost and built a great-looking presentation with all the items listed for our success in bold bullet points. I was convinced this plan would work.
The part I totally missed while attempting to dazzle him with all of the facts of the campaigns was the most important part, which focused on the real benefit of why someone would connect with us in the first place. The listeners were the key to our ratings success; they would ultimately decide in their mind -- after hearing or seeing our promotion offer -- if this was a real benefit to them, and worth investing time to participate each day, or if it was simply more noise that cluttered up their life -- and could simply be ignored.
My mistake in those early days was thinking that listing facts and features was enough to get someone to take an action and choose us over the competitors. What I learned is the world is already full of people and products that have many features with little or no benefit. Many pitch a lot of features, which are marketed as a benefit to someone who ultimately tunes them out.
A feature is a factual statement about an important or main item. Your job history may feature a bullet list of your training in a particular field or occupation, your educational background and certain honors or awards you have received over the years.
It's true that the more features you can provide will definitely help give you an edge, but the important thing to remember is that people don't buy features, they buy benefits. All of the things you did in the past are important but how will it help them today and in moving forward.
A benefit is to give someone an advantage, to help or aid them. A benefit answers the question, "What's in it for me?" It's emotional and gets people engaged by showing them what they will gain by using your solution. You have probably heard the old saying, "Sell the sizzle, not the steak."
Anyone can list the facts, and the reality is that a majority of people and companies have similar features to offer others. So how do you separate yourself from everyone else to get people interested in you?
First, you have to start thinking about the "what is" to help another get results. What do you offer that gives them greater clarity, a refined focus and a deeper connection to themselves?
Start by getting down to the basics and write or type out all of the features, strengths and benefits you have to offer someone. A key way to uncover "what is" begins with looking at the reason you have passion around what you do in the first place.
Next, go through your list and write a benefit statement beside each item remembering this isn't about you, it's targeted to your audience and should give them an advantage to help or aid them. Narrow your focus on this area by remembering the seven human emotions of pleasure are love, sex, hope, faith, sympathy, optimism and loyalty. How does your benefit play into these emotions for someone?
Finally, look at your features and benefits list and focus on the end result to help motivate someone to choose you over the hundreds of other people who are presenting similar ideas. Using your target audience (employer, kids, spouse or whatever), come up with one powerful benefit statement you can use to change the nature of the experience for them and communicate it to others with great frequency.
Finding your "what's in it for me" will start producing the best results for everyone.