“Features” vs. “Benefits” –
The next temptation in bad marketing.
Today’s tidbit of marketing advice is even simpler to implement than last week’s, when I encouraged you to “replace platitudes with facts and figures.”
If you followed my advice, then you replaced all the “ho-hum, me-too” statements with interesting facts and evidence that are unique to you and your business.
I even shared one of my most favorite marketing jokes, which is that “78.6% of all statistics are made-up on the spot.”
(I trust you realize that’s a joke.)
Numbers are good, because they are believable.
But it’s possible to take a good thing too far.
Don’t get so wrapped up in the facts and figures that you wind up talking about “features” instead of “benefits.”
A FEATURE describes what something IS.
A BENEFIT describes what something DOES.
An oft-repeated marketing adage says:
“People don’t want a 1/4 inch drill bit.
They want a 1/4 inch hole.”
As an engineer myself, I must admit I’m not 100% sold on that adage, because when I’m driving to Home Depot, I am definitely in search of the bit, not the hole. But that’s only because I know the features of the bit will give me what I really want, which is that quarter-inch hole.
So it’s still a good reminder that in the end, it’s only
the benefit that matters.
Now let’s talk about how that could be used (and misused) in the swimming pool industry. As an example, I think it might be valuable for your prospects to know that you use:
- 2.5-inch plumbing instead of 2-inch
- Variable speed pumps instead of single-speed or 2-speed.
- UV and/or ozone and/or AOP disinfection instead of chlorine.
- In-floor cleaning instead of a brush and pole.
All accurate, but admittedly not very compelling, especially for the average homeowner.
Why should I care if the plumbing is 2.5 inches versus 2 inches? Or variable instead of 2-speed? Or anything other than good old-fashioned chlorine?
Obviously, the real story to share is:
- The use of 2.5-inch plumbing with a variable speed pump allows us to circulate the water much more slowly and efficiently, with less resistance and less energy.
- Now you can run your pump 24 hours a day at less cost than a single speed or 2-speed pump that only runs 8 hours a day.
- Now your water is clean, safe and healthy, 24 hours a day, so you never have to worry about the health of your family.
- And you use less chemicals, and less energy to do it, which means you could easily save $1000 a year or more in chemicals and electrical usage.
Saving money and spending less time on pool maintenance are benefits that can get people excited.
BOTTOM LINE: Features are important. But features are not exciting. It’s the benefits those features provide that excite us. So make sure the homeowner knows why that feature will be beneficial to them.