Customer Focused Marketing

Much has been said about the importance of customer focus, mostly in the customer service arena.  But it’s also a key element in the construction of an effective marketing message. 

In marketing communications, customer focus is at the heart of the features v benefits issue.

Selling the hope will always be more effective than focusing on the soap.  The ‘benefit’ of the soap is the hope that using it will make you more attractive – bath with Badedas, and your dream man will appear outside your window on a white horse.

It’s memorable, it’s compelling – it reaches into the consumer’s soul.  The technical and chemical features of the soap are relatively unimportant.

A Vauxhall Zafira may have a multitude of clever seating permutations (thank you Griff) but its ability to engender a happier, more harmonious family is a more compelling message when it comes to the consumer forming an affinity for the product.  And that affinity can swing it when there’s precious little between the features of one product and another.

Resist the temptation to clutter or compromise your benefits message with too many features.  Features should be the preserve of the sales force.

In the leisure boating business, whether you’re selling the boats themselves or some associated product or service, the ultimate benefit is likely to be in the area of freedom, adventure, status, romance, excitement or perhaps safety.

An item of onboard electronics might have a particularly clear display, or be easier to use.  But if those features translate into not getting lost, or not running aground, then the actual benefits could be greater self-confidence, more enjoyable boating and happier times sailing with the family.

There lies the basis of a campaign capable of building true brand allegiance.

Robin Petherbridge