B2B Value Propositions: What? How? Why?
Is your message stranded in a busy market?
What is a value proposition?
In simple terms, a value proposition is a statement made by a company that clearly explains – What benefits a customer can expect from a solution, whether that be a product, a service or both.
Well, that is straightforward. However, this next bit is where the expertise in creating engaging value propositions lies.
NB – This article is by no means the entire story. It is a big subject. However, this blog offers a short insight into the topic.
How do I create a strong value proposition?
This is where you need to focus your time. This is where customers can be won or lost.
It starts with your customers. When we work with our clients to help them with their marketing and communications, we tend to organise a meeting very early on in our relationship with key staff. This meeting will typically hold a mixture of people. They all have one thing in common. They are all customer facing, dealing with customers at all stages of the buying process from initial contact through to sign-off and aftercare. The aim of the meeting is to map out some vital details about customers, this will certainly be current customers and potentially a new type of customer, if the client is looking to attract a different kind of customer moving forward.
The meeting may be a few members of your staff or as many as a dozen if you are a larger business. In fact, if you are a big business it could be a dozen per meeting with a few meetings being held over a week. The point of this is straightforward. We are trying to get as much information from customer-facing staff as possible so that an accurate picture can be built. The more input we get, the better and more accurate the value proposition will be.
We are looking to pull real life information about customers from your staff. We need to get:
The jobs, pains & gains of your customers.
We run an exercise to get as much fact-based information as possible. We ask each person in attendance to think of a customer that they can remember well and know much about. Each person needs to think of a different customer and the answers to the questions below need to be put in the customer own words (not your terminology). We ask each person to complete a form which asks:
- What jobs does the customer do in their work?
Describe what tasks and/or duties they perform.
- What pains do they struggle with when trying to do their jobs?
Describe bad outcomes and obstacles they face.
- What gains are they looking for?
Describe the outcomes they want to achieve or benefits they are looking for?
Once the exercise described above has been completed, the next step is vital. Each person needs to rank the answers by the level of importance from the customers perspective i.e. what is their most important job/task? what is their biggest hurdle? what are they looking to achieve most of all?
This process is repeated so that a clear picture of many clients is identified, accurately. I should state at this point that if you have several diverse types of customer (segments) all your key segments need to be analysed.
The next stage in creating a strong value proposition is all about you and your solutions. It is a very similar exercise to the customer analysis above. We need to ask:
Which products and services do you offer?
What pain relief can you offer your customers?
What gains can they achieve using your solutions?
The final step
Once armed with this invaluable information, Energise Marketing 93 then go through a process of analysing the results from your key members of staff. We then share the results and develop your value proposition using customer language to ensure your messages resonate with customers.
Why is a value proposition good for business?
There are more, here are three…
Improve customer engagement. A strong value proposition helps develop clarity with your customers. It explains in simple terms what they can expect. You also create better engagement with customers as you are solving their issues and having dialogue that resonates with them.
Direction. It clearly communicates to all stakeholders including staff, what you are about and how you help customers.
Confidence. It defines the fact that you are making a difference to industry in a meaningful way by offering a remarkable solution that is needed.
Is your message stranded? If you would like to unlock your beautifully poised value proposition, contact Energise Marketing 93 today and we can help you to engage with customers in a better way.