May 24, 2016
IT service companies know their supported technologies, security, cloud computing, data storage best practices, and sometimes virtualization. Yet many do not yet know and appreciate the importance of defining a value proposition that specifically positions their brand in the marketplace.
A value proposition should guide marketing efforts. This singular, concise statement quickly captures the clear, compelling value of your service or product. Done well, a strong value proposition will:
Simply stated, defining your value proposition helps to compel potential customers to buy your product and service and feel secure in their decision.
Additionally, value propositions unify how your company stakeholders and sales teams talk about your enterprise. This alone is an advantage, as it brings everyone together in communicating the same message about your IT service and thereby reduces confusion, misunderstandings, and mis-aligned expectations.
Defining a value proposition as an IT service provider forces you to do these as well:
Truly address your target market.
To succinctly convey your service’s value, you must consider the challenges your customers face, envision their future directions, and examine where you fit in their industry landscape.
Create your buyer personas.
Any inbound marketer knows developing buyer personas can help better address leads and generate quality leads. But this step can be overlooked. Don’t do it. Create your ideal buyer personas. You’ll see benefits also in your business blogging, workflow triggers, and nurturing of leads through the sales funnel.
Emphasize benefits rather than features.
Explaining what your service does is not addressing its value. Instead, detail how your service will generate greater revenues, reduce costs and expenses, bring competitive advantage or greater convenience and offer better results.
For instance, Hubspot’s “Grow Your Business” is a simple, attractive promise while Scribd’s “Read Like You Own Every Book in the World” is clearly benefit focused.
Research your competitors.
Of course, you’re doing this on an ongoing basis. Nevertheless, defining a strong value proposition for your IT service demands deep investigation of what your competitors are doing and what you have that no one else offers. Then, determine how those distinguishing factors offer advantages to your target customers.
Better lead quality.
By defining a value proposition, you will have a better chance at driving leads that are more relevant, ready, and in need of your service offering. Value propositions allow your marketing efforts to target the right people with the right content. Better IT sales leads and makes sales teams more successful and helps to improve sales conversion rates and deal sizes.
31% of B2B marketers say sales lead quality is the most important metric used. — B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends: North America
One last tip:
Test and measure: Test your value proposition with your target audience. Be sure your message is resonating with the right people. Keep in mind that people have difficulty articulating what they really want. Even more problematic is that they tend to act differently than they say they will. So, establish metrics to measure your value proposition’s success. Then, be willing to make changes to better capture the problem you address, benefit you offer, or value your service adds.
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (2007). Value Proposition. https://www.entrepreneurship.org/resource-center/value-proposition.aspx
Thomas, J. (2015, October 20). 25 Companies Who Absolutely Nailed Their Unique Value Proposition. https://www.lean-labs.com/blog/25-companies-who-absoluteluy-nailed-their-unique-value-proposition
B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends: North America (2015, Sept. 15). https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/2016_B2B_Report_Final.pdf
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