It’s likely a truth for every B2B marketer, at some point in our careers, we’ve touted features. It’s the ultimate marketing sin, yet it’s sooo easy to do. It’s much harder to step inside the shoes of your customers and figure out what they want to know. The reality is that when a prospect visits your website they want to know two things:

  1. Is this product for me?
  2. Will it solve my immediate pain?

And guess what, you have less than 30 seconds to answers those questions for them or they will bounce. If your homepage is focused on what type of product you have and the fancy features that make it special, you’ve lost the sale.

What to trumpet instead of features

The ideal alternative to feature messaging is to simply explain what problem you solve and the value you bring in solving it. But you also need to treat your website visitors as human beings. Show them apathy, while assuring them that you have expertise or authority.

Features Messaging

Acme – the leader in customer journey management

Now with integration into ClosePin!

CTA = See Features

Customer-Centric Messaging

We get it – the customer journey is complex.

We make it easy to map it and accelerate revenue.

CTA = Learn how the journey impacts revenue

For more examples and to learn a process for employing customer-centric messaging, I highly recommend the book Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller. The author does a great job relating your brand messaging to a movie script with your prospect/customer at the center. They have a pain, they meet a guide (that’s you) who will give them a plan, call them to action that solves their pain.

It’s not difficult. It just requires you to think like your customers instead of product marketers. And don’t get me wrong, product marketers are rockstars and play a very important role in product consideration phases. Their work just doesn’t belong on your homepage.

Customer-first messaging aligns well with ABM

Account Based Marketing (ABM) is very popular in B2B right now. And rightly so! ABM concepts support the idea that feature messaging should take a back seat to messaging toward buyer pain. ABM put in practice forces a business to segment their target accounts so they can “personalize” the message in a way that speaks to the buyer(s) within the account.

Taking our example from earlier, ABM allows marketers to go a step further and add messaging that speaks to their industry and role. The idea is to make your website visitors feel that your solution was made just for them.

Customer-Centric Messaging Plus ABM Personalization

We get it – the software buyer’s journey is complex.

We make it easy for content marketers to map it and accelerate revenue.

CTA = Learn how the journey impacts revenue

In this example, I personalized on industry (Software) and role (Content Marketer). You can see how a Content Marketer responsible to writing content about Software would feel that this product was built for them, that the company understands their pain and has the expertise to solve it!

We sell to too many industries and personas to do this

Sounds great in practice, but you sell to more than one industry and more than one title, how can you ever employ this level of personalization? Luckily there is a tool for that – website personalization. It allows you to change out any elements on your site based on the information obtained from the visitor’s IP address. And IP addresses carry A LOT of information. Known IP addresses (60-80% of site visitors) tell you the industry, the company, company demographics & firmagraphics and many times even the contact information.

This means you can serve up a different headline, image, video, etc. for each industry you serve! And the best part is that data shows that conversions double when you use personalization. In fact, the company Triblio guarantees it!

There will be withdrawal symptoms

I’ve recommended resources and tools to help you make the transition, but if you’re like me, the temptation will always be there to use the obvious feature approach. While customer-centric messaging might give you the shakes at first, once you see the powerful results you’ll be hooked. Stay strong and start transitioning your website messaging today! If it’s too overwhelming, don’t let that stop you, I’m available to help!

 

About the Author Trisha Winter

SaaS marketing executive turned consultant with Focused B2B. Helps B2B companies identify target buyers and create focused content to drive traffic and conversions. Expertise in B2B content marketing, account based marketing and product marketing.