Some say it started with the Baby Boomers. Others say it was the Millennials. (Full disclosure, I'm a Gen-Xer for the what-it's-worth-department.) No one really knows for certain. But since it's been unleashed, it appears it's here to stay:
The world of me, myself and I.
The explosion of social media and apps like Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter and others have served to reinforce this "take-a-look-at-me-and-what-I-am-doing" phenomenon.
Sure, posting a selfie once in a while is harmless, but...
Association, nonprofit and business websites are often guilty of this look-at-me approach when it comes to their marketing activities. Zillions of trade show booths are filled with reams of sales collateral listing all the great things about their company, the awards they have won, why their products and services are better than the competition, why people should donate to their cause, etc. Blah, blah, blah.
Sadly, these organizations have forgotten the all-important adage:
People buy benefits. Not features.
Sure, features are important. However, you need to demonstrate the benefits prospects will derive from buying, using or otherwise accessing your resources.
I'll use a vacuum cleaner analogy to help you understand the critical difference so you can quickly put an end to the features folly.
Let's say you're the maker of the SonixSucker VRC Model 2000. It has a 300 horsepower engine that is quieter than a ceiling fan, offers 12 standard attachments and comes in 5 pastel colors. These are all features of the SonixSucker.
The benefits of these attributes (aka features) might be as follows:
The 300 HP engine (feature) means your customer will have the ability to vacuum their house 30 minutes faster than their old cleaner, while also ensuring they leave zero cat hairs left in the rug. (benefits)
Your SonixSucker's 12 standard attachments (feature) gives buyers the ability to get at dirt in places such as behind sofas or in far-away corners that have long been overlooked because they could never reach them before. (benefit)
Its super-quiet engine (feature) offers users the opportunity to vacuum and not disturb their sleeping baby. (benefit)
The assortment of colors (feature) eliminates owning a dour, industrial-looking vacuum, so now a cleaner's mood is improved when doing this chore. It also looks nice when their in-laws unexpectedly show up on their doorstep - like they often do. (benefits)
Remember, your prospects and customers are looking for answers to a question, solutions to a problem or a way to fix something that is broken.
This means putting an end to listing all the blah, blah, blah of your features.
Tell your benefit story. Always.