, Technology

Dear Tech Marketers: Stop Marketing Features over Benefits

7 Key Takeaways from Our Content Creation Tactics Webinar

The last couple weeks, I’ve been slowly adding marketing tools to the new site. One of the overwhelming things that I’ve noticed is that technology companies love to market features and totally neglect to market benefits.

Case in point is a comparison ofHootsuite versus CoTweet™:

CoTweet’s marketing on their home page pushes the benefits of using the platform:

  • CoTweet is a platform that helps companies reach and engage customers using Twitter.
  • Monitor your brand – Listen for conversations about your products, brands, company and competitors. CoTweet is your Twitter “Early Warning System”
  • Engage people throughout your company – Share the job of being on duty. Tap the collective wisdom of people across functional areas like marketing, PR and customer service. Assign tasks and track followups.
  • Focus on the conversations that matter – Know when you need to jump in. Track your exchanges through simple case management. Schedule updates to make company announcements.
  • Keep your brand HUMAN – Automatically include signatures in your updates to identify who’s talking and keep conversations personal.

Hootsuite’s home page marketing is all about features of their platform:

  • Social Networks new! – Manage multiple Twitter , Facebook , LinkedIn or Ping.fm accounts in one easy to use interface.
  • iPhone App new! – Schedule tweets, add lists, and track stats with the HootSuite iPhone app
  • Track Statistics – Impress your friends, your boss, or just yourself with our link statistics and visualizations.
  • Twitter Lists new! – Import your existing Lists or create new ones and manage them from inside HootSuite
  • Team Workflow – HootSuite makes it easy to manage multiple users over various Twitter accounts.
  • Brand Monitoring – Find out what people are saying about your brand right now.
  • Personalized View – Organize your Twitter streams into tabs and columns. Personalize the layout just the way you want it.
  • Schedule Tweets – Provide nourishing content to your followers at any time of day using the HootSuite tweet scheduler.
  • Embed Columns – Grab code from HootSuite to easily embed search columns in your website!

Only once doesHootsuite mention a benefit… and it’s to “Impress your boss”. Really? That’s why I’m going to use your platform? I thinkHootsuite has an amazing product, but they need to educate prospects on why they are the “Professional” choice when it comes to a corporate Twitter platform. On each of their features, ask the question “Why?”… why track statistics? Why view monitor my brand? Why schedule tweets? What are the benefits to the company?

Don’t get me wrong, there will be specific buyers that are looking for features that may give you the edge over the competition – but those should be neatly identified on a Features page that’s easy to find and read. I believe comparison charts work best.

Your home page and marketing content should be focused on the benefits of using your platform. Keep features on a features page!

10 Comments

  1. 1

    Douglas, well said. This concept is fundamental, but all too often ignored.

    I work daily marketing consumer goods to big-box retailers, largely in categories with non-impulse buying, and very little distinction between competition and products.

    Take for example marketing a step stool. Most companies would leverage their features; aluminum frame, large platform step, and one-hand lock. While they should be marketing it’s benefits; lightweight, secure & stable, and easy to use.

    It’s a simple concept, but hugely effective for all types of marketing, and/or markets.

  2. 2

    It seems that product marketers fall so in love with their “cool new technology” that they completely forget that the end user doesn’t care.

    There is a vanity in many tech businesses. They need to constantly shout “Look what I can do”, instead of ask, “how can I help you?”

    This is a great post. Thanks for sharing these examples.

  3. 3

    Gregory, you couldn’t have said it better. And I’ve been guilty of the very same sins! I recently launched Marketing Tech Vendors and the first question from friend Jim Brown was, “What do I use it for?” Doh! I still haven’t got the verbiage correct but he was right!

  4. 4

    Sounds like a key differentiator for your business may also be you, Mark! Many companies don’t put their talent on top – but that’s something that Enterprise businesses pay a lot of attention to!

  5. 5

    Douglas, you’re the boss, seriously. I read this from time to time, it’s not exactly my main job, but I always find some inspiring post, like this one. Thanks and good job!

  6. 6

    DaveO here – the freshly minted Community Wrangler at HootSuite – chiming in to say that you make a great point. Indeed ’tis easy for tool-building companies to fall in love with the engineering and overlook the real world scenarios for use – this is especially true in the early days of start-ups when all energy is pointed at iterating which is deconstructed around feature and tasks.

    I joined HS after using the tool for other social media campaigns so know the benefits well. As i get settled here, you’ll see a variety of educational materials and best practices to highlight the benefits, and also demonstrate the features used to obtain those benefits.

    Keep watching to see how we keep evolving and thanks for spreading our story. Feel free to ping me @daveohoots with any other ideas or opinions.

    PS For more about me (shameless i know ;-)), please visit:
    http://blog.hootsuite.com/dave-olson-hootsuite-community-director/

  7. 7

    Congratulations DaveO on the new digs! You’re working for a company with an amazing product. I especially love your iPhone app, I believe it to be the best on the market. Hopefully you can get this post over to your web marketing team, I believe it will help you improve your penetration of the enterprise market.

    Thanks for coming out and responding – it says a lot about HootSuite! 😀

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