Value – Where Passion & Logic Intersect
Guest post by Joshua Darrin, Entrepreneur, Consultant, Business Executive
“He’s an engineer and the problem is he thinks like an engineer.”
I am paraphrasing the exact quote, but you get the gist. Now, allow me to provide context. This quote came out of a discussion regarding upcoming updates to a client’s ‘content driven’ website. The person on the other end of the line was the marketing guy and the engineer owns the company. You can guess where this goes.
It has been drilled into my head from an early age that marketing trumps quality every time. Moments exist where the universe aligns and the highest quality product also wins the marketing battle, but all too often that is not the case.
Good marketing clearly defines value and that, my friend, sells.
For the non-marketing majors, value is defined as the relationship between a consumer’s perceived benefits and the perceived cost. Let’s take our engineer’s mindset and put it up against our marketing guy’s mindset (Understand this is not limited to engineers. I see this issue repeating itself like a skipping record in an entrepreneur’s jukebox – you youngsters can google ‘record’ and ‘jukebox’ at your leisure).
Let’s presume that Netflix has the coolest, most cutting-edge video storage and streaming technology ever invented – the kind of stuff geeks drool over. An entrepreneur so enamored with his own technological creation often sells that as the value – huge mistake.
Why? The prospective audience (i.e. customer) does not care about the cool technology. It is a value, but it is not the value. They care about fresh content.
And who gets that? Comcast and Verizon. Realizing that all the cool technology in the world is useless without content, Comcast and Verizon made content deals while playing catch-up on infrastructure.
Now they can turn to their audience with one crystal clear message: “We have the content.”
And that leaves the flash-in-the-pan services of Netflix being touted as a convenient way to get instant access to thousands of movies, streamed right to your TV. Sounds great, but it is a muddled message and the free trial quickly enlightens prospects to the lack of fresh content. The access and convenience have little value without the content.
For many entrepreneurs, the relationship they have with their business (or the product/service they invented) is like a torrid love affair filled with passion and emotion. An emotionally vested entrepreneur often has trouble listening to alternative views on value. Some have latched deeply onto a specific feature that has value to them as the inventor while others perceive the discussion as a personal attack.
Set aside the emotional investment and really listen to the marketing team (or any audience willing to help). Use those discussions to define a real and meaningful value worthy of a specific price. Then shout it to the world in the clearest and most concise manner possible. Remember the adage that marketing trumps everything and then go out there and win.
To read more by Joshua Darrin, please visit joshuadarrin.com.
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