Tag Archives: #marketing

What Alka-Seltzer Can Teach About Technology Marketing

You sell a technical product in a competitive market. Your product has advantages over the competition. Maybe it’s faster, or smarter, or more powerful. Maybe it’s more reliable or easier to maintain. More compact? More widely compatible? Easier to use? Whatever it is, you are spending time and money to produce and distribute ads, presentations, web pages, blogs, and whitepapers telling potential buyers all about it. But with all the talking about your product, are you answering your prospect’s most critical question, the one that, if unanswered, sends your marketing investment right down the drain and drops you and your product into the commodity abyss?

The question is “Why should I care?”

Maybe your answer is something like “Well … it’s faster.” Maybe it is, but unless your product is a race car running on a drag strip or the Bonneville Salt Flats, being faster is a feature, not a “why should I care” benefit. The same is true of any other attribute of your product or service. Tell your prospect why speed is important in his or her application and, in fact, more important than the attributes your competitors are touting in their products!

And you can’t just answer that question in passing. In the digital world, if a busy buyer doesn’t see the benefit immediately they can move on with a click of a mouse. Top marketers figured that out back in the old TV days when remotes were still new.

Consider Alka-Seltzer. They did a great job of reminding TV viewers about the pain of stomach distress with now-famous ads like “That’s a spicy meatball” or “I can’t believe I ate that whole thing.” Click the links or Google the ads. Those spots answered the “Why should I care?” question in seconds, earned a place in advertising history, and sold a lot of Alka-Seltzer. Your technology product may not have the same potential for graphic humor, and you may not have Alka-Seltzer’s multi-million dollar budget, but your customers don’t care how your product works unless it solves problems they can relate to.

You may even want to ask yourself the question several times, peeling away the layers of a feature until you get to the real benefit that a buyer cares about. For example:

This modem is easier for engineers to embed in a product you are designing.

Why should I care?

It will allow you to complete your design quicker

Why should I care?

That will let you beat the competition to market with your new product

Why should I care?

Early arrival to market lets you command higher prices and improves profit margins.

Now I care! Tell me about your product.

The need for that whole conversation can be eliminated by simply pointing out in your web page, blog post, ad, or paper that easier incorporation of your component into a product helps speed a product to market and lets the customer reap the benefits – higher profit margins – of early arrival. In short, it eliminates the need to ask “Why should I care?”

Clear focus on bottom line benefits boosts sales – Now that’s one spicy meatball.