As I’ve blogged about here, marketers, especially high tech B2B marketers always overvalue value. We tend to be enamored with the feature, function and benefits of our products and services. And while I don’t want to rehash the five reasons I’ve previously outlined, I’ve come to realize that there is a FUNDAMENTAL flaw in our approach to communicating value. You see, at the end of the day, there are really only 3 (or 4 depending on how you count) benefits our products can deliver, Cost savings, revenue increases, and compliance improvement / risk reduction. These are great, but the problem is, the buyer is overwhelmed with products and investments that have positive ROI and offer compelling business cases. To see just how overwhelming this can be, take a look at this “Marketing Technology Landscape” by Scott Brinker. The bad news here, if your selling to the CMO and his team, you not only compete with the products in your space, you compete with EVERY VENDOR on this chart for priority and budget.
Business case is a MUST have, but NOT enough. The only way we win, is not only to present a compelling business case by defining our value well, but by raising the priority of our solution into the top tier, the ones that can get funded and executed. In order to do this, we must be STRATEGIC, not just VALUABLE. This is why context, or VIEWPOINT is the critical first step in our market conversation. By creating a strategic context for our value, we float to the top of the priority list. That’s what I call IMPACT. For more on the overall framework, see this blog. In the meantime, broaden your horizon to not just think about value, but to think about how to make your value the one that gets realized.