January 29th 2008 | Dan Parker
Which reigns supreme in online marketing? The feature or the benefit?
Marketing professionals tell you that stressing the benefits of a product/service is incredibly more effective than describing the features. “Benefits make people feel.” “Benefits make people act.” Yet many experts agree that both features and benefits are critical, and the proper approach is to emphasize the benefits while using the features as supporting facts.
The truth is, many online marketers rely on space-limited Cost-Per-Click advertising and don’t have the room to push both features and benefits. If you’re experienced with landing pages and Google ads (those little snippets of text on the right and top of Google’s results pages), you know that describing a benefit is challenging enough without trying to cram in the feature as well.
So what should you do? Should you use your two lines to scream about how “proactive” your software is?
In my experience, when you’re competing with several companies in the Cost-Per-Click arena, mentioning features can be an advantage. Imagine your ad is in the top spot in Google with two of your competitors directly below you. There’s a good chance that if you claim to have the most proactive enterprise data management software in the world, your competitors will eventually state the same – or at least allude to it. However, if you are the only company that offers a super-efficient add-on that syncs with every known database, you will most likely gain the edge. Even though your competitors may also claim to be proactive, only you can prove – in your limited space – that you truly have the most proactive data management software.
The question in the end is… Who wins?
Banner ads and CPC campaigns are a different beast than website content. In the world of Google AdWords, features can make people both feel and act. Let the software speak for itself. If you have a killer feature that your competitors don’t, make sure searchers know.
Dan Parker is the marketing manager and sales representative for Thycotic software Ltd.