The “So What?” Marketing Method

By Rich Lewis, Burlington Press

Many a great business person has lamented that half the money they spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is no one knows which half. If your business or organization is trying to grow, or even survive in these economic times, you’ve probably felt the same frustration.

The following method won’t solve the problem, but it can help. Review all your marketing messages by asking, “So what?”  Consider each statement in your current or planned marketing copy, and imagine your customer or prospect saying the same thing, “So what?” in response to each point.

When you answer the “so what?” questions it can lead you to better copy that will lead to a more effective message. For instance:

Your Copy: Our gym has all new treadmills.
So What? Our treadmills have the latest programming designed to help you meet your fitness goals.

Your Copy: Our organization serves homeless children.
So What?
Don’t you feel good knowing that your donation will give a homeless child a place to sleep tonight?

Your Copy: Our service technicians will respond within 4 hours.
So What?
Your equipment will only have a minimal downtime and will be back on line quickly.

This is all about the basic marketing principle that benefits sell a product or service not features. In general things get purchased because they make someone look good or make their life easier. Both of these are benefits.

Try it with the way you market your product or service. Get a group together and read some of your marketing copy. Then have everyone say in unison, “So What?” Next go around the group and answer the question. This should really scare anyone outside of your meeting wondering what those marketing people are up to now. If you apply this little test to all of your material, it will help your customers and prospects understand, from their point of view, why your products and services are beneficial to them.


About marketingfocus

I've been in the print marketing and direct mail business for over 30 years. I guess that means I'm old, but it also means that I bring a certain level of experience and expertise into a business relationship. My company, Burlington Press, specializes in printing and direct mail along a wide range of marketing services including web site design and development, email marketing and video production. For marketing to be effective it needs to be well rounded and use all channels available that make sense.
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