Specs, Features & Benefits - tradition that kills inbound marketing

Ed Marsh | Sep 14, 2012


Excuse me, but what!??  I thought we were talking about growing your business – as in more qualified leads, customers & sales.  Did I misunderstand?  Aren’t you marketing to drive outcomes rather than arbitrary outputs?

You should feel insulted.  Seriously.  Some “expert” comes at you throwing around some “geek speak” about how (s)he can do a bang up job for you.  What you need to do is grow your business and you’re debating how to allocate funds that could otherwise go to raises for your employees, retained earnings or even your children’s tuition fund.  And now they’re droning on about how they can “optimize” this and “SEO” that and voilà you’ll get more eyeballs.

And the last time you tried paying down your note at the bank with “eyeballs” how’d that work?  That’s what I thought. 

From your perspective eyeballs are a meaningless stat – and for the purposes of your objective of business growth?  It’s worse than meaningless. You need someone who understands your perspective!  Someone who can understand your business challenges and interpolate how their expertise can support you.  Someone who understands the inbound marketing opportunity that exists for SMBs and knows how to execute…Who even understands your problems before and better than you. 

But what about your customers/clients?

Now let’s “put the shoe on the other foot” and imagine the conversation you have with your customers.  Remember this conversation used to be in person – when they could do the favor of saying to you “I’m not interested in all that, just tell me what it does!” but now this conversation happens on your website.

So the conversation goes something like:

Visitor – (via google search) “I have XXX problem and I need to fix it”

You – (via your "on-line brochure" website if you pop up – do you know what question/solution/problem long tail keywords people might use to search for solutions like yours?) "Thanks for visiting.  Please read our history, view the inventory of our equipment - we’ve even listed how big and fast each of our manufacturing machines is just so you know we can take care of all your requirements - and then we know you’ll be so impressed you’ll give us all your contact info so we can have a sales rep start harassing you." 

Visitor – "Actually I’m trying to solve XXX problem – you only appeared on page 7 and I’m not sure you are actually the right answer for my problem."

You– "We were founded in 1964 and we have 8 different products.  Let me tell you about them.  The 5iW87 weighs this much and uses this much power and does this fast.  The jk29t is actually lighter, but it is specially made in this color and can has a solar option.  The m33UP…"

Visitor – "Thanks.  That’s all very interesting, but I’m really quite busy and just had a minute to try to find a solution to this problem.  Can you help me solve it?" 

You – "Well check out our 82GG5, it’s made from a space age material that we think is really cool.  And what’s extra special is that…" 

Impatient visitor – "OK.  Last chance.  Do you even understand what I’m asking?" 

You– we’ve got the best products.  I know we have something that would be perfect for you.  Please give us all your info and I’ll have one of our commissioned experts call you and email you and make sure you’re ready to buy with an approved budget and expected delivery date.  Let me take you to our form….hello?  hello?

Oh well, guess they weren’t interested in quality – probably just kicking tires to compare prices."

You’re wasting your time!

See any parallels here? 

Your treating folks in precisely the same way that the SEO consultant treated you.  You’re not helping them. 

All the sexy website design in the world isn’t contributing to effective B2Bmarketing.  And all those eyeballs?  They’re merely an ephemeral statistic that does nothing to help grow your business.

We love helping companies grow – and effective industrial marketing is often one of the primary tools we use to achieve growth with them. Wondering whether inbound marketing might work for you?  It probably would – but I don’t know yet because I don’t know about your specific challenges. 

What I can do is refer you to our really helpful eBook below.  It’s a free download and it will introduce you to the basics of internet marketing (the way they are today, not what you heard at some industry conference) without any geek speak.  Check it out.  If it’s helpful, let’s talk.