Communicating with and relating to business buyers  on their terms is one of the most effective ways to build trust — a key aspect at the beginning of a relationship. Making the move from product-focused to buyer-centric marketing allows for a deeper connection and ultimately leads to an understanding of how you can improve the lives of your buyers. Identifying the difference between the two and determining if this shift is appropriate for your audience is the first step in moving toward a more meaningful way of communicating.

Product-focused messaging
Buyer-centric messaging

Product-focused messaging

Communicates what your product does. Product-focused messaging highlights product attributes. This pragmatic approach outlines product-specific features and how the user interacts with them. It provides the necessary information for a buyer to understand the mechanics of the product.

Describes the product in terms of its features

Highlights the features of a product as the main selling point

Uses product-specific language that may or may not resonate with all audiences

Buyer-centric messaging

Communicates why your product is important. Being buyer-centric means flipping your perspective to that of the buyer. It considers how your product can positively affect the professional life of your buyer. And communicates it using language they can readily connect with on an emotional level.

Describes the product in terms of what it can do for the user

Provides the practical and emotional benefits of each of the product features

Uses real-speak when describing product functionality and what it means to the user

Focus on who your buyer is and what will appeal to them.

There is a need for both product-focused and buyer-centric messaging in the marketing world. In many cases, audiences are looking for information about product features including capabilities and price, among many other descriptors. However, there is a growing need to create a point of separation when describing how your product impacts the lives of users. Here is where the emotional tie to the product goes beyond straight product features and we strive to create meaning associated with the relationship with the product.

Looking for a way to get started with a more buyer-centric approach?

Team whiteboard session: features vs. benefits. A good group exercise is listing your product features and brainstorming ideas for the user benefits of each. It's important to distinguish between features and benefits. Then discuss what the benefits mean to the individual and how they can impact their day.

  • Define features as the product functionality or details that describe how a product works
  • Benefits are the result of how a product feature works in relation to the user
  • Begin by taking one product feature and discussing the impact on an employee’s day or on a manager’s process

By taking the real-life benefits of a product and focusing on communicating them to the end user, you begin to move toward a buyer-centric messaging approach.

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