Customer Value: The 4 essential levels of value propositions
When you break marketing down, strip away marketing automation platforms and analytics and clickthrough rates, marketing is essentially communicating value to the customer in the most efficient and effective way possible so they will want to take an action.
Of course, thanks to all the other complexities of daily life in the marketing department that I just mentioned, and many more, it’s easy to lose sight of this simple fact.
To communicate value, you need everyone who works on your marketing campaigns to have a clear understanding of your value proposition – not just for your company as a whole, but for every action you desire a customer to take.
Answering the question before you make the ask
“We need a way to identify and craft value propositions more specific to our current marketing efforts,” said Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO, MECLABS. “Underneath all value propositions is an even more fundamental question.”
The fundamental question is: “If I am [a particular prospect] why should I [take this action] rather than [this/these other action(s)]?”
“Understanding this fundamental question gives us the flexibility to modify and create more specific ‘Derivative Value Propositions’ at four essential levels,” Flint said.
To aid you in crafting effective marketing, MECLABS has created The Value Proposition Spectrum to help you identify the questions that you need to answer at each level of your marketing efforts.
1. Primary Value Proposition
Your company needs a primary value proposition, which is the answer to the question: “Why should your ideal prospect buy from you rather than any of your competitors?”
But many marketers stop there. However, every action you ask every type of customer to take requires a value proposition. Whether you’ve taken the time to state it explicitly or not, your potential customers subconsciously (and sometimes consciously) ask themselves the value (for them specifically) of taking any action you ask them to take.
Here is an example of an anonymized page where the expressions of the company-level, primary value proposition are highlighted:
2. Prospect-Level Value Proposition
The best way to use this visual is from the inside out. As I said, start with the primary value proposition (which depending on your role within the organization, you may or may not have a hand in crafting), and then break out which key prospects you are targeting with your marketing.
For each prospect, you should answer this question: “Why should [PROSPECT A] buy from you rather than any of your competitors?”
3. Product-Level Value Proposition
Now that you’ve identified your prospects, which products are you trying to sell them? Each product requires its own value proposition, which you can craft by answering this question: “Why should [PROSPECT A] buy this product rather than any other product?”
As I said above, every action you ask a prospect to take requires a value proposition.
Now that you’ve identified a value proposition for each product you’re trying to sell each prospect that aligns with your company’s primary value proposition, you have to craft a value proposition for each conversion step associated with a specific product.
Here is an example question to ask yourself to help identify this process-level value proposition: “Why should [PROSPECT A] click this PPC ad rather than any other PPC ad?”
You need to answer the same question for an email capture page of, in the case of the example below, a webinar registration …