For a product, the “value proposition” is a pretty simple concept: basically, it’s what you get for the money. Could be functional performance, style, self image, whatever – but if those don’t total up to be worth the price to your target audience, no sale!
But there’s another less-obvious “value proposition” you’d also better pay attention to. Because it’s the one that decides whether your TV commercial, print ad, Facebook campaign, PR initiative , or other promotional vehicle works or not – or even gets the chance to!
That’s because your distracted, multi-tasking target audience needs a pretty darn good reason to spend time and attention on your message. What’s in it for them? Could be a laugh, or a fascinating story. Or maybe a fantastic demo, outrageous claim,or catchy music track. Okay, maybe even compelling product information – but without any of those other things, that’s seldom enough.
Marketers have to remember that the final decision is up to their prospective customers. They don’t have to pay attention. They aren’t going to think you’re genuinely hip just because you launch a social media effort. They’re smarter, and more discriminating than that.
I read a good post the other day, though the author earns an eye-roll by claiming to have formed the first “post-advertising agency.” He talks about advertisers holding consumers hostage, with special disdain for “pre-roll” tactics – those ads that run while you’re waiting for your content to display. Good post, and a good example of what NOT to do.
Bottom line, a good value proposition helps your product capture consumers’ dollars. But probably not until an equally good value proposition helps your marketing efforts capture their interest.