Your Value Proposition: The most important tool in the digital marketing tool kit

Articulating the primary reason your customer should buy from you is the difference between a click and a bounce

Whether you like it or not your web presence is now your best sales tool

We’ve all heard the stats: Buyers are 70% of the way through their buying process before we ever know they are a candidate for our products or services. There are three primary reasons in the B2B selling world why this is truer than ever before:

  1. Cold calling/emailing does not produce results. No one picks up the phone and due to spam regulations, if you don’t have a relationship with someone, they are not replying to your email.
  2. Playing the talent lottery is an expensive and risky proposition. Thinking you can find the rock star sales person with the right contact list to elevate your sales is a pipe dream. Sales people turn over in organizations every one to two years and results in active growth for a company are less than 20%.
  3. Trust in sales and marketing is at an all-time low (less than 5%). Referrals and building trust with people is currency in today’s business. When people look for options, they need to quickly and simply identify who should be on the short list without having to speak with the sales people.

Why is it important to have a strong value proposition?

  1. A strong and compelling value proposition, whether on the home page of your website or in an email headline, helps you anchor your value to the needs of your best prospective customers.
  2. A strong value proposition shortens the buyer journey because buyers quickly understand the implications of your value to their specific need or requirement.
  3. A compelling value proposition strengthens your brand over the long run and keeps customers coming back and referring you to other people

A Brief Roadmap to Discovering your Value Proposition

Start with the Principles

  1. A value proposition is not determined; it is discovered. It grows out of the needs of your customers.
  2. Avoid a sales driven approach to discussing products or “what you do”. You need the market’s perspective on why it matters.
  3. Always begin by asking yourself this question: Why should my ideal customer buy from me instead of a competitor?
  4. Compare your claims to the claims of your alternatives/competitors.
  5. Refine until you can articulate it in a single, instantly credible, sentence.

The most important questions we need to ask in the development of a value proposition…

  • Appeal – How much do your ideal customers desire what your company offers?
  • Exclusivity – Where else can your ideal customers get what your company offers?
  • Clarity – Do your ideal customers understand what you are actually offering?
  • Credibility – Will your ideal customers believe your claims?

MEC Labs explained it best with the Value Proposition Spectrum


Value proposition spectrum This photo was originally published by MEC Labs.


Where do you start when developing a value proposition?

Start with your customer as the authority on your value. If you are a start-up you may have to figure this out by asking people, but the most powerful place to start is with your best customers.

      • Why did they buy from you?
      • What value did you bring them?
      • What attributes do they have that makes them a good customer and why?


    Tactics to Consider when developing a value proposition

    1. Your differentiation – Remember you can match a competitors in every area except one; in one area you need to excel.
    2. Proof Points – Make sure as you evaluate your value proposition you can prove your statement or differentiation to be true. Making claims like, “World’s best Cup of Coffee” is not a useful value proposition. You can neither prove it to be true nor does it help the buyer in evaluating options.
    3. Compare your claims of value to your competitors – Perform a competitive analysis to see how you compare to direct competitors and other choices that your ideal customer can choose. For an example, an excel spreadsheet is a competitor to an ERP system. Having a technology solution for back office management may seem superior to manual processes in excel but for the customer who just needs to track data, it works just fine. Make sure you compare your solution to other ways someone can solve the problem.

    Testing Your Value Proposition

    MEC Labs has a full testing protocol about how you can test your value proposition using PPC ads, but at Marketing CoPilot we use a formula for B2B companies that drive more value for the company. Using a documented Buyer Persona and Buyer Journey Map, we map content to a website that speaks to the emotional trigger of a buyer. With a carefully crafted landing page and a cornerstone piece of content, we can test the value proposition in one of three ways:

    1. Does this statement of value resonate with the type of buyer we want to attract? (tested through details gathered on the form submission)
    2. Do they have attributes we are looking for? (tested by reviewing the visitors website and looking up their profile on LinkedIn)
    3. Are they ready to take a next step in the conversation with us about their problem? (tested through direct one-to-one emailing with additional value-added content that is being shared in follow up after the initial interaction)

    Do you have the resources to pull it all together?

    There are few companies we come in contact with today who do not struggle with the issue of value proposition. They may think they have their “elevator pitch” nailed abut when they attempt to apply it to their web presence, they discuss it does not perform or is off base with the customers they want to attract.

    We have worked with many B2B companies that have been driving tremendous traffic to their websites but generating poor quality leads. Often the reason this is happening are threefold:

    1. They have a poor or weak value proposition that does not resonate with a visitor when they land on their web presence (website, social properties, email sends, etc).
    2. They have not documented their buyer personas and shared them with their marketing resources, therefore they are driving the wrong traffic.
    3. They have not figured out the right emotional triggers or content required to get someone to take a next step on their website.

    If you are struggling with any or all of these issues, please download our Value Proposition Workbook and share with your team to get started on improving this for your business.

    If you want help with this process, Marketing CoPilot runs three hour Value Proposition Workshops for companies starting at $3000 and we would be happy to help you with your process and journey.

    Download the Value Proposition Workbook below to get started.

Marketing CoPilot