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Do or Die Marketing: What Exactly Are You Offering?

Part three,  in the “Do or Die Marketing Plan”, is about defining your offering: a vital exercise as how on earth can your customers buy from you if they don’t understand what it is that you are selling?
Your offering is not just a physical description of what you manufacture or of the process you use to provide a service. It needs to be much more than that if your target audience is to latch on to it.

As Kees Huysmans, founder of Tregroes Waffles says, “We don’t sell food, we sell pleasure!” If you try his mouthwatering, handmade chocolate waffles, you’ll know what he’s talking about. Heaven!

Your offering should be based on the benefit it provides to your customer. That’s it. It’s vital that every business works out its FABs – Features, Advantages and Benefits – in order to be able to market and sell effectively to its audience.

  • Features – appeal to the rational side of the brain. These are the physical attributes of your product including size, colour, material, price etc.
  • Advantages – how are these features better than the competition?
  • Benefits – what’s in it for me? Or what exactly does your brand deliver to the consumer?

Your brand values will be important here because they contribute to the emotional benefits delivered to the customer. Coca-Cola doesn’t just offer relief from thirst or refreshment, it allows the customer to feel like they are part of a strong American heritage, part of the Real Thing. This sense of authenticity cannot be copied by competitor brands so becomes a very powerful USP for the brand.

An example which I find myself using lately is of a football (and I don’t know anything about football)

  • Features – round, yellow, leather, hand-stitched
  • Advantages – lighter, faster than others
  • Benefits – helps you to score goals, win games, be heroes!

Have you worked out what your offering is yet?


Paula Ronan heads up Angel Marketing - an award-winning marketing agency in Ireland. Paula's experience in developing marketing stratgies, marketing plans and campaigns ranges from Coca-cola, BT, Sky TV to Today FM, Publishing Ireland, DoneDeal and lots of growing and start up businesses. Likes - strategy, creativity, integrity and straight-talking!

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  • Hi Paula, defining your offering is now even more important because of the importance of the web and the role of websites, a website should be able to communicate your offering to customers very quickly or they will move on:u00a0

  • HI Paula – great analogy there with the football, makes the point very clear. Thanks for sharing

  • Paula

    Cheers for the comment, Niall. Good point – what is it, 3 seconds that website visitors take to make their mind up about staying on your site or deciding there’s nothing in it for them and bailing out?

  • Paula

    Thanks Barney

  • Be

    makes a lot of sense when presented that way

  • Paula

    Thanks – I like your site, by the way

  • Thanks for the comment, and I truly believe the best defense of our own sanity, is to take control, make up a workable system and stick with it, and it becomes easier to manage, remember and protect. Relying on password generators is fine, some people mistrust them, so there needs to be proactive alternatives 🙂

  • Brilliant post Elaine, as usual and a very, very important subject too. When teaching my clients I suggest that they use a password generator, I recommend and that they pick ONE obscure password to remember, the one to log into LastPass. You can still generate your own passwords or let it generate one for you for all your sites. The nice thing is when my laptop crashed and died, I simply logged in from a different computer and could still get access to the different sites I normally use.

  • Great post Elaine. I’m with Debbie: I would be completely lost without Lastpass. Premium account is about 5 quid a year and you don’t even need that. Highest level of security around so as long as you make sure your lastpass password is something memorable but strong then you’re all set.

    Also it has a pass generator tool that creates really strong passwords and the great thing is that because it works with all browsers and remembers all of your websites there is only one password in your life that needs to be something you can actually remember.

  • John Twohig

    Great post, Elaine. I am one of the lazy ones, I am going to review this on Monday and look at Last Pass as recommended by Neil. Thanks for the wake up call.

  • Wow It was Great Information to us, Because password protection is very very important to all peoples.Keep on posting.Thanks for sharing this information.

  • Well Neil, I think anyone reading this post, you have them sold! As the world knows by now – there is an app for everything. And it’s amazing how there are still so many that simply do not trust generators, or don’t understand them.
    Thankfully, as we become more aware and savvy, that is changing 🙂

  • Thanks John,
    I recommend you view with diligence, as protection our credentials online is becoming ever more important, and ever more easy, although many people are not aware of the tools that are out there for our convenience (and our safety).

  • Sarah Ryan

    Great post Elaine. Thanks for sharing. Off to check out LastPast myself now!

  • Great post and so practical – should be in social media 101 lessons everywhere

  • Due to not thinking about this properly, we humans now are forced to use passwords (e.g. must have a capital, must have a number) that are difficult for us to remember and actually relatively easy for a computer to crack. A proper password schema would be something that requires a much larger number of characters but allows us to write in natural English. ‘my first girlfriend’s name was Rebecca’ is much more secure than R3b3cca. And you only have to mix it up a tiny bit to make it all but uncrackable with current tech. And I, for one, can type the first in less time than the second.

  • That’s a great suggestion for a schema, considering the web is supposed to become more user friendly. We can get bogged down by being scared of the web, trolls, viruses, phishing, scams etc. and forget that the web is there for the people.
    Interesting point about ease of typing – especially touch typists – your suggestion makes sense – many many more characters, easier to type.
    Thanks for the contribution Lord Haw Haw

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