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How do you balance the need to share feature messaging and customer benefit message?

3 Answers
Mike Berger
Mike Berger
Ex-VP, Product Marketing @ ClickUp, SurveyMonkey, Gainsight, MarketoDecember 21

First thing I do is determine how much a buyer cares about individual features. There is a saying that we go to Home Depot to buy a hole (benefit), not a shovel (feature). But sometimes people go to Home Depot already knowing they need a shovel, so they want to know which shovel is best (features). 

The other thing to consider is that as you move upmarket, the separation between user and buyer is often vast, while downmarket the user and buyer is often one in the same. It's likely that users are naturally going to skew toward features, while buyers are going to skew toward benefits. So downmarket, you might decide to lean more heavily on features, while upmarket more on benefits.

That all said, my preference is to always ladder features up to an overarching benefit. And in fact, we're in the process of revamping our homepage to do just that. This is always an effective approach because it clearly conveys the benefit, or the "what" a buyer will enjoy, along with the "how" that will happen through the product's capabilities.

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Ruth  Juni
Ruth Juni
Demandbase Director of Product MarketingMay 5

I always try to lead with customer benefit messaging and use feature messaging as support points. I've seen negative feedback from prospects who feel that companies always sell their solutions before they understand a customer's pain point. That's because prospects often come to your website with a pain they are trying to solve and starting with feature messaging doesn't necessarily help them understand how that feature would help. By starting with benefit messaging, and then supporting those messages with the key features, you can better connect the dots for them between the pain and the solution. 

When a prospect is further down the funnel and really evaluating your solution vs another, that's when you can really lead with features. At that point, they already have a better understanding of how your product solves their pain and now it's a matter of understanding how your product is functionally better than your competitor's.

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Jeff Hardison
Jeff Hardison
Calendly Head of Product MarketingMay 18

We've all seen this and cringed, right?

Over-reliance on benefits: "Our scheduling automation platform help you shorten your sales cycle! Want a demo for something that you don't understand at all but somehow magically shortens your sales cycle?"

Over-reliance on features: "Our scheduling automation software allows your customers to book meetings with you on your website. Want to pay a bunch of money for something that sounds like something you could hack together yourself?"

Instead, I like to tell a story that includes a mix of Features, Tech, Benefits, Differentiation, and a Customer Quote/Mention or Hypothetical Customer Example.

For example, here's a LinkedIn post I wrote for the launch of Calendly Routing.

It's 2023 and a weird economy where you can't afford to give a prospect a bad experience.

Countless studies — from even back when the economy was amazing! — say the companies that win in sales respond the quickest to leads.

Trouble is, a sales rep might be on vacation when a lead comes in. Or asleep. Or sending auto-replies that go into a prospect's spam folder.

How about just removing the need for a sales rep to respond right away?

Let the prospect schedule a demo meeting right when they're visiting your website.

And the system integrates with your Marketo or HubSpot signup forms.

And takes advantage of your Salesforce data such as who is the account owner on your sales team.

You get all of this with the new Calendly Routing.


"Y'all the Calendly Routing tool is pretty rad." - Deven Pearson

It's a little longer than I'd like, but it's got features, tech, benefits, customer quote, and hypothetical customer example. What it's sorely missing is how our offering differs from the competition's.

If I could do it over, I'd add something a customer told me yesterday:

"'And it only took 30 minutes to set up,' says Bryce from Smith.ai."

Always be talking to customers to bring your features+benefits to life!





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