If you are following my “12 Steps to Begin Developing and Executing a Basic Digital Marketing Strategy,” you’ve defined a customer challenge, tested hypotheses, conducted voice of customer, & analyzed your competition. Now it’s time to develop customer centric outcomes.
An outcome is the measurable result a customer will experience when they buy your product or service. Will they see a 15% increase in productivity? A 10% reduction in operating expense? It’s the total value and experience you provide. If you have a cleaning service, it’s not just a clean house. It’s the full experience the actual value to your client.
What if you not only provided a clean house, but also a free home organization assessment? The outcome of a clean AND reorganized house could tremendously impact your customer’s life. This would be easy to do, just link up with a local home organization consultant. The consultant would probably say “yes” because then you get them in front of more clients. Free for you, free assessment for your customer, added value, and a differentiated experience. Marketing and selling based on customer outcomes will set you apart from your competition. You become more than just another supplier. You are a strategic supplier.
Why are outcomes important?
In the Competitive Analysis post, we discussed using the Internet enables you to keep a watchful eye on your competition. This allows you to develop differentiation strategies. In this same way, customers are more empowered, prudent, and a bit skeptical. Customers are no longer concerned with features and benefits. They want outcomes.
Outcomes aren't a new concept. But, they aren't used enough. If you truly want to differentiate yourself and become a strategic supplier, you need to develop outcomes.
“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want to buy a quarter-inch hole!” - Theodore Levitt
Most decision makers no longer have time to learn about your products and listen to your feature / benefit pitch. You and your competition just repeat the same old crap time and time again. Just envision Charlie Brown’s teacher, “wah, wah … wah.” Boring as hell and not helping you. Your customers simply want outcomes, and measurable end results.
How do you develop customer-based outcomes?
To develop outcomes we need to shift your mindset a little. Move away from the old school 4P’s of Marketing: Product, Place, Promotion, and Price. Instead, let’s use a different set of P’s. Scott Santucci of Forrester defines the new set as:
- Problem: What are the customer’s problems?
- Pattern: How will your solution solve their problems?
- Path: How will it be purchased and can you help facilitate the decision cycle?
- Proof: What is the quantified value the solution will deliver?
Develop Measurable and/or Quantifiable Outcomes
If you are following the “12 Steps to Begin Developing and Executing a Basic Digital Marketing Strategy,” we’ve started covering the first 3 P’s: Problem, Pattern, and Path. To develop outcomes, we need to quantify the value our solution can deliver. Remember, a feature / benefit is Product X costs runs on an open platform and costs only $5. A solution is Product X integrates your Marketing Automation Programs into one platform. An outcome is Product X increases your email marketing team’s productivity by X%. It saves you $Y in legal fees by cross-verifying opt-ins. This ensures your team is compliant with the new email marketing regulatory requirements.
Outcomes are metrics for success that help clients meet specific and measurable goals. It’s no longer just the solution. It’s the end result.
- Customer Satisfaction
- Increased Revenue
- Decreased Cost
- Increased Market Share
- Measurable, Strategic, and Specific to your customers
I challenge you, no matter what product, service, or offering you plan to market / sell, you can find measurable outcomes. If you cannot think of any, this is a perfect time to reconnect with your customers. Why not ask them? Any information they provide you specific to outcomes is data. The more data you get, positive or negative, the more you can improve. If your product is currently in development, this is a perfect time to have an outcomes conversation with potential customers. Dig deep. Find out what desired outcomes are important to them. Test and pilot your beta product. Use the Lean Startup Principles – Build, Measure, Learn – Preserve, Pivot, Iterate.
Next week we’ll discuss developing Customer Personas. You can also sign up for my newsletter to receive these posts in your email.
I hope this post helped. As always, I welcome feedback and comments. If relevant, please share it with your friends and network. Looking forward to hearing from you.