Posts Tagged ‘podcast’

Value Proposition: Before you express the value, you have to deeply understand the value (MarketingSherpa Podcast Episode #3)

January 29th, 2019

You think your product is great. Your service is top-notch. And personally, I have no reason to doubt you.

Your ideal customer, on the other hand … let’s face it, they don’t live in the four walls of your office. They aren’t thinking about your product every moment of every day like you are. They — and I hope this doesn’t sound harsh — really don’t care.

This disconnect is normal, of course. But here’s where you’ll get in trouble.

The next time you hire an advertising agency to create a campaign, when you redesign your website, when you launch a product — if you use that same insider thinking, you will undercut your marketing investments. Because those advertising and marketing creatives need to be armed with an essential reason why the ideal customer should buy your product.

Without that core reason — that marketing creativity isn’t being put to its most effective use. Just like a painting without a viewpoint isn’t really art, it’s just nice colors on a canvas.

Without that core reason, all you get is “we’re the bestest, greatest, amazingest [product type] you’ve ever seen.” You can buy all the media you want and blast that message out into the world but really … c’mon … how many customers will truly believe it?

Your product needs a value proposition. In our latest podcast, Austin McCraw and I have a robust yet light-hearted conversation about pitfalls marketers can get into when crafting their value prop. You can listen to this episode below in whichever way is most convenient for you or click the orange “Subscribe” button to get every episode.



More about episode #3 — consider the competition

A value proposition created in a vacuum is no value proposition at all.

And this is what makes crafting a value prop so difficult. You’ve got to take a good, hard look at what other options your customers have. Even when it isn’t direct competition. For example, customers taking a short trip aren’t only considering which airline is best, they are considering if they should drive instead. Or take a train. Or perhaps not go at all.

That competitive element can go against our human nature because by playing up a competitor’s offerings, we can feel disloyal to the team we’re on.

But it is essential for marketers to be the voice of the customer in the organization, reminding the whole company what other offerings are out there. By doing so, you not only sell your company’s products and services but can positively shape their value to create something even better for customers. And by having an influential stake in value creation, you are at the heart of what is important to business leaders and the very essence of the business itself.

These are topics Austin and I dove into. Here are a few key moments from this episode:

  • 1:55 – Austin defines value prop.
  • 4:26 – You’re trying to set an expectation, not make a promise.
  • 5:35 – There is a fundamental value proposition for the entire company. Marketers can feel intimidated by that because they feel like they can’t really affect it. But every person in every company can likely at least affect one of these other levels of value proposition in their daily work.
  • 8:16 – Organizations also have a value proposition. Cultures have a value proposition.
  • 11:00 – A value proposition workshop is a way to get key business leaders together and discover the most powerful value proposition.
  • 12:19 – Consider the competition, even when you think the product is so breakthrough that there is no competition …
  • 15:49 – … because there is always competition. I’m a Jacksonville Jaguars fans, and at the beginning of the season, I could have felt like they have no competition. But now, staring back at a 5-11 record, reality clearly shows they weren’t up to the competition.
  • 17:42 – Of course what we’re talking about is looking past your direct competitors. We use the example of newspapers here. Even though many newspapers do not have direct competition, they still have plenty of indirect and replacement competitors.
  • 21:20 – Sometimes products or brands within your company aren’t differentiated enough. In that case, less is more, and they shouldn’t all exist.
  • 21:56 – Sometimes your products are competing with each other. In that case, make sure there is clear value differentiation between them. A bad example is my car insurance renewal. I get a thick packet in the mail that I don’t understand, and I don’t really grasp the different value of my product options.
  • 24:10 – A feature matrix is a great way to show the different levels of value offered by different products to minimize competition between products and help customers select the best offering.
  • 21:41 – Your product needs clear exclusivity from all competitors, both internal and external.
  • 27:25 – Even if you have a commoditized product, you can find ways to create and communicate value exclusivity. For example, com uses customer service and social media personalities to differentiate from other (frankly, fairly similar) fitness-oriented supplements and vitamins.
  • 28:03 – Even sushi can have exclusivity.
  • 28:55 – It takes the sushi chefs at this restaurant three years just to learn how to cook the rice.
  • 32:07 – A competitive analysis can help you identify elements of exclusivity.
  • 32:46 – If you really start to delve in, you might discover your product doesn’t really have a value prop. In that case, we discuss what to do.

Related resources

Powerful Value Propositions: How to optimize this critical marketing elements — and lift your results

Customer Value: The 4 essential levels of value propositions

Value Proposition Development on-demand certification course

Mobile: Device or segment? (MarketingSherpa Podcast Episode #2)

January 7th, 2019

You might be reading this blog post on a smartphone. Or perhaps you’re about to listen to this podcast on your phone. Because mobile has taken over. We have all become cyborgs now — part human, part machine.

Don’t believe me? Just trying going without your phone for 24 hours. Go ahead, I dare you.

As a marketer, these societal changes should spark some curiosity questions. How do these customer behavior changes help you help the customer make the best decisions? How can you better serve customers on mobile devices and increase marketing performance?

And really, what is mobile anyway? Is it a device — just the same people we’re trying to reach on the desktop but with less screen space? Or is it a segment — people’s behaviors (and perhaps even the people) are so different when they’re on a smartphone that we need to approach them in an entirely different way.

We cover this topic in MarketingSherpa Podcast Episode #2. You can listen to this episode below in whichever way is most convenient for you or click the orange “Subscribe” button to get every episode sent right to, let’s face it, your phone.



More about episode #2 – You must consider the human behind the device

Mobile marketing is a hot topic, but don’t just think about it in terms of technology. Or usability.

As with any other human communication mechanism — from the caveman grunt to the printing press to the secret handshake to the telegraph, radio, email, you name it — using the mechanism correctly is just table stakes. It’s all in the nuance of how you use it.

Read more…

MarketingSherpa Podcast Episode #1: The role of the human connection in your marketing

December 6th, 2018

Marketing and technology go hand-in-hand these days. And the addition of technology has created some incredibly powerful abilities for marketers.


We’re still just human beings trying to get a message out to other human beings.

So what role should that human connection play in your marketing? It’s a topic we cover in MarketingSherpa Podcast Episode #1 — you can listen to below in whichever way is most convenient for you or click the orange subscribe button to get every episode.



Welcome to the new MarketingSherpa podcast

I can’t say this is the first MarketingSherpa podcast. Long-time readers know that MarketingSherpa has been publishing and producing helpful content since the early days of marketing and has had a podcast before. In fact, MarketingSherpa has written about marketing for so long that our first article about podcasting was published three months before Apple added formal support for podcasts in iTunes (If you’re curious, see Integrated Ad Campaign Results – Podcast + Avatar Banners + NYC Bar Coasters published on March 22, 2005).

But this new iteration of the MarketingSherpa podcast is our latest attempt to provide you the insights and information to help you do your job better. Plus, we attempted to make this a fun and lively discussion.

We’re not sure if we’re going to do a podcast long-term, but we figured it was worth a 90-day experiment (so if you have any feedback, please let us know).

A little insight into our thinking

Since you’re marketers as well, we thought you might be interested in some of our thinking behind the reason we are deciding to experiment with this format for our audience.

When deciding what channels to embrace, it is important to understand if your ideal customer is there and using it already. It’s all too easy to follow the hype. After all, even if a channel is “free” like social media or podcasting because it doesn’t require an immediate monetary outlay, nothing is ever truly free. As MECLABS Institute Managing Director and CEO Flint McGlaughlin said in a recent MarketingSherpa blog post, Burn your “also(s).”  Every new channel you invest in, every new social media account you open, every new content type you create diverts your team’s limited time and attention from something else. (That’s why we’re launching this 90-day experiment to gauge if the podcast is a worthwhile investment of our time and attention long term).

In MarketingSherpa’s case, we have a business audience (marketers), and the data says that a large group of business people listen to podcasts. Most notably, 44% of business people in a senior role who know what a podcast is are listening to podcasts, according to LinkedIn data published on (only 8% of respondents didn’t know what a podcast is, so this constitutes a lot of senior role department heads, VPs, owners and C-suite execs listening to podcasts).



Because our audience is professional marketers, they tend to like visiting our website from the workplace. In fact, looking at our website analytics reminds me of the gently rolling waves of Jacksonville Beach (which is where I prefer to spend my weekends rather than reading marketing content online, so I can’t blame you for reading more during the week). Look at the clear dips in pageviews on the weekend.


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