Marketing 101: Costs vs. Benefits

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In all the different ways you can break down a marketing campaign to its core, one that can greatly divide your customers is deciding whether to focus on the costs of your product or the potential benefits of buying it. People are naturally going to be interested in both of these, but whichever one you choose to tout the most during your campaign may be a deciding factor in what people buy, or even how much.

If you find your marketing campaign isn’t bringing in the numbers like you hope, taking a look at the particulars of cost versus benefit campaigns could make the difference.


Your customers want to know how much your product costs. Even the most affluent person is interested in saving money where they can; heck, it’s probably how they got to that position in the first place. So if you’re hoping you can get away with not telling people the price of your fabulous new product, you’re probably wrong.

It’s particularly important if what you’re offering is generally expensive. If your company happened to come up with a 3D television that cost almost nothing to make and you had the opportunity to undercut the rest of the entire industry, wouldn’t you want to tout the low price over how awesome the television is? If it’s a major selling point, it probably should be the main focus of your campaign.

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Adversely, you may have seen advertisements that take pride in their expensive nature. High end car companies do this a lot. It’s not just a “get what you pay for” ideal; it becomes more of a status quo feeling for the customer, that they’ve made it in the world now that they own a Lexus or what have you. Does this fit your product at all? Would your customers feel like they’ve “made it” if they display your product in their home?


How does your product or service make your customers’ lives better? To focus on the benefits of what you’re selling is to realize what you’ve done to make the world better. It doesn’t have to be world-altering, either; does your company’s line of Spongebob Christmas stockings make little kids smile on the 25th of December? Then perhaps you should show how freaking cool they are!

Also take into account exactly which benefits to focus on. Think of your product like workout equipment. Sure, it seems obvious what the benefits are. But some people buy the equipment for losing weight. Some buy it to improve their health and prolong their life. Others are wanting to bulk up their muscle mass. All are generally for health issues, but if that workout equipment is specifically geared towards one thing, it should be marketed that way.

Is there anything about your product that really stands out? Instead of focusing on one particular attribute, you might want to take a number of them and spend a little time touting each one. If you take an honest look at the product you’re offering, you’ll be able to tell what your customers will really jump at when they find it.

If all else fails, just ask! Hold a focus group and let those aforementioned customers tell you directly exactly what they like about your product. You may be surprised, and it could give you an opportunity to refocus your campaign in a new, more profitable direction.

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here:

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