Discovering Your Value Proposition

Welcome to yet another gained marketing experiments web clinic this afternoon we’re talking about discovering your value proposition we’re going to be looking at content that you have never seen before at a marketing experiments clinic we’re going to talk particularly about six ways that you can stand out in a crowded marketplace we’re going to be dressing a subject that I think is essential to marketing the essence of marketing is the message the essence of the message is the value proposition and unless we clearly understand how to form a forceful value proposition we are going to be swimming upstream costly fighting having to I would say over market in order to achieve some semblance of our objective we’ll talk more about this you can see that it’s hashtag web clinic if you would like to participate in Twitter let’s begin by looking at this case that he tests protocol 2008 5 the company is a non profit conservative policy think-tank and the goal was to increase the size and number of donations they began with a control this is an email that was sent at the beginning of each year this is their best performing email it describes the foundation the value of membership and encourages you to renew we wanted to test the value proposition and in particular the articulation of the value and so we created this treatment you’ll notice that now we’ve changed at the process level something you’ll learn later in this clinic the buttons wording we’ve also changed the actual call to action emphasizing critical pieces with quantifiable data we’ve said that for instance our experts testified 45 times before Congress about issues like defense spending regulation and federal workers compensation these are critical issues designed to touch what matters the most to these members we want to renew and the value is laden with specifics so let’s look at it again this is the control this is the treatment when you look at the two side by side you can see there’s a major difference in the declaration of value but this is a highly motivated list it’s very difficult to actually get a conversion lift because the people coming to this page or seeing these emails are already highly motivated and they they’ll put up with a lot just because they believe in the organization or because they want to do something about the problems they see or they perceive to be in Washington still the new page the new email produces a 14.6% Ries now remember this there’s no hard cost here essentially I mean there’s no hard cost we’re talking about a fourteen point six percent six point six six percent increase in average donation size and in addition to that a click-through rate increase of 20 percent that’s a remarkable win for a minor change in the messaging of an email and it underscores what happens we only get clear about the value now look if you’re just joining us this isn’t about politics it’s about getting more people to say yes whatever your offer is and the key to that is the force of your value proposition we’re going to learn more about that in just a moment I’m going to take you swiftly to a different type of case study this is a major multi-billion dollar engineering group you can see a home page and a link notice the link tactics right here from that link you move to a second page where you have three options the goal of this case study is to get an increase in the number of downloads now notice the experiments control that’s what you’re seeing now and then let’s look at the treatment big change in the treatment should become obvious to you you’re looking at very quantified very specific statements of value these are evidential x’ that support an overall value proposition and so this particular treatment is all about adding more value near the call to action what does it produce let’s look at the control and the treatment the two side by side and the results and here you see it a two hundred and forty-five percent increase in conversion so there are a number of factors here but the most important factor was the increase in value now let’s think for a moment here we have a non profit conservative political foundation here we have a major industrial and engineering group two completely different types of enterprises one is not-for-profit one is for-profit one is really about information and issues and the other is about hard science and engineering and and commodities and yet both of them see a dramatic increase when we intensify the value what’s the common denominator what really happened in this situation that helped us achieve these numbers that’s what’s driving much of what we want to talk to you about today but we’re going to make it even more difficult because we’re going to say that most of you on this call or in this clinic are aware of the fact that you need to intensify the value we want to break it down and address a more difficult question and that is how do you increase the force of your value proposition when you’re in a highly competitive field in banking for instance essentially the products are the same in the insurance industry many of the products are the same they’re regulated in other spaces without so much regulation just the sheer number of competitors and the aggressive postures of each often leave you in a position where it’s difficult to understand how you can stand out how you can achieve more force with your own value proposition we’re moving in that direction we’re going to talk about six steps but first of all let me ask and answer a simple question the question is this what happened in the last two treatments what really happened in the last two treatments the last two case studies I can illustrate it with a simple image you’ll notice up on the left there is a formulation it’s a heuristic net force equals the perceived value force minus the perceived cost force this is part of a more complicated heuristic that we’ve been developing for many years inside of the laboratory this supersedes the convergent sequence some of your familiar the conversion sequence see 4n plus 3v plus 2i – f – – hey if that means nothing do you don’t worry about it if you’re a long time listener or reader here you’re probably familiar with it the point I want to make is that the conversion sequence is really a subset of this larger more important heuristic related to the value proposition at mech labs we’ve spent years asking and trying to answer a simple question why do people say yes when given a whole series of options how do you get people to say yes to your option over another and what you’re seeing on the upper left is represented in this analogy here value force is outweighing cost force and essentially the scale has been tipped the fulcrum has been levered in favor of the left side the value side and what really happened if you look backwards in fact I think I’ll just take you back words look at the control very little value on the left side of the fulcrum look at the treatment much more value on the left side of the fulcrum what you saw happened with the treatment it was essentially this and that’s what produced the gains now I can’t unpack that heuristic in great detail it’s more complicated you can see it now in front of you it represents a series of sub heuristics that help us understand what’s going on in the cognitive psychology of the decision process we are in effect trying to get deeper into the mind people don’t buy from websites people buy from people you don’t optimize websites you optimize thought sequences but what is going on in those thoughts what’s the essential levers that we need to pull on as marketers in order to get more people to say yes we’ll talk about that and in effect what we’re trying to do is isolate for this particular clinic value force and as we do that we’re drilling down on this question of value proposition in a highly competitive marketplace you see behind me lots of examples where the space is highly competitive I was interviewed in the Washington Post so two weeks ago about Obama and about Romney and how they can achieve credibility and essentially how they can improve the force their personal value propositions in the marketplace when the American public is so jaded now because of the claims and counterclaims and the attention of the media and the behavior of many of our politicians and leaders in a sense they were asking the the reporter from the post did a fine job on the story was asking a question that connects to what you have to ask every day when you go to market and determine how you’re going to get more people to buy your product underneath that question is a more fundamental question and that is why do people say yes how can I get more people to say yes and in this case for this clinic how can I do that when the marketplace is highly competitive keeping that in mind let’s just get to the first point we have to two sections in this in this time together the first is to sort of gain a foundational understanding of the term value proposition it’s one of the most misunderstood words employed in business today it has a checkered history we’ll talk about that in just a moment until we get clear on the semantics on the term on the functional definition we can’t even proceed once we have that we’re going to walk through those six key ways to differentiate yourself let’s let’s review some research over from our sister company marketing Sherpa you’ll see that in a survey we recently conducted across saw I don’t know how many businesses a couple of thousand roughly and all of their key people interviews etc we discovered that nearly half of them can’t even be confident that their own marketing team can express the value proposition of the organization now it’s been my experience when I’m teaching that that number is less than 10% but this is what a marketing leader believes about their organization I don’t think it reflects reality but if we accept that at face value it’s still a frightening statistic how can the customer be expected to understand your company’s value proposition if your marketing team does it brings me to another chart here’s the question has your organization tested your value proposition once again I think the yes number is inflated I would question the test and the validity but let’s accept that at face value 71% of the people we spoke with admit that what they consider the right proposition has never been tested never been carefully validated and they’re basically hoping that is not good enough in today’s competitive space and I don’t say that to make you feel bad about yourself as a marketer or an organization I say it with great empathy the reason is you can get your MBA in Marketing at a at a noted business school and still not even understand the definition of a value proposition is so the fact that you don’t know is probably not your fault it’s probably the fault of people like me the educators who have not trained you adequately and prepared you with a framework to think now make labs we’ve been working on this issue for years we have studied every scrap of content we can find we have went through every academic article ever written we’ve quantified those articles selected 1100 that have some obscure connection that might in some way help inform our understanding most of them don’t even attempt to outline a value proposition in addition that we’ve gone through all the popular works that use the term it’s a new term in business in fact if you look it was coined officially in the 90s and the primary author of the term was Michel Lanny but if you look carefully at the chart behind me we went deeper than that we said you know the term may have been used in the 90s but was its essence employed or at least aspects of its essence employed by other of the great advertising and marketing thinkers and so we looked at the word unique selling proposition and point of difference and point of parity and differentiation and all of those things and went backwards we saw the work of David Ogilvy which depended on the work of Rosser Reeves David David acknowledges Rosser and Rosser depended on Claude Hopkins and I don’t know if you know or not but all the way back in the early 1900’s Walter Scott published a book called the psychology of advertising and it’s a pretty good book Hopkins book is a bit of a masterpiece both Hopkins and Reeves should be read by everyone in this audience and they didn’t fully capture a functional definition but they certainly had some of the most essential elements now if your philosopher and that’s my training you realize that we could argue over the definition of a value proposition for the next hundred years and create a small industry that’s what academics do and there will be conferences and summits and events and we would build careers around it that is not the point of the MEC labs research we’re simply searching for the most useful comma functional definition the definition then enables you to go back and get a dramatic meaningful result and so we have formulated a theory of how to do that and then we’ve tested and you’ll see a few examples of tests on the screen behind me but we’ve conducted ten thousand-plus path tests we’re running studies right now all over the world we’ve even sent more than a billion emails testing the messaging inside of those emails we’ve conducted five million phone calls that we’ve recorded and we’ve surveyed and interacted with more than 36 thousand companies no one in history has really taken this much time to try to understand the essence of the value proposition its framework and how to utilize it in the most meaningful way I don’t believe that we have the ultimate answer now but I believe we have a working answer a practical answer one that you can take and use and I hope that other business leaders other marketers and some of my peers and colleagues academics will help us further refine the framework for now I won’t get into the depth of the answer I won’t break down complicated heuristics I’m going to ask a question what is a value proposition and I’m going to attempt to answer that question with yet another question because I think this second question in a sense frames the answer to the first it’s very carefully chosen word-for-word don’t underestimate the significance of any part of its phraseology here is the question if I am your ideal prospect that’s a critical contingency why should I buy from you rather than any of you editor’s now think about that from them because that’s a key to thinking about all that you’re doing in your marketing efforts all of marketing should influence a decision marketing that doesn’t influence a decision is a waste Olga Lee said every ad must sell Rosser Reeves R Hopkins said almost the same thing marketing and advertising perhaps they’re not the same that’s a different argument but they’re very similar and both should influence a decision even if the decision is a decision about your company what kind of company it is a brand related decision let’s break it down so we said if I am the word if I those two words the word I is essential it’s essential because it requires you to think in a completely different way from an inverse perspective it is not a reason framed in the person of the marketer but framed N and through the person of the market if I means that you and I have to escape somehow the chains of our own self-interest and climb inside of the skin of our marketplace and incarnate ourself there and ask if I meaning let me get out of my thinking and its limitations and get into the thinking of my potential customer and understand my offer through customer logic not company logic if I am your ideal prospect that’s the beginning a key you’ve heard me say this if you heard me teach before I don’t want to give you a better way to see but I’d rather give you new eyes to see with that’s not a truism that’s not a clever turn of words it’s not an attempt to sound profound it’s an important principle what are those new eyes the customers eyes now we’ve all believed this instinctively we know this is true we we know that we should be seeing the world through the perspective of the customer but it’s much more difficult to execute on than it is to talk about and part of that is part of it one of the keys to overcoming that difficulty is through this emulation this simple question this framework if I am now let’s talk about the M part your ideal prospect that’s critical it suggests something else you are not serving everyone you are serving a segment you’ve got to understand that segment there are four types of value propositions I can’t teach that today you can get that in some of our courses in our training there there’s a primary and three derivative value propositions but for now all you need to understand is this a proper value proposition is cognizant of and is accepting of the trade offs the fact that you can’t be the best solution for everyone in fact choosing your customer set is one of the surest ways for you to develop the best solution or an ultimate reason because essentially the value proposition is an ultimate reason it has a big cost factor it it answers that question and think about it whether someone says because or not when they answer it it is a because that motivates the answer to that question you’re giving a reason you’re framing an argument now it says something else it says a value proposition has a specific action in mind why should I buy from you the why must proceed or must follow I’m sorry it must follow the what what why am i emphasizing that then what are we talking about too many times you come to a page and it starts talking about how good the company is forcing the why down our throat not in the form of an articulate value proposition but a barrage of reasons and it does so before the customer even understands or the prospect even understands what they’re supposed to do the truth is that in many pages the clarity is so bad the confusion is so rampant that we get hit by multiple voices from all sides of the page talking to us all at once in boxes and banners and whirling flash presentations and we don’t even know what I’m supposed to do there as important as the value proposition is we must remember that it is a why and that the why only has meaning when it follows the what this leads me to another analysis here rather than rather than your competitors underneath this formulation is the notion that people are saying yes when there are multiple options this this this whole formulation is philosophical in its foundation and if they’re going to choose your selection if they’re going to choose your offer over another’s it’s going to be because you have some sort of only factor and if the answer to this question that you that you give me doesn’t have an implied or a implicit only factor we’ve got difficulties you’ll have a problem with force let me stop for a second it’s easy to sit in a classroom or at your desk right now and hear me speaking and sort of follow along with me and even grapple with the concepts and miss the meaning this this slide should be like a mirror that you look in and confront yourself I don’t mean this in a harsh way but marketer answered the question either take one of your main products or take your company itself and tell me why I should buy from you or why I should buy product X rather than any other product or buy from you rather than any other competitor if you can honestly start to articulate that answer it’s going to force you to think about whether or not you can truly market your offering or whether you’re simply trying to survive on pockets of ignorance let’s assume you’re trying to answer that right now as I’m talking if your answer starts to sound like a slogan if it sounds like a description of your business if it sounds like an overview of your model if it sounds like you’re simply parroting a clever turn of words or a catchphrase it’s inadequate the answer you give should begin with the word because I’m not saying that that because as to appear on the page in your copy but it should appear at least in your with a because here’s why because we and you start to answer and that because factor that that that that driver that conjunction that drives all that you say next is essentially a framing what I would call the ultimate reason and the ultimate reason must have an only factor so let’s think about that for just a moment and talk about how challenging that is in a competitive environment number one the internet is a unique phenomenon in the human experience when I first began to consider what its impact might be on our world I was sort of alone some of you know the story I tried to get professors at Cambridge and an Oxford a research project this was many many years ago I couldn’t get anyone interested I didn’t know anyone who knew what the internet was at that point most of us didn’t even have modems I remember 26 and or I remember the various iterations until we were at 56 and on it went I remember postulating what would happen if there was more nodes and greater bandwidth all of that has unfolded and the world has changed and it’s impacted commerce on multiple levels number one in the past week competitors could survive via their geographic proximity their value proposition was derived from nearness a concept that nearness translated into sort of a benefit for the customer convenience time savings you could go down the street to the small hardware store it didn’t have everything you needed but it was down the street and and and and secondly if you think about it the internet now has has eradicated that advantage from any groups it is positioned many of us just one click away from our best competitor and if you are not unique then and at least one dimension of value you can’t count on geographic proximity to save you you don’t have the potential of being the best solution and if you are not the best solution why would you expect anyone to select you you’re just surviving on pockets of ignorance you’ve got to have a because you’ve got to have an argument you’ve got reason the because is that conjunction that that drives your answer the ultimate reason is that single sentence articulation and the argument is sort of the though the long form version if you were to break that answer out that ultimate reason out into its key evidential z’ you have the argument and it would be the most compelling argument the best answer if indeed you want more people to say yes to your offer which leads me to the reason we have this clinic how do you differentiate yourself how do you stand out how do you articulate a forceful value proposition in a highly competitive marketplace it’s driving everything we want to talk about today my time is very limited we’d like to do live optimization if if we can and to do that I need to move rapidly through these six points but each one is critical each one is essential I’d like to Pat every moment we have together with useful content that you can take back and apply right away so I shall try to do so as fast as I can and you bear with me as we intensify our pace and try to make this as rich and as rewarding as we can do so so let’s begin with the six ways and here is the first we’ve got to focus on your only factor here’s a page submitted to us by someone who’s on this call right now I’d like you to look at it it’s not an ugly page it’s an above average page by far it’s an above average page now an above average doesn’t make it good on the Internet average is bad sorry to say that and and I don’t mean to be harsh on the person this is better than many of the pages that I see but audience look at it where is the only factor where is it ah it says there’s a great way to get where you want to go it’s about having a choice they do have a choice and that’s dangerous and you’ll notice there are three evenly weighted I don’t know if they’re calls to action I don’t know if they’re clickable which is part of the problem they’re on all caps that’s another part of the problem it looks like there’s a headline above that learning is a life style education that fits education that fits and learning is a life style wouldn’t be considered in your English class as a coherent thought there’s a big jump between learning is a lifestyle and education that fits and I’m left to make the meaning of it and out of this confusion I somehow see a part-time tennis instructor and I have to wonder what does that have to do with what I am seeing over here is this all about tennis or not and if it isn’t are you a learning part of your audience and whether you are whether you’re not the entire page looks like a page of headlines and despite all the headlines where’s the value proposition now you might say well it’s a combination of X Y & Z then I ask you a different question where is the only factor what is it that this particular offer has that nobody else can match where is at least one dimension of value that you would sell you have to ask that and if you can answer that it’s the key lever that you need to pull on right now so that people who encounter this offer say well I should take the time to complete that form which by the way has too much friction it doesn’t have to be that long it wouldn’t be that long if you put the titles of the form inside of the fields and you shorten the fields and and if you added some value under stay in form in the form of bullet points and if you change the frames to fill out the form below to get our newsletter anybody that’s been on our clinics know that number one get should begin that sentence not be in the middle of it that’s called a point middle sentence it will cost you conversion second they need to ask how strong is the appeal of the newsletter I’ll bet you it’s very weak that’s not enough and that would mean you can tune up the force of your value proposition and the good news for the person that submitted this page is you could see twice the performance it reminds me of a page we did with the New England Journal and I didn’t optimize it myself they attended a class like one of these lectures went back and got a 300% increase in I say New England Journal it wasn’t it was university of doing one a three and a percent increase by fine-tuning the articulation of value so I’m back to this heuristic you’ll notice that we talked about perceived value force I don’t expect you to understand this whole heuristic today I’m not trying to teach that I’m trying to give you six practic things you can do one of those is to emphasize the only factor so I want to sort of explain that with two bullet points that you see benign three and they’re very important an appealing offer let’s suppose that it wasn’t just a newsletter let’s suppose it was something that people wake up wanting but an appealing offer without some form of exclusivity has its force diluted by the number of competing options think about that it’s very important there is a division relationship in fact if you look up on the heuristic where you’ll see appeal or exclusivity a P /e X under that you know V F equals a P that Ford slash is a division sign deliberately because the exclusivity factor has a division impact on the intensity of appeal let’s keep going an exclusive offer however because you can always come up with an exclusive offer you can always offer something that no one else has the problem is does it still have any appeal left it’s very any one of us could come up with an exclusive offer right now you could paint white polka dots on your product and whatever your product is and argue that you’re the only product of that kind that has white polka dots painted on it but what does that have to do with appeal probably very little so an exclusive offer without appeal has its force undermined by a lack of attraction now I suggest that to you because you’ve got to understand that what you’re really after is this zone where appeal and exclusivity overlap that dark blue zone on this slide behind me that’s where all the force comes from that’s where the power of that dyad is achieved we call this a dyad appeal no exclusivity there are two dyads that have major impact on the force of your value proposition and the first is the one that you see here and it has a division relationship and you are after that particular unique situation where there’s maximum peel and a form of important exclusivity I could talk a lot more about that my time is limited we do teach a course on value proposition and we go into more depth there let me keep going so focus on your only factor look at the paid search ad not this but this there is a difference between the two the specificity 6459 plus world clients that’s a lot in fact that’s the most that’s why it was used what’s the difference a 22% increase not this support such-and-such with every purchase we have to sort of protect the identity of that particular partner but this what’s the difference the only factor and what’s the numerical difference sixty-three percent now bear this in mind when you see these 63 percents and all the numbers I’m going to use in the not this but this illustrations we are talking about treatments and we’re extracting one aspect of the treatment and showing the difference in performance between the treatment and the control i’m not attributing the entirety three percent to that change but i want you to get a sense of that when we move from the control to the treatment from this way of thinking to the new way of thinking it’s part of the package it produces a significant gain let’s move to the second provide clear evidential x’ an evidential goes back to this heuristic and it is the sort of quantifiable believable points that support the ultimate reason now you have an argument listen to me the argument is your ultimate reason that’s your value proposition and the evidential x’ that support any claim in your ultimate reason if you tell me the world’s largest tell me that you have six hundred fourteen thousand products and no one else does that’s an evidential you must have an argument and the argument has a articulated ultimate reason and a series of evidential x’ it’s built around this notion that you see here value accepted is contingent on value believed in other words if you tell me that you have value but i don’t believe you then it’s not accepted and it’s non-existent for me but value believed it’s contingent upon value understood that’s why you’ll see up there P equals CL and notice that series of of dots vertical dots and C are they’re talking about clarity and credibility these two come together first I have to understand it if I don’t understand I can’t believe it but once I understand it I have to believe it if I don’t understand it I certainly can’t believe it but if I understand it and I do not believe it I certainly won’t perceive it and all of this is about perception value occurs in the mind the value you need as a marketer occurs in the mind that’s what that tiny pea is in front of perceived value force and perceived cost force what we’re suggesting to you is that the the true impact the true force of your value proposition occurs when you take the force of the perceived value and you subtract from it the force of the perceived cost I don’t mean price cost total cost even mental cost what’s left that integer that number is critical if it’s negative you’re in big trouble if it’s positive but we you’re still in trouble you need a strong forceful positive sum from that equation and impacts on that our clarity and credibility and appeal in exclusivity and so you need to keep this in mind I want to quote that one more time cuz I think it’s essential value accepted is contingent upon value believed and value believed is contingent upon value understood okay I don’t have time to tell you about this ad that ran in the 1800’s but we actually ran tests with this ad you can see why it’s difficult for people to believe us today because advertisers have made so many claims for so long that aren’t true the public is jaded they don’t understand and they don’t believe us anymore and you’re now having to make claims against and with those people whose intellectual guard is up who are not receptive and you must somehow be heard that is heard and understood and believed before you’re going to see any significant uptake from your optimization efforts which leads me to an example of not this we do this with info USA but this complete difference I’m going to go back look look at this vague articulation compared to this specific articulation 26 million phone calls a year to ensure you get the most accurate mailing list available look at the date since 1972 look at the exact numerical explanation to file how large how comprehensive look underneath it of the evidential six hundred full-time researchers tell researchers making 80 thousand calls a day to phone verify see I could spend the whole hour talking about these two all I want you to know is that the difference is two hundred one percent not this but this in a sense then what you’re seeing so I can move the third point is evidential z– here’s examples of evidential z– from many treatments that we’ve built in lots of studies and experiments that we’ve done these supporting evidential x’ are the argument that helps build the credibility of your claim in the articulated short-form of your value proposition i’m going to move on i hope i’m not moving too fast again we teach this over a period of many hours in some of other courses but i’m trying to give you something real and practical today I don’t want to tease you this isn’t an upsell this is content that I hope you can go back and use let me go to the number three strengthen process level now I know you don’t know what I mean by process level because it’s a phrase developed in our lab as part of our research we had to develop it to make our framework robust enough to get results in all the different situations we have to apply it a process of a value proposition is a specific kind don’t let this chart overwhelm you it is the simple process level value propositions it’s the simple ask that you make to get somebody to move through the steps of your offer like the buttons that you ask people to click on every time one of most important things I have to say it today every time you ask someone to do something to make a decision there is a sort of a sub or a derivative value proposition at the process level that comes into action for instance you tell me you want me to click to go to the next page I’m weighing whether or not what I’m going to do on the next page is worth the click what I’m going to get on the next page I might have two concerns on the value side of the folk remember that fulcrum we saw I’m wondering is this worth it you know what am I going to actually get with this download is it going to be three pages or twenty six pack if you’ve done a good job you’ve shown me a picture of you told me it’s 47 pages you’ve given me the list of experts who contributed to it you’ve got testimonials around it I’m starting to get velocity in the perk process I’m believing it’s probably worth it but when I see that there’s another page of information you’re asking I’m starting to wonder wait a second are they going to ask me for six pages of information how long is this process going to be is this going to take 15 minutes I don’t have 15 minutes I got a lunch point in five minutes now you’ve got negative cost anxiety and friction and what the marketer does is they they take weight off of the negative side and they add weight to the positive side of that fulcrum and and so we have a member of the audience submitting this page is their process level value proposition on this page yes there is let’s focus on just one I’d like to help you with the whole page I can’t because we don’t have time in fact I’m I’m really pushing it now to complete it okay excellent so they’re they’re cueing me right now tell me how much time I have look at the button down there that says send now let me ask you something that’s of that in its own right I don’t mean the value proposition of the product I don’t mean the very proposition of the company’s overall position I’m talking about just the button you want me to do something you want me to push that button now here’s a question is there anything about that button that makes me want to push it it’s all about what you want me to do not about what I get it tells me to send I didn’t wake up this morning saying gosh I hope I can send something to somebody because that’s fun I woke up this morning with a whole different set of issues on my mind and if I have a particular problem and this is offering a particular solution and if by clicking on that button I’m going to get closer to my solution and if you tell me that if you say get my free copy now get your instant download now get whatever it is that this page is offering and it’s spelled out so that the click feels like it’s worth it like the value aways the cost the perceived value weighs the perceived cost then you get more people to say yes to that little action press the send button think of it like this marketer what you’re really saying down there for every one of these actions you know you start out by saying will you read this page and you’ve got a horrible headline to get them to do so you don’t forgive me enough reason the goal of a headline isn’t to sell your product it’s on a page title it’s get you to read the next paragraph of text that’s what a headline supposed to do it gets you engaged in the middle conversation it’s a pickup line to establish a relationship that headline then moves me in and I’ve got series of micro guesses on this page until I get down to this form and now you want my name my web address my phone number oh my god I better have a good reason you better give me a good reason to give you my phone number and even when I’ve done all of that I’m still hesitating and all I see in the bottom is sinned there’s not enough value being promised in exchange for that click you’re asking me something marketer you’re saying will you click and many people are going to subconsciously say no what you’re trying to do is when more yeses and do that you need to tilt the value in favor so that it’s heavier than the cost so let’s keep going not this but this do you see the difference this was part of a treatment that achieved a 357 percent return not this you’ve all heard me say this it’s like the worst button of all time developed by by problem with database programmers who didn’t understand the cognitive message they were sending but it is submit fall on your knees before the Lords of marketing and admit that we’ve out thought you weave out persuaded you we win terrible button this and 361 percent improvement again in the entire treatment not this but this 90 percent these are all examples of tilting value at the process level let’s keep going one more not this but this 99 percent brings me to the fourth point build a compelling narrative to support all that you’re saying I taught this in a previous web clinic I’ve explained that the purchase process is like an unfolding story in the mind and that people tend to arrange their thoughts in story form and that telling story can be a powerful device for communicating your value proposition indeed look at this page that we see here this is a year of the Month Club and the the new page tells the story that underscores the essence and the message of the value proposition and the difference is a 14% increase so that brings me to the fifth point utilize value Laden images and by the way I know some of your thing tell me more about the narrative piece I want to I just don’t have the time I’m trying to cover six points and we might in fact we’ve done a whole clinic on writing copy and understanding how that connects the story and and if you contact us we’ll send you a link to that or you go to the website and type in the right search term and get it but there’s more to be said a whole hour just on that all right type in one of my analyst said type in the search term copywriting at the marketing experiments dot-com website it’ll come up and you’ll be able to follow with us there it’s me teaching just like this number five utilize value Laden images something we completely overlooked we had somebody from the audience submit this page the question is how does this particular image communicate value it is two ladies talking and without the caption it has no connection whatsoever now the marketer might be saying well that’s a foreign country or the marketer might be trying to communicate something at a very subtle level this is not the place for subtlety don’t leave it to the audience to make meaning out of your images they won’t work that hard look at the difference paying attention here’s an image and this could be improved I’d rather show what it feels like to get relief from debt and not just on a person’s face they’re using the image because this is the person that you might meet on the other side of that phone call but we got a significant lift when we brought the founder who they’d been seeing in television commercials and put him on here now the face is blurred because we’re protecting the company’s identity just a little bit but the difference was 35% increase not this but this the second image really communicates the nature of the offer not this see the icon but this and the difference 43% once again in each of these cases the images are doing the hard work of communicating the value proposition you need a package of images that support the essence of your value proposition it’s not enough if they’re sexy if not enough if you find them attractive it’s not enough if you think they set a nice tone make your images work brings me to number six link this to your brand equity this is the point that I have Oh probably the most frustration about I can only touch it lightly but for those of you that are brand side marketers I’d like to make some quick observations about the connection between brand and value proposition and then we’ll be done so here they are I’m going to say them fast they’re very important but I can only say them quickly here’s the first brand is just the aggregate experience of the value proposition as the customer experiences this value either directly or through their friends people they know they develop a belief about its source that’s the organization that becomes a person in their mind we we would stand in line right now if Apple released even an eye chicken because we’ve had such a positive experience with their other devices that we expect something unique and we expect a sort of special experience from the devices that Apple creates this is the not the work of agencies that have simply said nice things or made brand promises this is the experience translating into expectation number two brand awareness is a result the value proposition is a cause the strength of the brand is derived not from declarations anybody can do that but through expectation I’ll say more about that the notion of a brand promise is fundamentally flawed the point of the brand is not to make a promise but to create an expectation when somebody selling you something promises you it’s natural that your guard goes up it’s natural that you are suspicious it’s natural that you’re the defensive posture because people who sell things to us every day make promises they don’t keep but when I have had a positive experience I get an expectation and since that expectation didn’t wasn’t derived in your heart it was derived in mine I own it I’ll fight for it and that’s what good branding does it helps create an expectation marketers need more nuance our work does not entail forcing conclusions but rather offering reasons which lead to a sort of inevitable conclusion if we offer the reasons right then the then the the prospect develops or works towards a conclusion and when they draw a conclusion about us it’s far stronger then we try to force a conclusion down their throat and number five effective brand strategy is implicit rather than explicit it is achieved not with remonstration but by implication what am I saying there well remonstration is when we talk all about exactly what we are implication occurs when we imply what we are and we let people draw those conclusions themselves there is a place in brand there is a place in brand and there is a place for brand but the father of brand was David Ogilvy we all call him that his book is the classic and Ogilvy is the one who said every ad must sell and I would argue for you that the confusion around bland is at the heart of the waste of billions of dollars in the marketing universe I am NOT anti agency a third of the audience today on the phone is probably agency and I have seen agencies that we’ve worked with capture the power of this and create the kind of tested value proposition work that supports brand messaging that is awesome in its implications and clear in its results but it comes from rethinking about the linkage between brand and value proposition and if you capture that in a highly competitive market space you will have an advantage over everyone around you like to say more but I’m at a time and as I as I look what’s in front of me I have net force equals perceived value – well perceive value force – perceived cost force and a heuristic and that might seem quite complex and I certainly can unpack it all today but I can give you again these six keys take them use them and you’ll find that there’s a way for you to gain advantage even in a competitive space I can tell you that last year in one of the largest banks in the world we did this and their competitors are on all sides and yet they saw an average increase of 108 percent I can tell you that we did this and I can give you this name not that Bank but in Canada the largest bank account of the Royal Bank of Canada has achieved success after success even though they’re a regulated product they were able to differentiate themselves by focusing on some of these key techniques that you see listed in front of you and frankly I could go on and on not just banks but an industry after entry showing you how you can take what we’re talking about and craft something in your messaging that’s powerful that’s forceful that’s compelling the only thing I should do now as they’re reminding me because I’m almost out of time is point out that I’m going to be teaching in Orlando is that where it is and the dates are in front of us August 28th and 29th and I’ll be teaching on at the b2b summit marketing sure everybody some of that’s one of our events and we’ll be talking in great depth about all of this and if you’d like to to be there please let us know I’d like to meet members of our sort of our community people who are listening to these and every one of these events people come up to me see I’ve been listening to you for years dr.

McLaughlin it’s so wonderful to connect the face to the names that I watch flashing in on the screen and it would be wonderful if you can come thank you so much tell a friend about us and we’re going to keep trying to do the research and discover what really works Oh .

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