Features or Benefits?

Couple sitting on a new bed looking at brochure of features

When developing marketing campaigns, you might hear a lot about features vs benefits. One huge mistake people make in business marketing is blurring the lines between the two. There’s actually a big difference, and understanding each (and how to use them) is key to a great campaign.

Features vs Benefits: What’s the Difference?

Features are characteristics about the product or service. This might be simply what it does, or it may also include things that set it apart from the competition. 

A good example of this would be when thinking about headphones. Features would be a wireless bluetooth connection or noise cancellation. Selling features is important. 

Selling benefits, however, is important too. Benefits are what those features actually do for the customer or client. Following the example of headphones, this might mean that you can walk a great distance away from the device and still hear the audio or that the cords won’t get tangled up in your pocket.

Generally speaking, benefits should explain something that the purchaser would actually get out of the product rather than just something it has. Although the benefit is often inferred just from mentioning the feature, this doesn’t mean that they’re exactly the same (and you should never assume your audience knows the product as well as you do).

Which to Focus On?

When writing copy, you might be wondering which your digital strategy should focus on — the features or the benefits? The truth is that despite a clear difference in definition, they’re intertwined, and any good strategy includes both.

However, 85% of marketers believe that consumers want a personalized experience. That means not just telling them what the feature includes, but how it can help them. Giving plenty examples of the benefits of how it might improve their life (especially if they choose your product or service over the competition) is key to seeing them through to making that final purchase.

A famous example: Don’t sell the mattress, sell a better night’s sleep.

If you have heavy competition, a little more focus on the features might be necessary though. You’ll have to point out exactly why a customer should go with you rather than a bigger brand or name. That might mean putting emphasis on things that your competitors don’t have.

Features and Benefits Are Both Important

When it comes to features vs. benefits and which to use, they both have their place in a digital marketing strategy. However, picking which one to use (or place more emphasis on) involves knowing your audience and the competition.

Do you need some business marketing help with features and benefits or another aspect of digital advertising? Contact us today and let’s see what we can do for you.