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What is Your Unique Buying Proposition?

The age old concept of a unique selling proposition views the problem of positioning almost backwards

Toss Out the Company-Centric USP and Bring In the Customer-Centric ‘UBP’ to Underlie Your Content Marketing Strategy.
Don’t get me wrong.  The unique part is critical.  But the age old concept of a unique selling proposition views the problem of positioning almost backwards.

The idea of a unique selling proposition is that you need to differentiate yourself from the hundreds or thousands of other vendors with whom you compete.  Theoretically, if you have a really good USP, you can stand apart from all the same old same old that everyone else is selling. 

I think it’s much better to focus on the buyer with a unique buying proposition as the basic foundation for your content marketing strategy. Your UBP is what will get your customers excited  about doing business with you and your company

exultant businesswomanWhat is a unique buying proposition and why should you care?
A UBP is a first cousin to a USB.  The difference is that a UBP is all about the buyer and what the buyer will gain from doing business with you.  Thus, your buyers don’t care that you are the only maker of green widgets in the United States.  They do care if your green widgets will enable them to double their sales or cut their manufacturing costs by 50%.

Therefore the structure of a UBP should be something along the lines of: You will achieve X positive outcome by taking advantage of our solution Y which is precisely designed to solve your most challenging problem Z.

Here’s an attempt at a UBP that pretty much misses the point
For a moment this morning I thought I had invented the concept of a UBP.  However, when I got on Google to search for the term I discovered one firm,’ Marketing Insights,’ that leads off its homepage with what it calls a unique buying proposition.  Forget what they call it.  I think it’s still an attempt at a unique selling proposition. Even worse, it doesn’t come across as being meaningfully unique. 

Here’s how they describe their UBP:

With Market Insight Consultants by your side, you are completely convinced of being a winner with -

  • Exceptionally superior quality and novel survey designs
  • Fair and high excellence research
  • Insightful reports
  • Distinctively customized intercession to serve your business needs
  • Long lasting partnership
  • Higher extent of awareness
  • Eagerness to move ahead towards implementation
  • Responsibility to deliver the best
  • The UBP they could have used
    Rather than a clear concise UBP, they use a hodgepodge of phrases, some of which make average clichés look hackneyed–"fair and high excellence research, long-lasting partnership, eagerness to move ahead towards implementation."  They suggest that you are "completely convinced of being a winner" but they don’t even begin to explain what that means.

    Wouldn’t it have been more powerful to use a UBP along the lines of:

    "Our research will enable you to understand, target, and dominate your market." 

    When you hear that phrase, you are inclined to respond, “Terrific, Tell me more.” After all, that’s what we really care about.  How will the research that Market Insight conducts empower us to achieve a clear business benefit?

    So, as you were working on fine tuning your positioning (as are we all, all the time), focus on a unique buying proposition that is all about your customer and not all about your company.

    Read the original blog entry...

    More Stories By Newt Barrett

    Newt is a leading thinker on the new discipline of content marketing. He urges marketers to think like publishers by delivering essential, relevant, and timely information that makes customers smarter and wiser–and much more likely to become buyers. Newt is a successful publishing executive with more than 25 years of experience as both a manager and business owner. He has launched profitable publications in the high tech arena for both CMP and Ziff-Davis. He was an early player on the web in 1996 as Publishing Director of an early Yahoo competitor, NetGuideLive. As an entrepreneur, he launched Southwest Florida Business and BusinessNewsNow.com in the late nineties, later selling them to Gulfshore Media. His publication still thrives under its new name, Gulfshore Business. In addition to his sales and marketing skills, Newt is a published writer for Business Currents and Gulfshore Business magazines. He writes on topics as diverse as healthcare, education, public policy, growth, business best practices, and technology. He knows how to build great brands that serve client marketing needs. He is comfortable driving dramatic market-driven changes. Newt is recognized as a leader with the ability to move teams in new, unexplored directions. He is effective in high level sales and marketing conversations with senior executives in client organizations of all sizes. He delivers successful consulting engagements to improve products, people, and processes.