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Is Your Value Proposition Working For You?

Value PropositionFrom a Marketing 101 class to the boardroom of a multi-billion dollar organization, business-minded individuals at every level know a value proposition can make or break a company's digital success.

If that sounds dramatic, remember that this simple message is your single best bet for convincing your audience to take the next step. Done well, a value proposition can help retain loyal customers; done poorly, it can stifle growth.

Many companies fail to display any values at all online. Peep Laja, founder of CXL, noted that a poor (or missing) value statement is one of the most common shortcomings of business websites.

If you have yet to share yours, you're not alone. This article will explore how to create and test your value proposition.

What Is a Value Proposition?

Simply put, a value proposition is a statement that's used to make a product, service or organization appeal to its intended audience. Often, it highlights key benefits and spells out the competitive advantage of a product or service. An effective value statement will answer the question: "Why should I spend my hard-earned money on this?"

How to Test Your Company's Value

As a business owner or marketer, you're undoubtedly a little biased. You know your solution far exceeds that of your competitors and can't help but assume your customers will see things the same way. That's what makes testing your value statement so vitally important — it ensures that you're not blinded by your own perspective.

In an article for MarketingLand, author and conversion scientist Brian Massey suggested using the four-quadrant Modes of Persuasion designed by marketers Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg.

Start by creating at least four iterations of your value statement, each one aligning with one of the categories below:

  • Competitive. Address benefits that portray your business favorably when compared to competitors. For example, "Best prices on brand-name widgets anywhere in Chicago."
  • Methodical. Answer the question, "How is this solution truly different?" with an answer like, "The only widgets made from NASA-developed materials."
  • Spontaneous. Cater to impulsive buyers looking for an excuse to take immediate action. "Time is running out. Get your widget before they're gone for good."
  • Humanist. Plays to a customer's need to feel good about their choice. "Our widgets are made from 100% local and ethically-sourced materials."

Next, consider your audience persona. Quick, logical decision makers are more likely to respond to competitive statements — while quick, emotional decision makers are more convinced by spontaneous statements. Deliberate and logical buyers will likely prefer more methodical statements, while deliberate and emotional buyers are swayed by humanist sentiments.

If you're not sure where your buyers fall, testing A/B statements within your marketing messaging can help determine which approach leads to the highest number of conversions. Customers are always changing, and it's unlikely that one approach will work forever. The best way to keep up is to test, test and then test again.

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