F**k digital or gimmicks, first think proposition

Okay first things first, we see a lot of different businesses in a year at Fireworx. Some big global corporates, some small start-ups and some SME’s. Each one has a different creative, marketing or digital need. We’ve had clients who needed help in creating a new web-platform to help investors find some of the world’s most awesome opportunities, helped the NHS recruit more nurses, and created a new look visual identify for a company shaking up the financial industry.

And of course, given its 2018, digital plays a huge part in almost all customer communications one way or another. It simply can’t be avoided, be it; website development, Google analytics insight, social media management, content, PPC, SEO and don’t get me started on chat bots, or voice search!

Here’s the thing though, these are part of the core services we provide here. Let’s call it a toolkit we deploy to communicate to customers. But that’s all they are… tools. They’re not the starting point for us, or even the end of the journey. For me more fundamentally it all has to start with a client’s proposition, because whatever we deliver no matter how good it is, how good the process is, or how slick the digital experience, it will not deliver the results they want if the proposition isn’t right.

Why? Well, it’s what we call the ‘nuts and bolts’ sell. It pretty much applies to most clients we see, but to expand the analogy a little this is how it typically goes;

Client: “Hi, we sell nuts and bolts and need a… <digital tool>”

Fireworx: “Great. Tell me a little more about your nuts and bolts. Who’s the customer that might buy these? Where are they based? What does the market look like already? How do your competitors sell theirs? And what, if anything, makes yours any better?

This leads us to a well-worn question, but one that the deluge of new age, futurist, digital agencies get wrong more often than not. What is the ‘value proposition?’.

Now at this point the conversation typically leads to a number of features or perceived benefits which in fact have no real end benefit to the customer they are looking to serve. “We sell nuts and bolts in an easy to hold plastic bag” You get the gist…

So what do we mean by the ‘value proposition’? Well, the dictionary definition is as follows:

A business or marketing statement that summarises why a consumer should buy a product or use a service. This statement should convince a potential consumer that one particular product or service will add more value or better solve a problem than other similar offerings.

And it’s not just some dictionary definition for a marketing term that holds no real traction in the world. As a well-known British billionaire said, “No matter what industry you are in you should be able to boil down what you deliver into a value proposition ordinary people can understand and respond to.”

Despite this, it may not come as a surprise to you that most businesses don’t have a value proposition, or to know that many brands do okay without one either. This is what we call the, ‘attention grabber’. You just throw enough creative and money at it and hope that it works. You’ll have likely seen these in the form of advertising campaigns for comparison sites such as Go Compare, Money Supermarket and Compare the Market. How do they add value or better solve a problem? Simply put, they don’t. They rely on advertisers to create a personality that attracts and reminds people, but there is no real substance behind the ‘value they offer that’s better’.

At Fireworx we specialise in helping brands define their ‘value proposition’ FIRST, before time is spent creating the digital tools to communicate with their customers. We focus on disrupting established or stale markets by creating ‘value’ for a brand which will complement the award-winning creative and digital services we also provide. It’s not easy and it can be challenging, but that’s why clients challenge us.

So, before you brief your next marketing project here are our tips to consider and clarify your value proposition:

  • Spend time defining your customer and their habits – profiling has never been more important
  • Focus on one of four core needs and position yourself around one of them: value, quality, need or aspiration.
  • Think about how you articulate your proposition currently… It should be the same for a potential new client, to friends and to colleagues.
  • It’s not about being perceived as different, it’s about being better in a more tangible way.

If you’d like to see the power of delivering a digital solution that is backed by a meaningful proposition, then maybe it’s time to #challengeFWX. To find out how we do things better and to discover more about the value we can provide contact me on: [email protected] or on 01202 559559.

2018-09-28T17:06:25+00:00