Value Marketing: Why You Need a Value-Added Marketing Strategy
The global marketing scene is continually changing — and businesses and organizations must keep up with the ever-evolving trends to thrive. However, aligning companies with their unique, intrinsic value is a constant need when it comes to targeting a company's ideal customer. That is where value marketing comes into play.
More and more, companies are basing their branding and marketing strategies on a set of particular beliefs, challenges, or outcomes that they are uniquely positioned to help their customer overcome. This connection, built on value delivery, is an outward-focused strategy that goes far beyond what a company sells. Value marketing is meant to be powered by authenticity and generating the highest possible benefit for both a buyer and a provider.
Companies that understand the needs of their customers and can tie the unique benefits and economic value that they can provide to help are destined to succeed. Buyers are tired of being sold aggressively via ads, gimmicks, and intrusive promotions. The so-called "ad blindness" is a struggle that marketers must overcome by thinking outside the box and picking up on new approaches to traditional B2B marketing tactics.
What is Value Marketing?
Marketing is entering a whole new era — one where added value is the main pillar and customers are always first. Marketers must strive to create meaningful campaigns and useful ads in which a company shifts the focus from talking about itself, instead, focusing on their clients' wants and needs. Value-added marketing’s power lies in putting the consumer's needs first and pairing your solution’s unique ability to solve their pain and the value - whether qualitative or quantitative - that they will achieve by partnering with you.
Value Marketing Definition
Value marketing — also known as customer-centric marketing— is centered on strategies that look to exceed the client's expectations and fuel consumer loyalty to achieve customer success. Value marketing campaigns aim to turn customers into raving fans that help promote products and services with their positive reviews.
Value-based marketing tactics help businesses and organizations gain their customers' trust. By proving that you understand their unique situation, challenges or strategies, and have the resources or ability to help them, your clients are more likely to engage with your brand. If you stay truthful to the promises your company makes, your clients will believe you actually practice what you preach and become eager to support you. Putting your actions where your words are will automatically make them respect your brand more. They'll become excited to recommend your products or services.
Today, many companies use value selling to interact with their audiences on a deeper level. But, imagine the impact on the sales process if marketing was leveraging the same concepts that makes value selling so compelling for buyers? What if marketers could harness the same benefits and impact metrics in their top-of-funnel activities? Imagine the improvement that would have on lead quality, MQL and SQL conversion, pipeline, and ultimately revenue?
The 4 Types of Value Marketing
Not all customers have the same ideas when it comes to sources of value and each company also has differentiators - both qualitative and quantitative - that it can provide to a customer. Depending on their goals and priorities, your clients might give more weight to some types of value over others. For a value-based marketing strategy to succeed, it’s critical to always determine value through the consumer's point of view, otherwise, you risk high bounce rates or low attach rates if you try to make a value-statement that is too broad-based.
To build your company’s value thread, you need to take the following types of value into account:
1. Functional Value
This refers to the utility of your solution based on the solutions it provides to the customer. Functional value marketing strategies can be built on the utilitarian or physical performance of your products and services.
2. Economic Value
This is the trade-off between other types of value and the monetary cost of the products or services your company offers. Monetary value is where function and price intersect. This often-quantitative metric is tied to financial, economic value that a product or solution can deliver to a business.
3. Social Value
This type of value is attributed to how much owning a particular product or paying for a specific service allows your customers to interact with others and connect with their peers.
4. Psychological Value
This is the feel-good factor owning your product or service can provide your customers by allowing them to express themselves. This type of value lets you encourage desired behaviors by appealing to your audience's wants and needs with subtle but effective messages that ease the decision-making process.
Why You Need Value Marketing in Your Business
Audiences are getting better at spotting empty claims and manipulation tactics in advertising. As marketing campaigns get more invasive, buyers have become quicker at calling out companies that are too salesy or rarely deliver on their promises.
Yet, B2B companies often struggle with capturing, quantifying, and communicating the impact they’ve delivered to their customers. Either the baseline was never established when a new customer joined, or they lack the processes to quantify the value they’ve helped their customers achieve. This results in lackluster, ‘fluff’ content without relevant proof points that results in high bounce rates, lack of engagement, and low attach or conversion rates.
If you want your business to survive in this highly competitive world, you must strive to keep your audience engaged. You want them eager to buy your products or services and to share that excitement with others. A customer value marketing strategy will help your customers relate to you in a way they never have before, by seeing you and your solution as the answer to their problems or a critical component of achieving their goals.
Elements of an Effective Values-Based Marketing Strategy
Set up a multi-faceted, customer-centric marketing strategy if you want it to be effective and resonate with your audience on multiple levels. The heart and soul of empathetic marketing is the value it brings to your customers. To build loyalty and trust among them, you will need to align every element in your strategy with them.
Some good value marketing examples are:
- Inspiring messages that communicate your values clearly and straightforwardly
- Visual storytelling that backs up your narrative
- Emphasis on social sharing
- Cues to audience-generated content
- Added weight to communal connections and shared storytelling between your company and audience
- A strong call to action that piques the curiosity of your ideal buyers
Incorporating these elements into your value-based marketing strategy is a must if you want your customers to actively engage with your company. It will prompt them to spread your message and ultimately draw in more prospects.
What Do Customers Look for in Values-Based Marketing?
Audiences look for a variety of attributes, traits, and solutions in the companies they purchase from, especially when they practice customer value management. The most common are:
- Relatable value systems they can align with their own experiences
- A trustworthy and genuine position that speaks for what the company believes
- A solid set of values the company projects
- Actions that prove the company delivers on its promises made pre-sale
- Meaningful interactions to engage with
- Congruent company representatives
Buyers stay loyal to companies that remain authentic across their message, mission, and values and offer appealing solutions that help them achieve their strategic goals, KPIs and initiatives.
Why Do You Need to Start Value-Add Marketing?
Value-based marketing is becoming increasingly important to customers. There are numerous reasons why you should adopt this marketing approach if you want your company to continue to grow from new ARR and Net Revenue Retention perspectives.
Traditional Advertising Is No Longer Sustainable
If you are setting your business up for sustainable growth, relying solely on traditional marketing will not cut it anymore. Competition is growing by the day, and as the demand for ad space grows, it is more expensive than ever to promote your company in traditional marketing channels. Moreover, fewer customers trust traditional advertising.
Your clients will no longer make purchases based on what you tell them to do via advertising messages simply because they do not enjoy being shamelessly sold to. Therefore, it is not a good idea to invest exclusively in these types of marketing efforts. It is not sustainable.
Value-add marketing, however, is much more affordable in the long run because it takes a more value-based and account-based marketing approach, and will allow you to captivate your ideal customer's attention and retain it over time. Customer-centric marketing is a much more organic route to crafting a healthy marketing landscape. It will let you improve your value marketing framework without heavily relying on your margins.
Value Marketing Builds Solid Customer Relationships
Consumer loyalty is all about building long-lasting and sustainable relationships with your clients. However, this is only possible if you first gain their trust and pique their curiosity enough if what you are offering to get them excited about purchasing your products and services.
Adding value to your company’s offerings helps you build the foundation of the connection you are trying to establish with your clients. These types of strategies allow your company to generate unmatchable experiences your customer will appreciate.
To build an emotional link between your company and its customers, you can:
- Share your knowledge and expertise
- Create a customer advisory board to foster relationships between customers
- Improve your customer service
- Ensure customer interactions are centered on conversations around value that you’ve helped them achieve, elevating your perception to on of a Trusted Advisor, instead of just a vendor
Customer-Centric Marketing Helps You Retain Clients
When customers feel you have their best interests in mind, they are more likely to choose you over your competitors in the initial sale, and as renewal time comes around. Building an emotional relationship with your customers using a solid value-marketing plan will differentiate you from the many alternatives. It will also keep your customers engaged and feeling like they are part of a community, which is invaluable for creating lasting relationships.
You do not need stratospheric budgets to build a strong empathetic marketing campaign. Contrary to what you might believe, transitioning from transactional to emotional relationships with your audience will save you a pretty penny on ad spending and increase your return on investment (ROI).
Value Marketing Earns You Brand Advocates
Consumers are communal creatures. They like sharing their positive experiences with those around them and bond over their purchases. A good value marketing campaign will inspire your customers to become your raving fans and company ambassadors, helping your community grow and succeed.
A big advantage of value marketing is that it enables you to create a bond based on trust between your company and your customers.
It gives you a valuable opportunity to position yourself as an industry authority by delivering content that:
- Highlights your expertise
- Is fresh and exciting
- Influences your customers
Value marketing gives great power to your company in that it encourages your customers to share your offerings with their inner circle. By using their personal relationships to refer others to your products and services, your loyal customers can naturally boost the success of your marketing efforts through positive word of mouth.
Pivoting your Business to Value Marketing
There are numerous added-value marketing examples proving this marketing approach can take various forms depending on your company’s needs. You can perfectly tailor your strategy to your company and your audience, respectively.
If you want to pivot your value-based marketing plan, you must first:
- Define the unique value that your company and product(s) bring to organizations — this can be based on results you’ve helped customers achieve, can be broken down by product, industry, etc.
- Establish your target audience and key personas that can realize value
- Study your competitors
Determining the right approach for your company is a process of trial and error, and it might take some time before you find the best fit. You will need to test variations of your strategy while always keeping your engagement and metrics in mind.
Remember, your customers will ultimately determine what is working and what is not, so pay close attention to the campaign strategies and tactics that resonate most with them. Once you get your strategy going, replicate the approaches that make the most sense.
Value-based marketing entails some challenges you might find difficult to solve. A good value marketing strategy will help you attract more qualified clients, engage prospects with interactive digital experiences, equip your team with tailored-made branded assets, differentiate your offering from the competition, and ensure a better buyer experience through value realization.
Here are some actions you can take to pivot your business to value marketing.
1. Teach Your Customers Something New
What benefit does your company offer to your customers? Strive to make it feel as though you are helping them rather than selling them something. This shows your customers they are your main focus and that you want to see how you can benefit them — rather than what you can get from them. By putting yourself in their shoes, you can better understand what they might deem valuable regarding your brand. You can then teach them how to make the most out of it.
Keep in mind your content can always potentially reach new clients, so act accordingly. You know your company, products, and services better than anyone. Use that expertise to generate materials that focus on the features that might interest your customers the most.
Focus on what is important to your audience and use it to generate:
- Video tutorials
- Blog posts
These materials will help your audience overcome obstacles and learn how to take advantage of your products and services in the best way possible. They will educate them on how to use the products and services you offer and what they can do.
Adding sharable content to your site and social media channels with relevant information about your industry and value is a low-cost strategy that will highly influence how your audience responds to your company over time.
2. Include Customers in your Corporate Story
Customers love to witness what is behind the scenes in their favorite company’s journeys. It makes them feel included and excited to see what's coming next and also helps paint the picture of “what could be” by partnering with your company. A great way to create a bond between your company and your customers is to appeal to their fear of missing out. Take advantage of their interest in your company's inner workings and create content that shows a snapshot of a day in the life of your company, or tells stories of ways your company has helped a customer achieve its goals and strategic KPIs.
Taking this approach will deepen the emotional connection your prospects and customers have with you. You can always use your digital networks to share:
- Testimonials, either video or written
- Case Studies with quantified proof points
Get creative and generate content that takes your story beyond your offices and into your customers' lives. This way, you will add value to your followers' experience with your company.
3. Offer Top-Notch Customer Service
Treating your customers right is a no-brainer. Show them you have their best interests in mind and that you are willing to go above and beyond to meet their needs. Making them feel heard and actively looking for solutions to their problems will set the foundation for your bond with them. That is why your customer service is a pivotal element of your added-value marketing strategy.
The best customer service you can offer is by communicating the value you helped a customer achieve. The more sophisticated your abilities to measure value realization and communicate value to your customer-base, the greater the potential for cross-sell and up-sell.
When you have the data, your customer conversations change. It’s no longer from a standpoint of uncertainty, “I hope they will renew”, but shifts to a more confident point of urgency, “My customer needs to expand or they are limiting their business potential.” Crossing into this new world of customer success conversation is powerful.
Communication with customers will always drive success, especially when that communication is focused on achieving a shared definition of value. This shared definition will make it possible for your business to create a product that meets (or even exceeds) your customers’ expectations and allows them to recognize the value in it throughout the entire customer journey.
4. Attract More & Qualified Customers
Some products and services are not for everyone. That said, you need to define who your target customer is. Just like segmentation eases the decision-making process for your clients, it helps you as a supplier understand who you want to do business with because you know you have the ability to make them successful. By intentionally selling to companies who fall too far outside your ideal customer profile, you can be damaging your company and setting yourself up for a failed customer implementation.
Value marketing is all about the appeal and proving your products and solutions have value. When you do this, you should hone in on your target audience. By focusing on a specific audience and how you prove you can add value to their lives, you will not only attract more customers, but it will also help you attract the right ones.
By establishing who your products and services are not designed for, you can focus on how to align your company’s value propositions with your different customers and their needs. You can determine who you are seeing eye to eye with and stop wasting your efforts on those who will not impact your margins. Do meticulous market research and do not be afraid to be discerning when it comes to selecting your target customers.
5. Focus on Selling Outcomes
If you want to increase your margins, you need to stop worrying about selling products and start focusing on the outcomes they deliver. Market aspirational experiences and focus on the benefits rather than the features. For example, instead of pushing a new dress on your clients, sell them beauty and sophistication. Appeal to the psychological value of what you are trading.
Take a closer look at your customers' deepest needs and ambitions and build value around them. Be creative and base your marketing efforts on what your product can help them achieve. The outcome is what makes your product unique.
Value marketing allows you to move the outcome selling experience upstream in the buying journey, helping you to engage buyers while they’re still in a research phase before they are engaged with sales. By leading with value earlier in the buying cycle, you can not only create more, and higher quality, leads, you can differentiate yourself from the competition by providing tangible value analysis to buyers while they are still formulating their project scope.
6. Understand What Your Client is Paying For
There is a common misconception that price and product quality are all there are to boost sales. However, companies must pay more attention now than ever to specific customer requirements before marketing a product or service. If you keep in mind that your customers' needs may change over time, you can take the best marketing approach as this evolution occurs.
Consider conducting a value chain analysis as part of your marketing strategy and include regular research on your audience to monitor their ever-changing requirements and adapt your offer to their demands as they change. This strategy will help you keep your margins consistent and your customers happy.
7. Appeal to Your Customer's Emotions
The vast majority of shopping decisions are heavily influenced by emotion. In most cases, they need to know that the brand they are picking has the ability to help them absolve their feelings — whether it is helping improve their bottom line, increase efficiency, improve processes, etc.
8. Improve Your Storytelling Skills
It is not solely about what you sell but how you sell it. Creating a strong narrative around the value of your product or service is crucial when trying to catch your customers' attention.
Audiences need propositions that are:
- Rooted in quantified value
Including these elements as you elaborate on your product's features and the benefits it offers will keep your public engaged. Keep your storytelling strong as you help your clients navigate the decision-making process, and be sure your messaging appeals to their deepest needs. Ditch the hard sell mentality and communicate with your audience on a deeper level.
9. Implement Interactive Digital Experiences
Use different digital experiences to help tell those stories to your prospective customers. This will help boost ROI and keep them engaged and excited about how you can help them achieve their goals.
It helps show buyers the value you’re offering, and how you can improve their experiences. It also gives you valuable data that you can use to see what’s working best, so you can continue to design digital experiences to attract more of (and retain) the same qualified customers.
10. Target the Right Decision Maker
While your product or service might be suitable for different types of customers, there is always a specific target you will appeal to the most. Focus your marketing efforts on that ideal customer you had in mind when you first launched. This is the persona that your message is bound to resonate with the most.
Tailor your storytelling strategy around the wants and needs of this ideal customer's persona. This will increase your chances of making big sales and increasing your margins.
11. Be Clear About the ROI of Your Proposition
If the monetary value of your product or service is a sensitive topic for your audience or results in fear at the top of funnel messaging, try steering the conversation away from it and focus instead on the qualitative benefits that can be achieved with your products. This will increase the perceived worth of your product in the eyes of the consumer and will help with cost-based conversations down the road.
For example, if what you offer is a higher price — whether by itself or compared to competitors — focus on how much your customer will save in the long run. Ensure your audience understands the value that investing in your product or service will bring to their lives.
12. Implement an End-to-End Customer Value Management Platform
Use an end-to-end customer value management platform that shows the value of your products. It shows value realization, which is key to appealing to customers and helping retain relationships. It can help track your successes — and show where you need to improve.
By using your previous customers’ successes, you can ensure you’re giving a consistent, positive buyer experience.
13. Equip Sales Teams with The Right Tools
To help connect with customers, your sales team needs the right tools to appeal to them and show the value your products provide.
When you equip your sales teams with branded value assets, they can effectively pull prospective customers and leverage those tools to move them down the pipeline. This will help your team tailor experiences to customers, show them value, and close more sales — boosting your ROI.
14. Do Not Bargain
You cannot keep on making deals with your customers every time. This will reduce the perceived value they have on your product or service. Making offers is okay on occasion, but depreciating your product regularly may be counteractive in the long run.
Instead of offering discounts, how can you add more value to what you are selling? As mentioned above, shifting the focus from the price to the benefits purchasing your product brings is the way to go.
15. Walk in Your Customer's Shoes
Looking at things from your customer's perspective will give you a better idea of what they might be looking for in your products and solutions. In consequence, this will let you bring extra value to your client's experience. Study your target audience and understand what their main pain points, wants, and needs are. What do they consider valuable? How can you help them address that?
Gathering this information is crucial for creating the right value-packed proposition. Walking a mile on your ideal client's shoes will make the brainstorming process a lot easier when it comes to turning your company into a more empathetic one.
16. Leverage Customer Evidence Assets
Use marketing value metrics from customers throughout their buyer journey to create case studies.
When you use data-based metrics from your customers’ own journeys, you can effectively use them to show what works — and what doesn’t. This helps cut out the need for channeling additional resources and can help you more effectively move future customers through the sales funnel.
Value in a Competitive Marketplace
The perception of value is subjective. Customers and companies who offer products and services may have a different understanding of this concept based on their own background and their needs. However, the idea of value that drives your clients to make a purchase is the one that will help your company thrive if you use it in your favor.
In marketing, perceived value refers to the consumer's evaluation of the merits of a specific product. It entails its ability to meet their expectations. An added-value marketing strategy's goal is to influence the perceived value of a product or service by emphasizing what attributes make it better than all the other options available in the market.
Regardless of the alternatives the customer has, they will always compare and contrast the differences of products and pick the ones they relate to. The goal of a customer value marketing strategy is to highlight the benefits of one company’s offerings against the shortcomings of others.
The available options often fall into two classifications:
- Competitors: These are companies that provide the same offerings with different features and advantages that create different perceptions of value.
- Substitutes: These are companies that are viewed as alternatives. They do not replicate a company’s offering and offer a different value.
Both competitors and substitutes influence the added-value marketing strategy and prompt companies to determine the unique value proposition of their products and services. Differentiating a company early on in the buying journey is crucial to its ultimate success. Identifying what makes your business special in the eyes of your customer lets you optimize value.
Strive to find a strategy, asset, or approach that others cannot easily mimic. This will make you much more attractive to your target audience and get a competitive advantage that will let you outperform the competition.
Value Marketing Examples
A company is meant to transmit a series of customer expectations associated with a specific product or service. Well-established and renowned companies tend to have a higher perceived value than their smaller, or more disruptive counterparts.
This is where value gets tricky. It has nothing to do with the financial cost of an item but the way the audience ultimately sees it and the perception of benefit (which differs from one person to another). You have to evaluate what your customer values the most and use that information to create value-based messaging unique to their buying situation and goals.
Value Marketing FAQ
What Does Value Mean in Marketing?
Also known as customer-perceived value, value is the difference between a potential client's evaluation of the benefits and cost of your products or services when compared to others in the market.
What is a Value Marketing Strategy?
These types of tactics focus on value-based marketing as a way to appeal to a customer’s values, key pain points, strategic goals and corporate initiatives. The key factor is to emphasize the extra value your company can offer its captive and prospective audiences to attract more qualified leads and convince them to do business with you.
What Is The Importance of Value in Marketing?
Value offers companies a robust methodology to follow when promoting a specific product or service based on the customer's behavior and beliefs. It reduces uncertainty when defining what an item is worth. However, customers and sellers might have a different idea of what value is. That's why marketers must study their target audience and identify what their perception of value is for each company they are marketing to.
What Is Value-Added in Marketing?
This concept is defined as the ability a company has to exceed the customer's expectations and meet their particular needs. It is a customer-centric approach that aims to ultimately deliver higher satisfaction by prioritizing the buyer's needs and goals. A value-added marketing strategy highly stresses a company’s desire to serve its clients and help them achieve their goals.
How Does Marketing Create Value?
Chief Marketing Officers are asked to do more with less nowadays. To generate leads and conversions, it’s vital to increase attach rates by creating higher levels of web engagement, and ensuring you are able to convert more marketing qualified leads to sales qualified leads.
How Can Marketing Show Value?
Using a value equation based on the difference between the benefits of a product and its price, marketers can determine the attributes that will resonate with their target audience and build a value-based strategy that includes them.
You can achieve this by capturing quantitative and qualitative proof points from existing customers. To achieve this, you can give your audience interactive digital experiences to educate them on the value of your company’s products and services and offer them solutions that will pique their curiosity, see you as a way to achieve their goals, and make them want to learn more.
What Is a Value-Based Marketing Strategy?
It’s when a company focuses all efforts on emphasizing the value it can offer its customers by creating a strategy that involves interactive digital experiences, customized branded value assets, and compelling customer evidence to differentiate its offer from the competition.
What Does It Mean to Create Customer Value?
Customer value can be a leading indicator of customer satisfaction and customer success. Companies build this concept around the customer experience they provide from the moment they introduce a product or service to the market to the after-purchase steps. Customer value is ultimately determined by the gratification obtained by the client once they have paid for the product or service - whether that is in terms of a strategic goal they were able to achieve or ROI on their purchase.
What Is Value Segment in Marketing?
This concept refers to the classification of different audiences based on demographics and preferences. Value segments can help companies determine what customers they want to work for and design tailor-made experiences based on the value you can help them achieve.
What Is Perceived Value?
This is a subjective concept that refers to the customer’s evaluation of merits for a product or service. It involves a company’s ability to keep up with its client's expectations. Marketing strategies can influence the perceived value of a specific item and help increase its value.
Marketing ROI: How Can I Determine the Value of a Company?
When marketers attribute revenue growth to the impact of their marketing efforts, it is known as marketing ROI. This concept can help determine if said initiatives are influencing the company's profits. Marketing ROI can be determined by assessing the number of impressions generated per viewer (exposure), the quality of these impressions, and how persuasive the ad was.
A Final Word About Value Marketing
Added-value strategies are the way to go in the current marketing climate. They will produce better and more genuine marketing campaigns that your audiences can relate to. Additionally, they offer companies the opportunity to educate their clients and support them in the decision-making process.
Customer-centric marketing appeals to customers and helps maintain relationships. When you show customers the value you’re providing, it helps keep them engaged and excited about your offerings. It is the most efficient way for companies to get a competitive edge and thrive.