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Are You Just Feature and Functionality?

August 14, 2018 - Marketing - , ,
By: Yolanda Fintschenko

Introduction

Of course, YOU aren’t just feature and functionality. You are a unique person with qualities that set you apart from everyone else. But is the story you are telling your customers about your product just feature and functionality? If so, you are missing a chance for product evangelism.

A lot of what sets you apart from other humans is your point of view. This is how people connect to you, and decide if you belong in their tribe. They will even come to you because they are in opposition to your perspective. The same goes for your company and your product. Have you told your customer the story of your product’s point of view?

Product point of view…

…what, what, what?

Sure, your product has a point of view. It was created with an underlying philosophy that your team used to understand the problem and develop a solution. Your product reflects a unique perspective of a situation your customers find themselves in.

Like bonding with people, your customers will bond over your perspective, particularly if they share it (and sometimes, even if they don’t). The best evangelists begin as hardened skeptics.

When you are selling to a technical audience (like developers), it is especially important to highlight your product’s perspective. It tells developers if you get them, or if you are just pandering to a bland market research study focused on panaceas.

Show you understand the nuances of the problems developers are trying to solve by explaining the technical details that influenced your view of the problem and the best way to tackle the solution.

Take a position

Your product instantly becomes more interesting if you connect the features and functionality to a position, an opinion, an underlying creed. The DevOps world has a manifesto, for crying out loud. Developers are not too shy to draw a line in the sand. Your company shouldn’t be, either.

Evangelize

The beauty of having a product point of view is that you now have a podium from which to evangelize. This creates passion, controversy, and hello—gives you a share of the conversation.

Hallelujah!

Now you have share of voice. And you have developer chatter, buzz, and the possibility of organic publicity.

And the marketers say?

Amen.

Demonstrate a following

At least show that you aren’t just a prophet in the wilderness. Let practitioner networks outside your company demonstrate that there is a cadre of like-minded thinkers. With their thought leadership content as the message with the megaphone, you can build your own following.

However, practitioner content marketing isn’t just about creating brand awareness pieces. It’s also about giving people a sense of validity of the tribe they are joining. It’s the social proof that helps people align with your perspective—or, the proof of popularity that galvanizes your opposition. Either way, it calls attention to your company, your product, and your people.

The takeaway

Be not afraid. A position is important, and your product has one. Don’t settle for just a feature and functionality play. Sure, your product has to have both, and they each have to match a market need. But let’s face it, your product has competition that is doing the same thing. Ignite passion, not acceptance. Create customer evangelists (not just sales) and watch your influence in the market grow.


Yolanda is a scientist, writer, marketer, coach and avid runner who lives and works in Livermore, CA.  She founded Common SciSense, a marketing company for technical products, and co-founded founderTRACTION, lean marketing services for startups. 

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