What’s added value in marketing?


In one of the questions I answered in LinkedIn, one responder asked me what I meant by added value. He thought it referred to the difference between the cost price and the manufactured price of a product. It may do, but when you use the term added value in marketing it takes on a different meaning – also nothing to do with Value Added Tax and other hideous things like that…

Added value in marketing is simply something you can give to your customers that is of high value to them, but of low cost to you. It appears as a complimentary additional advantage, an enhancing of your product or service by giving the customer what they really want or are looking for, something that improves its performance or makes it look nicer (such as professional looking packaging or a slick presentation).

It can be as simple as offering advice on how to use a product more effectively, suggestions for alternatives uses, complimentary accessories they cannot do without, or discounts for return custom or referral to another customer. It can even take the form of quality assurance: reliable delivery from a trustworthy company, complete with a courteous driver, and a telephone call to say when they will arrive at a convenient time.

The idea is that the customer perceives the increased worth of what you are offering them, in the guise of excellent customer service or quality of your product’s features, all of which goes towards gaining customer loyalty and repeated business. This all depends greatly on undertaking relevant and effective marketing research to find out what your customers really want and what will make a difference to them.

This customer perception of exclusivity ensures that added value makes your company different from your competitors, especially when you can offer guarantees to gain customer confidence and reduce buying resistance. Your added value will separate you from the pack, your business will instantly become more attractive, and if customers take the bait (in the form of a prize in exchange of their contact details), you will be able to influence them through further relevant marketing communications to offer them more products and services with more added value.

And if you thought one effort was enough, think again – capitalising on customers’ greed will mean constantly changing or improving on your added value, but it will be worth it!


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