The 2 Most Important Words in Marketing


In the below video excerpt from a recent MarketingExperiments Web clinic – “Quick Win Clinic (Part I): The 5 easiest changes to make to your landing pages right now” – Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO, MECLABS, and Zuzia Soldenhoff-Thorpe, Research Manager, MECLABS, offer optimization tips for an Android app push message.



“Consumers are so frustrated by confusing messages. To optimize, you have to see with the eyes of the customer. They’re frustrated and busy,” Flint said.

“Why do people say yes? Because they perceive the value outweighs the cost.”

To ensure your value outweighs the cost, it helps to put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Sure, the product feature or offer seems really impressive to you. You’ve created it. Or, at the very least, you’ve worked on the marketing piece long enough to drink the Kool-Aid.

To really make sure you don’t frustrate or alienate your busy customer or prospect, you need to ask what Flint calls the two most important words in marketing (well, actually Flint emphatically used three words in the video) …


So what?

Think of your offers, product features and, frankly, everything you do in your marketing. For example …

  • 25% off – So what? Unless the customer understands the value of your product first, this offer is worthless. Getting 25% off a concert ticket is absolutely meaningless to me. However, if you offer me 25% off tickets to a Pearl Jam concert, I would quickly tell you my credit card number is 5984 98 …
  • The airconditioned glove box – So what? Just because the product development team has been able to add a feature or function to your product doesn’t mean it has any value for your customer.
  • Now with GleebenTM – So what? Does your customer really care about the branded way you’ve been able to talk about a formerly commoditized feature or service? Just because you can trademark it doesn’t mean you’re really communicating value to the customer.


Step into your customer’s shoes

We work so hard on our marketing campaigns that it’s easy to think of them as our babies. And, if you’re like most mammals, you have a serious attachment to your own offspring.

You have to look at your marketing campaigns as the comedian, Louis CK, looks at other people’s children, “You’re not mine. I don’t love you. Do you understand? I don’t have any – no love. None. I don’t even have an instinct to protect you.”

Then ask, “So what?”

And if that’s too hard at first, it might be best to practice on other people’s marketing.

“You probably say, ‘So what?’ every day as you’re scanning through your email inbox reading subject lines,” said Adam Lapp, Associate Director of Optimization and Strategy, MECLABS. “The ones that answer that question to your satisfaction are the ones you open. Everything else gets trashed.”


Related Resources

Value Proposition: Revealing hidden value in your products and offers

Customer Value: The 4 essential levels of value propositions

Value Prop: Is there true value in your marketing proposition?

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  1. Jeremy Reeves says

    Can’t agree more!

    I’ve been telling my clients this in critiques for a long, long time and it never fails to get them saying “wow, that’s such an easy way to make improvements”.

    Good stuff guys 🙂

  2. Radu says

    “So true!” It’s a very important issue my clients have serious problems grasping. Nice to see at least one more professional thinking the same way I do (I felt so alone).

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