Sunday, October 24, 2010

Leveraging Your Intangibles

Despite the problems, tangibles still represent an opportunity to leverage profit, provided they are designed and delivered correctly. The table below illustrates the key imperatives marketers must address when marketing the intangible components of their products.

All of the activities are critical to success. Failing to cover one of the components can have the effect of reducing profit leverage, rather than improving it.

Getting Customers

Keeping Customers

Create Surrogates or Metaphors

· How you present yourself

· How your proposal looks

· Appearance of offices

· Testimonials

· Comparative data

· How you present claims

· How well you understand the prospect’s business

· How service providers present themselves

· Appearance of offices

· Data relating service performance to costs or problems avoided

Tie the Intangible to Something Tangible

· Comparative data

· Data relating service performance to customer’s actual cost savings or profit improvement

Educate the Customer About What They’re Getting

· Head-to-Head comparisons with other providers

· Workshops, training

· Educate customers in the elements of their cost stack

· Regularly remind them of the services you provide

· Regularly reinstate promises

· Demonstrate (with data) that you are keeping your promises, and relate this to the customer’s objectives

· Keep the occasional failure in perspective – prepare customers for a possible failure.

“Productize” The Service

· Develop procedures that ensure consistent delivery

· Manage costs of providing the service

Continuously Improve the Value of Your Intangibles

· Educate prospects about your continuous improvement approach

· Joint process improvement initiatives with your customers – customer led

· Add services that drive you deeper into the customer’s internal value chain

· Face-to-face visits

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