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  1. #1

    Lightbulb Features vs. Benefits

    I was wondering everyone's thoughts on marketing their hosting service.When marketing your company, do you market the features or do you market the benefits.

    From most of the web hosting companies that I have seen, they market their service based purely on what features they offer - which kind of makes sense because that is what people want to see when looking for a web hosting service.

    In the internet marketing world, no one ever markets the features. It is all about benefits.


    For example, instead of marketing a course based on features like this:


    In my course you will learn, how to do this technique, how to do that technique, how to work this, how to work that.

    They will do something like:

    With my course, you will never have to work a day in your life again. You will never have to put up with nasty bosses, or annoying co-works. You can spend your entire day working at home spending quality time with your family. So why not buy my sh*t?

    At least in the internet marketing world, no one cares about things like stats and features and stuff like that. They only want to know what is in it for them.

    So what I wonder is whether or not this would work in the web hosting community. I know that people want to see features - disk space, bandwidth, control panel, software, etc. However, I wonder if you would get a better conversion if you mixed in some benefits with the features.

    Has anyone tried this yet? What are your thoughts?

    -Daniel
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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    It's quite a broad discussion. It depends on what kind of market you are targeting, when you are targeting non tech savvy users, they would only care for features and price, that's about it.

    When it comes to a more knowledgeable market, they will check for company's credibility, accountability, reliability, support, and so forth.

    So again, it depends, what kind of market each host targets. For most shared hosting users, they advertise features, because the target market are the general public, while dedicated server providers emphasize and stressed over support or "Fanatical Support" or "Impressive Support", because dedicated server customers are knowledgeable and require a different approach.

    If you're marketing to a "restaurants" for example as your primary target market, if you offer "Free Menu to Website Conversion", that would definitely attracts them, than 1 Gazzilion Disk Space
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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    This features vs benefits is in a way a matter of customer education, of which hosts do indeed little.

    However, given that hosts essentially offer the same service, there's a very real need for easy comparisons to be made. Hence the focus on features which are often represented numerically.

    The sheer number of features reduces the space available for explaining the benefits. It could take 1-2 hours to read a complete hosting offer with every little benefit you can derive from the features.

    For example, instead of marketing a course based on features like this:

    In my course you will learn, how to do this technique, how to do that technique, how to work this, how to work that.

    They will do something like:

    With my course, you will never have to work a day in your life again. You will never have to put up with nasty bosses, or annoying co-works. You can spend your entire day working at home spending quality time with your family. So why not buy my sh*t?
    Do you think that works? Maybe it does for people with a highly developed right brain side, but people looking for hosting will tend to be left side enhanced. If your customer base is adept at determining hype, you need to keep things very down to earth. You will see that many want to know your real uptime achievements, the hardware that you use, how fast will their wordpress blog run etc. Answering that with "your site will never be down, and it will be hosted on top of the line servers which ensures the utmost speed for your website" will only work with some people. The others will want to know absolute facts: uptime in the last 12 months, server make, CPU model, hard drive type and RAID used, etc.

    If you're selling web based website builder hosting, the hype alone will probably work. If you're selling hosting to slightly experienced webmasters, it won't.

  4. #4
    Well.. to boil it down...

    If you market based on features, then you are always going to be in a price war with every other hosting provider that offers the same features. It is very simple for the customer to compare Company A who offers 5gb disk space with Company B who offers "unlimited" disk space for the same price. Who do you think the ignorant customer is going to choose?

    If you market based on benefits, then you can practically charge whatever you want, because you are selling to the emotions of the customer instead of actual measurable items.

    For example, how much do you think a customer is willing to pay for "complete peace of mind and never have to worry about email realiability again?"

    (Just be sure you can actually deliver on whatever "benefits" you are promising.)
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