The following post was written by Mark Dengler, President of RMS.

Spring has arrived and with it, a new found energy to refresh and organize. Most associate “spring cleaning” with their homes and yards, but this season of renewal also signifies an ideal time to polish your organization’s marketing activities, strategy effectiveness and messaging. The completion of the first quarter designates the need to benchmark where the organization stands relative to projections. Nimble, successful organizations regularly critique their marketing strategy effectiveness and make adjustments as needed. More importantly, they examine their messages, ensuring that they are on target and that these messages are resonating with prospective clients.

Key to having effective strategies is making sure that your messaging is getting across to your prospects and existing clients. Many times there is a disconnect between what is being promoted and how your product or service will meet the need of the prospect. Without a connection, the marketing “exchange process” will not happen. There are several reasons for a message disconnect, but one of the most prevalent ones is that the message focuses on “features” and does not tout the “benefit” of the product or service. A product or service feature defines a characteristic and the benefit defines the value of the characteristic to the customer. Another way to think of it is to recognize that a feature highlights the “what” about a product or service, and the benefit answers the “so” question for the prospect. For example, a retail facility might promote that they are open 24/7. Prospective customers hear this feature message, however it becomes more effective when you wrap that message with the “so” message: “so you will have ready access to your products whenever it is convenient for you.” By stressing the feature and benefit simultaneously in your messaging, you help make a connection to a prospect’s need. At the end of the day, prospects purchase based upon need fulfillment, not features. Therefore a key “spring cleaning” activity is to review your marketing messages and be sure that they include both a features and benefit description.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Baldwinsville, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at or by calling 1-866-567-5422.