The Main Marketing Formula
We've found out where the buyer's benefits come from and how they can be "calculated" from known features of our product. But if we try to sell these benefits, it will soon become clear that they are not enough for successful sales. What's the matter? What are the missing ingredients in this recipe?
Let's get again into the buyer's head. Here we could notice that while we're promising the benefits the buyer might gain, a single thought rushes in his head like a hunted bird: "What should I sacrifice for these benefits? How much should I spend to get all that?"
Why did he suddenly think about it? Because he knows very well that free cheese is only in a mousetrap. He is concerned not only with financial costs, but also with costs of other resources, e.g. space, time, comfort, effort, etc., associated with owning this product. His concern is the Total Cost of Ownership.
For example, a sleeping bag is used only a few nights a year, while the rest of the time it should be stored somewhere. In addition, it takes a lot of space in the car. Its weight is "far from zero" and buyer has to carry it.
In fact, the buyer understands that so far he has not seen such a sleeping bag that would not take up space or would weigh nothing. Therefore, he is not interested in "absolute indicators." Rather, he compares this sleeping bag with others available. Here it is, the "relativity theory" in the head of any customer.
Why does he need to know that? In order to compare the benefits and costs, and based on the results of this comparison decide whether to buy or not. If the benefits exceed the costs, he might buy. And if costs exceed, he would rather refrain from buying and try to find something better.
This comparison could be expressed as a formula:
benefits> additional costs
This formula can rightly be called the main marketing formula. If the marketer manages to create such a ratio of the promised benefits and the expected additional costs in the buyer's mind, then, and only then, the buyer decides to buy the product. This is the ultimate purpose of all marketing activities including the development of a marketing message.