Features tell, benefits sell

2 March 2022

Reading Time: 2 minutes

IN this age of instant everything, full of sound bites and information overload, creating ‘sticky’ and actionable communication is key to business growth, writes Tamara Jacobs.

We need to do a 180 when delivering information – it is no longer a case of educate to motivate – if someone doesn’t care, they are not going to engage. We must flip the sequence and motivate in order to educate. With time as the new currency, people need to hear the “why” before they will invest in the “what,” – a concept I like to call “the role of receivership.” Put yourself in the shoes of the listener/reader: It’s never about what you want to say, it’s about what they need to hear/read in order to get them (individuals, teams and companies) to act on your information.

I instruct leadership teams to constantly focus on “brand essence”- the stand-apart quality that entices consumers to seek out a product by name, pay a premium price, continue to use it, and recommend it to others. Leaders need to define, design and deliver their communication. They must be intentional about their purpose and how they benefit customers; how they wish to be known and who needs to hear what they have to say.

Getting your audience to listen or read, understand, believe, remember and act on your information is the litmus test that measures the cause and effect between strategic communication and business growth. My mother, a professor of speech and a pioneer in the field of modern impactful communication, used to say, ‘people cannot act on what they can’t remember and don’t believe.’  A feminist before it was fashionable, she eliminated the biases associated with gender-based communication and educated generations with her proven theory that everyone listens with vested self-interest. To effectively communicate we must organize for impact, make it memorable, declare the benefits, and people will act.

Tamara Jacobs is founder and president of TJC, Inc, an international strategic communications consulting firm, and author of Be The Brand and Your Ultimate Success Plan.

View original article at StrategicWebzine.com.