Using the "benefit ripple effect" in your marketing assets

In an earlier post, we talked about the "benefit ripple effect" - the “layers” or “degrees” of benefits that a customer can experience from a product.

We used a pretend budgeting app as an example.

The capability of the app:
"It shows you all of your spending in one place…”

The benefit ripple effect of the app:
"It shows you all your spending in one place so that you can stay more organized → So that you can make better spending decisions → So that you can save money → So that you can get out of debt → So that you can lower your stress levels → So that you can save your marriage…"

With this list of benefits clearly in front of us, we can appreciate an important marketing reality:

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗹𝗼𝘀𝗲𝗿 𝗮 𝗯𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗳𝗶𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝘂𝗻𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁, 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝗯𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗲𝘃𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗶𝘁 𝗶𝘀.

We don't need to work that hard to convince someone that our budgeting app "shows all spending in one place".

After all... that's what the app is built to do.

But if you tell the same person that the budgeting app "saves marriages", he'll raise his eyebrows and laugh in your face. Because this benefit (saving marriages) is farther removed from the product itself and is, therefore, less inherently believable.

This correlation between product proximity and inherent believability helps us decide what benefits apply to which marketing assets.

For example, when drafting the copy for the hero section of a landing page, we generally want to base our messaging on the more inherently believable benefits. We want people who visit the landing page to immediately and unequivocally understand what the product does and how it helps. So it makes sense to use clear, inherently believable benefits for this purpose.

But for other assets, like social proof from current users, we can focus on the less-believable, farther-removed benefits of the product. The experiences of real users can be the missing "proof" that the product has superpowers extending way beyond the functionality itself - like lowering stress, saving marriages, and generally impacting the quality of users' lives.

There's no objectively right or wrong way to go about any of this. But hopefully, some of this can help some of you operate more clearly and experiment more deliberately in your GTM process.