Benefits and the Photography Customer

People buy benefits.

Photography customers are no different.

The successful marketing photographer realizes that the only products or services that succeed are those that offer benefits to the photography customer that, they perceive, are greater than their cost.

To be successful marketing to customers, you cannot confuse ‘features’ and ‘benefits.’

Features are elements of a product that deliver benefits. The successful marketing photographer recognizes and never forgets that the customers buy benefits.

Features : your customers don’t care whether you are using 16 mega pixel raw tiff or grain less film with non-glare, vignette lighting and no shadows.

Benefits : your customers will stay your customers if your photography makes them look at tractive, look happy, look young and look successful – and/or all of these tr aits.

McDonald’s sells hamburgers. Their messages communicate that they

‘want to make you smile,’

‘give you a break today,’

and they can do it by getting you in and out quickly – heck, you can even drive through! They don’t even mention that they sell hamburgers! Yet, they are the number one hamburger business in the world! McDonald’s sells benefits. Even Burger King promises that ‘you can have it your way.’

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Benefits to the photography customer are actually wants and desires. In general, all customers (no matter what we are buying) want:

  • To be safe
  • To be happy
  • To have fun
  • To eat delicious foods
  • To be at tr active
  • To be successful
  • To like themselves
  • To be liked by other people
  • To protect their family and friends
  • To be free from pain

Much of your success in marketing your photography business will be determined by your mastering the list of what your photography customer wants and communicating the benefits of your photography services and products are significant steps in understanding marketing.

Why The Photography Customer Buys

Knowing why people buy is helpful in understanding and successfully marketing.

Perhaps you already know why people buy, but do you know all 51 reasons? The more of those reasons you know, the better you'll be able to market.

In his book, "Rapid Response Advertising," author, Geoff Ayling, provides his version of fifty reasons why people (the photography customer and everybody else) buy. People make buying decisions for these, among many reasons:

1. To make more money – even though it can’t buy happiness
2. To become more comfortable, even a bit more
3. To at tr act praise – because almost everybody loves it
4. To increase enjoyment – of life, of business, of virtually anything
5. To possess things of beauty – because they nourish the soul
6. To avoid criticism – which nobody wants
7. To make their work easier – a constant need to many people
8. To speed up their work – because people know that time is precious
9. To keep up with the Joneses – there are Joneses in everybody’s lives
10. To feel opulent – a rare, but valid reason to make a purchase
11. To look younger – due to the reverence placed upon youthfulness
12. To become more efficient – because efficiency saves time
13. To buy friendship – I didn’t know it’s for sale, but it often is
14. To avoid effort – because nobody loves to work too hard
15. To escape or avoid pain – which is an easy path to making a sale
16. To protect their possessions – because they worked hard to get them
17. To be in style – because few people enjoy being out of style
18. To avoid trouble – because trouble is never a joy
19. To access opportunities – because they open the doors to good things
20. To express love – one of the noblest reasons to make any purchase
21. To be entertained – because entertainment is usually fun
22. To be organized – because order makes lives simpler
23. To feel safe – because security is a basic human need
24. To conserve energy – their own or their planet’s sources of energy
25. To be accepted – because that means security as well as love
26. To save time -- because they know time is more valuable than money
27. To become more fit and healthy -- seems to me that’s an easy sale
28. To at tr act the opposite sex – never undermine the power of love
29. To protect their family – tapping into another basic human need
30. To emulate others – because the world is teeming with role models
31. To protect their reputation – because they worked hard to build it
32. To feel superior – which is why status symbols are sought after
33. To be trendy – because they know their friends will notice
34. To be excited – because people need excitement in a humdrum life
35. To communicate better -- because they want to be understood
36. To preserve the environment – giving rise to cause-related marketing
37. To satisfy an impulse – a basic reason behind a multitude of purchases
38. To save money – the most important reason to 14% of the population
39. To be cleaner – because unclean often goes with unhealthy and unloved
40. To be popular – because inclusion beats exclusion every time
41. To gratify curiosity -- it killed the cat but motivates the sale
42. To satisfy their appetite – because hunger is not a good thing
43. To be individual – because all of us are, and some of us need assurance
44. To escape stress – need I explain?
45. To gain convenience – because simplicity makes life easier
46. To be informed – because it’s no joy to be perceived as ignorant
47. To give to others – another way you can nourish your soul
48. To feel younger – because that equates with vitality and energy
49. To pursue a hobby – because all work and no play etc. etc. etc.
50. To leave a legacy – because that’s a way to live forever

Similar to all other customers, the photography customer, wants benefits – not features!

Knowing the difference will put you head and shoulders above your competition. Include a benefit featured marketing campaign in your tools to market to your photography customer. Then let your competitors wonder why your customers (and, sometimes, their photography customer) keep coming to you.

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