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What You Don’t Know about Marketing Terminology Could Cost You

Have you ever talked to an ad agency and felt like you were trying to learn a foreign language? What exactly is a hook? Does copywriting have something to do with trademark law? Who wants a differentiator anyway? Why do you need to know this stuff?

Understanding key terminology gives you some real world advantages:

  • You never get lost in meetings or feel like you are in buzzword purgatory.
  • You know that your marketing partner is on the same page with you in terms of what you want to accomplish.
  • You understand what you are getting for your money!

Let’s start with a couple of truly critical terms that can make or break your next campaign.

Value Proposition vs. Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Value Proposition: A captivating explanation of what a solution does, the problem it solves, and how it helps your customers win.

Example: Let’s say your company created a disruptive technology that does something entirely new and meets a previously unmet need. Your target audience is unaware that this solution exists. In fact, they haven’t even realized how much pain they have that you can resolve or the opportunities they are missing in their business by not having your solution. In this situation, you must have an undeniably clear value proposition to gain their attention and make them aware that they need what you are selling.

Unique Selling Proposition: A compelling argument for why a given solution is different from and superior to existing/competing solutions in the marketplace.

Example: You are in a highly competitive market with many vendors that all seem alike—at least on the surface. But you are offering a DIFFERENT approach, one that is BETTER in a number of ways. It could be that you have a superior delivery model, a higher quality product, or a more phenomenal service experience. Your buyer has lots of other choices—and they are comparing you with competitors before you even get a chance to make a pitch. In this case, your marketing must stand out from the crowd with a powerhouse USP.

Why Should You Know This Stuff?

A value proposition defines a problem and tells a prospective buyer why they need a solution. A unique selling proposition tells them why they need YOUR solution. Both types of proposition have their place in the B2B world depending on your target audience. But if an ad agency is trying to sell you on creating a value prop when what you really need is a USP, they are doing you a disservice. They have NOT asked you the right questions. And when you know what these terms mean, you can spot that problem a mile off and save yourself a lot of time and money!

Can you see why having a cheat sheet for this stuff would come in handy? We’ve created just what you are looking for. Get buzzword savvy in minutes with our easy-to-understand marketing glossary. Download a free copy now.

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