The Other Kind of Unit Cost

Thursday, June 25, 2015

I recently sat through a marketing pitch by a big Fortune 100 firm. The company's products were both highly technical and highly priced.

Although the presentation was technical in nature, the speaker made an awful number of marketing mistakes while positioning his software as a service offering.

The most glaring was that he didn't understand one of the most basic rules of product marketing. The benefits of your product over the competition's should be presented in an obvious manner.

One the main highlights of his product pitch was the speed at which it worked. To illustrate the difference, he presented a table that looked like this:

A Terrible Product Pitch
Leading Competitor's Product Presenter's Product
Processing Time 2 s 37 ms

Do you see the problem? He mixed two different units of measure in the same table (seconds and milliseconds). Many people tend to filter out the units and just look at the numbers in a table. As a result, they will arrive at an understanding that is contrary to both reality and to the wishes of the presenter.

Don't make the same mistake! All things being equal, consumers prefer buying superior products. You just need to do your part and describe your products correctly. This table would have been far more appropriate:

A Better Product Pitch
Leading Competitor's Product Presenter's Product
Processing Time 2,000 ms 37 ms

Both tables show the exact same data, but by standardizing the units, the message is much more clear.

If you'd like to avoid making positioning mistakes like these, you'll certainly want to contact me for a consultation. Also, make sure you grab a copy of my software pricing book! It will help you figure out how to monetize your next software project.