No, it’s not a typo. It’s an acronym for the mantra of the modern American consumer. It stands for So What, Who Cares, What’s In It For Me. And it means that, if you have any product or service to sell to someone, it had better have clear benefits for the buyer. Of course, you are a consumer, too. But your wants and needs in life are likely very different…
So what, who cares and what’s in it for me?
One of the most valuable lessons to be learned from this well-entrenched consumer attitude is that you are not your patients. The things in life that you value are likely very different from the things most of your patients value. Your wants and needs are likely very different, too. Your education is likely much higher. Your income is likely much higher. And your day-to-day worries are likely on a much different level than those of your patients
That’s why it’s so important to communicate directly to your target audience the specific and unique benefits you have over your competitors. Your marketing program should clearly present the real benefits of patients choosing you/your practice over another practitioner. In order to do that most effectively, you either have to understand your target audience yourself, or work with a marketing partner who does it for a living.
Features vs. benefits. “We” vs. “you.”
Understanding the difference between a feature and a benefit is key. Most surgeons talk about offering minimally-invasive laparoscopic, endoscopic or arthroscopic surgery, Yet few understand that these technologies and techniques, though wonderful and valuable in and of themselves, have little intrinsic value to patients.
What has value to patients are the benefits of those technologies/techniques – less scarring, less hospital time and a faster, easier recovery and return to life. As marketers, we have to help the patient make the connection to such benefits – the “what’s in it for me?” part of the equation. And we have to do that no matter which technology or procedure we’re marketing, or which medical or dental subspecialty we’re marketing for.
Another common marketing mistake is to talk about your practice using lots of “we” in your messaging. Nothing turns patients off more quickly than feeling as though it’s all about you, not them. They desperately want to know that you care about them, their health and their wellbeing. Talking about yourself ignores what patients want. Instead, use the word “you” as often as possible in your messaging and you’ll get far better results.