WIIFM: Dissecting the Popular Sales Acronym

Marketers are always trying to come up with new ways to capture their audience's attention. But no matter what strategy or tactic they end up trying, marketers must make sure they answer this important question for their audience: "What's In It For Me?"

Known by experienced salespeople as the WIIFM Factor, this question represents your audience's point of view, or what they are asking themselves as they consider your product or service. They want to know how and why it is worth their time, attention, and money. They want to literally know what is in it for them - what it will do for them or how it will be beneficial to their life. Your goal as a marketer is to answer this question clearly before you ask them to like, comment, signup, become a fan/follower, or buy.

So how can you be sure you've answered your audience's WIIFM? We've dissected the acronym below to help you figure it out:

W - what's

What's your product/service all about? What is it and what does it do? These simple questions may seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how many companies fail at making the sale because they didn't describe their product or service in a clear manner. Your customers don't want to do extra research to find out what you are selling, so tell them!

I - in

Customers today not only want to see what's in your product or service, they also want to know the inside story. If you sell a product, what's involved in its making? If you sell a service, why do you offer what you do and how do you do it differently? Either way, tying your product or service back to your brand story is a great way to make your company stand out from the competition and build trust with your audience at the same time.

I - it

Is your product or service it? Meaning, is it the one they've been looking for, the answer to their question, the solution to their problem? It's your job to convince them that it is, so find out what it takes. Oftentimes this will reveal what's missing in your presentation, so be sure to take the time to take an extra close look.

F - for

Who is it for? This one is all about targeting... target the wrong people, and they won't even have a WIIFM moment! Don't waste your time trying to reach a demographic that would never be interested in your product or service. Know who it is for!

M - me

In the end, it all comes down to personalization. Your customers are thinking, "what about me...what do I want and need?" To the customer, they are the most important person to consider when it comes to their purchase decisions. Even when gift shopping, they are thinking about what message the gift will send about them to the recipient. Your customers are the subject of your marketing message, so don't just go on talking about your company and what it has to offer. Talk about what it has to offer them.   Now that we have taken a closer look at an age-old sales principle, how do we apply it to modern marketing efforts? In decades past, companies made it to the top by cultivating a reputation for offering the best product or service in a certain industry. Think Disney, Ford, Sears. But today, internet marketing has provided up-and-coming businesses with an opportunity to compete and unseat the old titans by showcasing a more customer-centered company philosophy: what's considered the best isn't really the best, unless the customer thinks so.

For the first time in history, customers are living in a world where competing companies know so much specific information about them and their interests. You can now precisely understand who the "me" is before you market to them. Marketing research that used to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless man hours can now be done with a simple Twitter trending search or check-in on your Google Analytics.

To sum it up, take all your social media and analytic tools in hand, craft a finely-tuned marketing message to the "me" you're attempting to reach, and the rest will fall in line after that. The WIIFM Factor helps you to set your marketing GPS from the home base of product/service expertise, to the destination of the unique customers you're wanting to reach. To what new vistas will your WIIFM road lead you? Happy trails!  

Posted on in Marketing Strategy & Operations

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About the Author

Megan is the senior blog writer at Clench Media, a lead generation specialist company that generates high quality leads across multiple verticals domestically and internationally.
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