June 27, 2022
Case Study

Value Proposition Articulation: Examples of helping customers understand and believe your business’ marketing messages


The blank stare. The rolling of the eyes.

My teenagers are a living, breathing reminder of how difficult it is to communicate a message. Because often they don’t understand me, or they just don’t believe me (“If you keep drinking so much soda…”).

As marketers and entrepreneurs, we have to overcome the same challenge with customers. To give you ideas for improving that communication, in this article we bring examples from Pizza Hut, Domo, and a business content website.

by Daniel Burstein, Senior Director, Content & Marketing, MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute

Value Proposition Articulation: Examples of helping customers understand and believe your business’ marketing messages

This article was published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.

“People need to understand before they believe. People need to believe before they will receive,” Flint McGlaughlin teaches in Value Proposition Danger: If you make this mistake your offer’s value does not matter.

In this article, we bring you three marketing examples with results to help you put this lesson into practice when articulating your business’ value propositions.

First, how Pizza Hut used behavioral data gleaned from A/B testing to help customers better understand the process-level value proposition of an offer.

Then, Domo’s media strategy to show (not tell) customers a product-level value proposition so they would experience it for themselves and come to their own conclusion to believe that value prop.

And finally, a combination of the two – a business content site that leveraged private YouTube sponsorships with influencers who could both communicate and lend credibility to its primary value proposition.

Quick Case Study #1: Pizza Hut drove a projected $7.8 million annualized uplift in revenue through one A/B test

Pizza Hut Digital Ventures is Pizza Hut’s in-house startup focused on building innovative digital solutions and providing customers with exceptional experiences. Pizza Hut is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., the world’s largest restaurant company with nearly 43,000 restaurants in over 140 countries.

The team at Pizza Hut Digital Ventures wanted to better understand consumer behavior so they could rework their digital content strategies to better serve customers. “Brands miss out on a lot of revenue when their content and experiences aren’t easy to see and use,” said Niki Hall, CMO, Contentsquare (Pizza Hut’s digital experience platform).

The team had noticed customers on Pizza Hut’s highly visited Our Deals page weren’t clicking on the deal cards and they wanted to understand why. “We knew that for a lot of people, times were tougher over the last few years, so we committed to providing ways for customers to take advantage of deals, whether that meant discounts or free items. However, we couldn't figure out why they weren't actually taking advantage of them when they were easy to find,” said Tristan Burns, Global Head of Analytics, Pizza Hut Digital Ventures.

After analyzing the page, they discovered that customers were much quicker to click the “View Basket” call-to-action (CTA) rather than the deal cards.

The team hypothesized that the lack of a CTA on the deal cards themselves might be making them look unclickable to customers. “We dove into A/B testing and determined that the deal offer itself didn’t have an obvious call-to-action, so customers easily overlooked it,” Burns said.

So, they decided to run a test to find out. For the control, there was no visible CTA on the deal card.

Creative Sample #1: Pizza Hut’s control with no CTA

Creative Sample #1: Pizza Hut’s control with no CTA to test process-level value proposition articulation

For the treatment (variant), a “Select” CTA was visible on the deal card. When a customer clicked on the deal card CTA, it opened up the deal builder experience where they could select their choice of pizza, toppings and drinks, then add that to their basket.

Creative Sample #2: Pizza Hut’s treatment (variant) with CTA added

Creative Sample #2: Pizza Hut’s treatment (variant) with CTA added

They ran the test for two weeks. The treatment (with the deal card CTA) was the clear winner. “Simply by adding a ‘Select’ icon to the deals, we were able to save people money and drive significant revenue for the brand; a true win-win,” Burns said.

“Helping Pizza Hut determine how to improve content placement with this test drove more consistent action from their customers, and the ability to compare options made it clear on how to streamline content to improve CX (customer experience),” Hall said.

Extrapolating on the results seen, Pizza Hut anticipates an annualized uplift of $7.8 million in revenue.

“A/B testing early and often benefits the brand not only from a revenue standpoint, but more importantly, gives customers confidence that Pizza Hut understands their needs for speed and convenience when using their digital properties. This is a lesson they can take into other campaigns and strategies and drive a lot of success over time,” Hall said.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without micro-behavior analytics. Without being intrusive to the customer, Pizza Hut was still able to make important decisions on improving the experience. Better CX, combined with great deals and content, are making a meaningful difference to Pizza Hut,” Burns concluded.

Quick Case Study #2: Domo takes a show (instead of tell) approach, engages 661 CIOs

The team at Domo needed to build a media strategy for Domo Everywhere, the software company’s embedded analytics solution.

“Often times tech marketers rely on making claims about how great their product or service is to demonstrate value to their target audience, but if people don’t believe your messaging, they’re not going to buy into what you’re selling,” said Shelley Morrison, VP, Global Demand Center, Domo.

Focusing on a show (vs. tell) approach for their senior-level IT target, the team partnered with CIO magazine. They used the Domo Everywhere platform to visualize six years of data from the magazine’s State of the CIO study. The study is a source of peer insights for CIOs, helping them determine what type of CIO they are with data to benchmark roles and responsibilities.

The team built a landing page and ran co-branded ads on CIO.com to drive traffic to the page.

Creative Sample #3: Online ad for CIO assessment tool landing page

Creative Sample #3: Online ad for CIO assessment tool landing page

Promotion for the landing page, along with co-branded white papers based on the data, also appeared in the resources section of CIO.com.

Creative Sample #4: Promotion in resources section of CIO.com

Creative Sample #4: Promotion in resources section of CIO.com

To build awareness for Domo and support the campaign, the team also ran an advertorial in the Spring issue of CIO Digital Magazine.

Creative Sample #5: Advertorial in issue of CIO digital magazine

Creative Sample #5: Advertorial in issue of CIO digital magazine

Visitors to the landing page built in Domo Everywhere and hosted on CIO.com first completed a quick CIO assessment tool to identify what type of IT leader they are.

“By taking a quick assessment, CIOs were able to identify if they were transformational, strategic, or functional IT leaders, and Domo Everywhere allowed them to benchmark their own IT persona against the wider results of the State of the CIO research,” Morrison said.

Creative Sample #6: CIO assessment tool on co-branded landing page

Creative Sample #6: CIO assessment tool on co-branded landing page

The responsive tool provided relevant data to show visitors how they stack up against their peers. Results were displayed in a dashboard with data that was customized based on their responses. The dashboard allowed visitors to filter the data and display the results in graphs or tables.

“For this program, we wanted to emphasize the value of ‘show don’t tell’ and also provide real value to the end-user. The core goal of the CIO Domo dashboard program was to show the power of Domo Everywhere, but instead of inundating our audience with messaging, we leveraged the highly anticipated State of the CIO research insights to provide the audience with a real-time demo. This approach allowed our audience to not just take our word for it, they got to see and experience the value for themselves,” Morrison said.

Creative Sample #7: Customized dashboard built in advertiser’s product on co-branded landing page

Creative Sample #7: Customized dashboard built in advertiser’s product on co-branded landing page

The team’s main KPI was assessment tool completions. In the first two months, the co-branded effort delivered 661 assessment tool completions, far exceeding the original benchmark of 50 completes. CIOs spent an average of three minutes and 17 seconds on the landing page.

“In the 19 years we’ve been running the State of the CIO research, this was the first time Foundry has ever granted a data license, and the first time the data was put into a dashboard visualization format (powered by Domo). Together, Foundry and Domo transformed the way we distribute the State of the CIO results to help the audience drive action from the data. The highly interactive and personalized Domo dashboards enabled our Executive IT audience to benchmark their leadership mandates and drive strategic business decisions, meanwhile letting the target audience experience the advertiser’s solutions as part of the marketing program,” said Rick Currier, VP, US Sales & Partner Marketing, Foundry (the publisher of CIO).

Quick Case Study #3: Business content website increases conversion rate 10X with private YouTube sponsorships

“When looking for a way to increase revenue for my website, I set up a process to utilize YouTube influencers to send me referrals,” said Geoff Cudd, owner, Don’t Do It Yourself.

In the last half of 2021, the site’s conversion rate for organic traffic averaged 0.62%. Cudd had the idea to reach out to YouTubers to promote the website in a personalized advertorial. The YouTubers would mention the brand in their own words with a link to the Don’t Do It Yourself website in the video description. I had hoped that a warm endorsement from a trusted brand would likely result in more conversions.

“You can negotiate private YouTube sponsorships for a fraction of the price of paid ads. These deals are easy to set up and are made directly between you and a YouTuber off of the YouTube platform (i.e. not YouTube ads),” Cudd said.

Here are the steps Cudd took to create a mutually beneficial sponsorship deal.

Made a list of YouTubers.

Cudd chose YouTube channels with between 5,000 to 50,000 views per video on average.

You can find the channels contact info on the About page of YouTube, in the Details section. It is labeled “For business inquiries:”

Creative Sample #8: Where to find YouTube influencer’s contact info

Creative Sample #8: Where to find YouTube influencer’s contact info

Sent an email to the list with the intention of setting up a call.

“YouTubers are rarely approached and are much more likely to respond to cold outreach than a typical blogger. Plus, they are used to talking on camera and are generally easier to get on a phone call,” Cudd said.

Here is the email copy Cudd used…

Subject: Tom-Interested in a paid YouTube sponsor?

Hi Tom,

Would you be interested in collaborating on a paid sponsorship for one or more of your videos?

I’m looking to work with reputable YouTube channels like Virtual Assistant Tips to describe my website in your own words during a video.

I’m the founder of Don’t Do It Yourself, where we provide advice and reviews of business tools and services.  We’ve created a step-by-step hiring guide for Virtual Assistants to help business owners find the perfect VA.

Please let me know if we can jump on a call to discuss further.  And don’t hesitate to reach out via email or phone with any questions.

Thanks for your consideration,



His response rate to cold emails has been 58%, so he doesn’t need to send that many emails.

Discussed how the sponsorship works on the call.

He asked for a 30-90 second segment. He told them he would create a vanity URL that they would mention in the video and include in the video description above YouTube’s “Show More” drop down.

Negotiated a deal.

For example, for one of his website niches, the typical channel earns a 10CPM ($10 for every 1,000 views).  So, if he agreed with the YouTuber that the average number of views per video is 20,000, then they would establish a fixed rate of $200 per video.

“Most YouTubers are not accustomed to being offered deals and will work with you at affordable prices,” Cudd said.

He would suggest a trial run of two to three videos to see if it’s a good fit.

Tracked performance.

He created a vanity URL for each sponsorship and tracked results in an analytics platform.

Performed a regular video audit to make sure the product is being promoted in the agreed upon way.

He asked the influencer to send a monthly invoice along with a Google Sheet containing the URLs of all the videos they produced as part of the sponsorship. He then made sure his brand was talked about in a way he was comfortable with, and that the sponsorship’s terms were being met (vanity URL mentioned, URL in video description, etc.)

These private YouTube deals not only delivered traffic, but the traffic converted 10x higher than Cudd’s organic traffic, averaging 6.62%. And he expects long-term results from this effort.

“Unlike paid ads, videos will continue to generate traffic over time. In fact, it’s extremely difficult for a YouTuber to edit a video and remove your sponsorship even if they wanted to,” he said.

Related Resources

Buyer Psychology: Learn the 4 best ways to increase the power of your value proposition – June 29th, 2022 at 3 pm EDT

Ask MarketingExperiments: How do I (quickly) write value-infused headlines?

Value and offer sequencing decider infographic – Get this free thought tool to help you decide how to sequence the value of your offer

Data Poetry in Marketing, PR & Corporate Communications (Podcast Episode #17)

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