They've always got a problem on their mind.
Is that a clue or what?
Is Your Marketing Solution Your Biggest Problem?
Have you had current or potential customers die on you while you're speaking to them? You're giving them this outstanding description of your process and capability and it's going bing, bong, kazoom over their heads. Want to know why this happens? Read on because you'll find the whole problem is actually your SOLUTION.
Doesn't Make Sense?
Don't worry. Within the course of this marketing article, you will find out just what it is that gets your clients attention and how to keep that attention, by shifting your marketing strategy from solutions to problems.
The Problem With Solutions
When you ask someone what they do, they usually spit out their process that they see as being a solution to your problems. So a person who cuts trees and mows lawns would say, " I cut trees and mow lawns."
I have a lawn mower, so that eliminates him completely, doesn't it?
Bringing the problem to the fore, triggers a totally different
response altogether. If the same person said, "Do you have
a less than immaculate garden?" My response to the query
would be, "Yes, maybe I do".
Always Work With A Problem
If you notice people around you, all of them are beset with problems.
If you were to stand up and say, "Who has a cold that they
just can't fix?", you will get about 6-7 hands going up instantly.
The Beauty Of Problems
Solutions fall far short of the mark. Problems however go the full distance and more. If you noticed, in the previous example, I had two target audiences. One was the immediate target-the ones with the cold. The other- was the ones who were going to get the cold (no doubt from their illustrious colleagues). The secondary audience has no need for my product because it doesn't have the problem. But in a week or so, as the germs move homes, the second audience too will be potential customers.
A solution on the other hand does less than a quarter of the job, if at all. It has been proven time and time again, that you cannot sell to anyone who doesn't want to buy. The only reason someone would want to buy a product or service from you is because, it is solving some problem that is not being tackled currently.
Your First Task Is To Qualify The Problem
Find out what is your current client's problem and then call their
attention by reconstructing your statement in a problem-solution-target
Be Aware Of Your Specific Target Audience
Ask anyone who their customers are, and they usually say everyone.
Then take a look at the newspaper classifieds. Businesses are
always looking for specific positions to hire, people are always
specifying exactly the kind of person they would like to meet
in the personals.
An Example That You Can Learn From...
One of the recent advertising campaigns that has done well to learn the concept of sacrifice is Jeans West. They have sacrificed colour, style and any other tags that competitors are running. They focus totally on their positioning which is Fits Best. The ads go on to demonstrate the price of time. One woman says, "These jeans cost me 2 hours." Another says, "These jeans cost me 45 minutes."
Can you see the target audience here? It's specifically people who have a problem getting the right fit. Simple, isn't it.
Most people would look at that and say, "Isn't that too small a niche?" You think so? Think again. By getting their tiny little niche, they have stamped themselves very clearly in the minds of customers.
It's quite clear how Jeans West, and their really smart ad agency have done their homework and created a targetted marketing strategy.
Problem: Wasting time finding the
Empower Me, Don't Tell Me!
I get e-mail from a travel agent every now and then. In the e-mail he gives me information that I could get just about any where. It has prices of airfares, new destinations and other such things that I could find with a little help from the newspapers or the Internet. Notice there's no problem there. It's all about solution, solution, solution.
I don't have any need to travel right now and so I delete the email because it provides me with no tangible solution. When I decide to travel, the situation will have changed and none of their wonderful solutions will apply to me.
On the other hand, do you have trouble getting 10kg past the check-in counter? Or would you want to know of a foolproof way to beat jet lag? Or wouldn't you like to know the tricks to get upgraded on your flight?
Most of us would answer yes to almost all these questions because they present problems that need to be solved. The travel agent has spent years in the business and knows stuff that you and I haven't got a clue about. Important tips that we could carry around in our heads for years to come and use them as and when the problem presents itself.
How People Respond
Every problem is a trigger and when people run into that situation, they respond to your solution. Be sure, however, that the solution is not a passing fad, here today and gone tomorrow.
Also remember, when you empower people it adds to their knowledge.
If you're selling an expensive computer to a company, it's not
worth it telling the purchaser about the technical specifications
and how it runs.
It doesn't matter however, whether you sell computers, air tickets or wine. The same principles apply and you will find that not only your sales, but your thought process and alertness increases in leaps and bounds simultaneously.
Your Strategic Action Plan
1) Find the unique solution you provide.
Hungry? Try the 85c McDonald's Burger!
See the problem? See the solution. Great communication in advertising comes from great marketing. And great problems!
Go out there and find yours!
Next Step: Read more Marketing articles. Create your own marketing strategy using these marketing tactics.
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