The Problem, Not The Product

You’ve probably invested a lot of time in developing your business’ product or service. You might have spent a lot of money researching things such as packaging, color, price, and the best marketing tactics. After all, back in the day before digital, consumers usually had to get in the car and drive to a competitor if they were unhappy with your offer. At a minimum, they had to pick up the phonebook and let their fingers do the walking. So not true today, where your biggest competitor is just a click away. Is all of that investment in product or service design and marketing worth it?

Maybe not. Marketing today is about one thing: explaining to potential customers how you are solving their problem. That means you need, first and foremost, to understand what that problem is. In other words, it means listening. Once you’ve done that, it means speaking to the consumer in words that mean something to them, and not in jargon. Explain your approach to solving their problem. That can reflect your brand persona, whatever you’ve chosen it to be.

You’ll notice none of what I’ve said so far requires the gathering of any personal information about your customer. In my mind, that’s asking them to marry you on the first date. Once they’ve bought in, demonstrating to them why they should share their personal information with you (and how you will guard it with your life) can only make the marketing better. After all, a customized solution to their problems is better than the generic one you already have.

The point today is that developing a pretty product or an appealing service is fine but it’s step 3.  First comes identifying the problem and then the customers who have that issue.  It’s the problem, not the product. How you solve it – and  how you present the solution – is the game from that point forward.  Have you done that? Does this make sense?

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Filed under Consulting, Helpful Hints

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