Tag Archives: stupid

It’s The Solution, Stupid

One of the great meme/clichés since 1992 has been the form based on James Carville‘s famous slogan for the Clinton presidential run:  The Economy, Stupid.  The popular version always adds “It’s” upfront, as I have done above.  The point of his slogan was to keep Clinton campaign workers focused on the main points the campaign was trying to make (it was one of three).  My point is to keep you focused on the marketing you should be doing. That introduction out of the way, let us address my point – it’s the solution.

The first point on all three lines L 1–3...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat with clients and listened to their spiels to potential investors or customers and come away not understanding why either of those groups would give the client any money.  I used to wonder the same thing from the other side of the desk when I was listening to people pitch me new partnerships or technologies when I was at the NHL.  In both cases the person speaking would explain the features of their product or company but they’d miss the most important point: how what they had solved a problem.  Actually, how it solved MY problem.

If you’re a marketer, you can’t assume your audience has any clue what your product does or what problem it solves.  I’m amused by the brands that go straight to paid search marketing or other immediate calls to action, never having done any brand building.  The classic framework for marketing (AIDA) begins with “attention.”  Branding campaigns get that attention and build awareness.  That’s the time to educate the audience on one thing: how the product solves a problem and why that solution is the best one for the audience.

So it’s the solution, stupid.  Identify the problem you’re solving, make sure it’s a big enough problem (one that a large number of people have, even if they don’t know it yet) and then market the solution. Advertising the product, not the solution, is a recipe for disaster.  Make sense?


Leave a comment

Filed under Helpful Hints, Reality checks


GameStop logo

Image via Wikipedia

This morning’s “stupid things companies do” report comes to us from Tech Crunch and has to do with some lunacy at GameStop.  For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, GameStop (which also runs EB Games) is kind of Barnes & Noble for games.  In fact, it’s actually a B&N spin-off.  Unlike their former parent, they don’t seem to have a customer-centric focus and this incident is pretty clear proof of that.  But let’s see what you think and maybe figure out a few pointers for all of us along the way. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Helpful Hints


Part of setting up a consulting practice, or any other business I suppose, is implementing a system of financial controls. My brother, the CPA, recommended I use Peachtree Software as my accounting system. Who am I to quibble with the CPA?!?!

I will quibble, however, with the CPA’s company of choice. I buy Peachtree, I install Peachtree, I begin to use Peachtree. This morning, however, I get a mesage from the software saying I needed to register the software. Now, I had already had to input a security key upon installation so I had figured it was already good to go. Nope. But what the heck: registration is generally a quick web form away.

Nope. Welcome to 1993. You have to call Peachtree to register. As in telephone. As in 10 minutes on hold, after which you get “Hi, this is Elizabeth, can I putyouonholdforasecond<click>” and 5 more minutes of silence. When asked why Peachtree was the only company left in the software business that required phone registration, Elizabeth answered, “oh, you can register online outside of business hours when we’re not here.” Guess I need to work at odder hours so I can be more efficient and register in 3 minutes instead of 23.

Today’s example of whatareyathinkin’…

1 Comment

Filed under Huh?