What is this special secret thing that acts as a magic key into a consumer’s psyche? The single thing that every consumer wants to hear is how to solve their problem. No matter how big or small the problem is, if you can offer a solution, you’re sure to get not only that consumer’s business, but you may also get a loyal customer and brand activist that will help you spread your marketing message even further.
So how do you turn your marketing into problem-solving instead of just selling? Follow these 4 tips:
1. Define Your Audience
Targeted marketing will always be more effective than mass marketing, but when it comes to solution-driven marketing, this is even more important. Different audiences will have different needs, which is why segmenting them so that you can focus on solving their specific pain points is so crucial.
For instance, if you sell infant car seats you should have a different marketing approach for consumers that are concerned about collision safety versus consumers that are focused on the size and weight specifications versus consumers that are most interested in the style and aesthetics. Each of these groups of parents has a separate problem that they’re trying to solve, and showcasing your product as the best solution is the key to making the sale.
2. Determine Pain Points
As mentioned earlier, understanding your audience’s main pain point is vital to developing the right marketing approach. This is why it’s important to solicit feedback via surveys, focus groups, social media, and any other channel where consumers can communicate with you directly.
Using the previous example of selling infant car seats, you might find out that while first-time parents are most worried about crash-test results, grandparents with smaller cars are worried about the size, and urban nannies are worried about how they’ll look carrying them, there are a lot of other pain points to hit on as well such as ease of use, comfort for the child, ability to protect undersized babies, type of materials used in their construction, etc. Each of these issues provides an opportunity for a specific pitch that can win consumers over.
When getting feedback, don’t simply ask consumers what they want in a product, dig deeper and ask why to understand the emotions behind what they want. Also be sure to get as many specifics as possible – don’t just settle for “I want it to be lightweight” when you can get an exact weight in pounds that a consumer finds acceptable. Finally, understand what kinds of tradeoffs consumers are willing to make.
In the example of the infant car seat, one consumer may consider lightweight to be less than 15lbs while another would classify it as anything less than 20 lbs. But in each case, the consumer might have a specific sacrifice that they’re willing to make if they can’t get exactly what they’re looking for. For instance, the first consumer might be willing to buy a car seat above their 15lb threshold if they can save $50 while the second might decide that their 20lb cutoff doesn’t matter that much if heavier car seats have better safety ratings. But without doing the research, you won’t be able to understand these pain points and preferences.
3. Pitch the Solution
Once you know what your consumers are looking for solutions to, you can position your product to be the best possible solution for them. (Or, if your products really aren’t anywhere close to the best solution, you can go back to the drawing board and improve them!) Focus your marketing message on what your products do better than the competition and test the results. Over time you should be able to hone in on the top performing pitch and then continue to revise it over time as the industry changes and your consumers’ need evolve.
4. Sell the Results
Once you have your products in the hands of the people who want and need them, don’t let the story end there. Continue to reach out and ask for feedback. Find out why your customers love your products and how they benefited from buying them. Then turn those results into testimonials and other supporting content that will continue to help sell your products moving forward.
In the case of the infant car seats, you may find first-time parents who got into automobile accidents who want to sing your praises for keeping their children safe, or grandparents who installed the car seats in less than 5 minutes because the instructions were so clear and the parts were so intuitive. These results are exactly what will persuade other similar consumers to choose you over your competition!
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Business Blogging and Web Copywriting. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and son and enjoys cooking, watching sports, and spending time together as a family. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about current marketing trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!