The title says it all: What are you solving? No matter what kind of company you are, nor which division, knowing can dramatically change your interaction and promotion with the product / service. Specifically, you want to nail down what problem your customer is having and how you solve this with the aforementioned product / service.
Now this can bare to mind more of a business strategy question, but the insights that come from knowing this answer is important no matter your position.
Why is it important to address the customer’s problem?
Knowing what their issue is not only allows you to better present your product / service, but it allows you more insight into the customer themselves. A company that knows their customer’s problem and works to address all aspects of it is normally one that has excellent customer service. Not only is a great product / service a requirement for most customers, so is the service.
Additionally, you may be solving a different issue than you were aware of with a different market. Look at Pedialyte. They started out as a beverage company for children, but discovered that people were using them for a hangover cure, and now have produced drinks for optimal hydration for adults—hangovers to sports!
Being aware of what customer’s will go through and how you can solve their issue can improve your overall business’s success; including customer retention and acquisition.
How do you identify customer problems?
Solving customer problems isn’t just after they have interacted with your company; it can take place before then as well, such as when you are marketing and trying to acquire them. With a background in startups, something that drew me to them was this idea of taking the customer’s problem and creating a product / service out of that. However, it doesn’t have to be restricted to startups or companies that have yet to design a product / service. Simply changing the way you view this can be a positive influence on your marketing strategy.
First, let’s address the kind of problems that you should be solving:
Make sure the problem is relevant
Make sure you can solve the problem
Make sure your solution is profitable / proportionate to the revenue people are willing to pay for it
For people to want to purchase what you have, it needs to be relevant in their lives. Identify if they have a current product /service that is solving this for them, are they doing work arounds, or unable to solve it at all—each will lead you down different ways to market. Next, it needs to be solvable. If there is competition in the industry and others are doing what you are doing, it is solvable. But if you are an innovator, identify if there are restrictions that could keep the MVP from being solvable (laws, resources, technology, societal ideals, etc). Lastly, make sure that you can balance your costs with your income. Even non-profits have to find a way to pay for their services and employees, make sure you can do the same.
How do you figure out what you are solving?
The best way to find out how will always be talking to customers themselves. Surveys, questionnaires, observations, conversations, etc. True data and insights requires research. There may be research already out there and you just need to review it, or you may need to conduct some yourselves.
If you don’t have access to internal data, you can try proxy data from external sources. It is best to try and find some tangible, quantifiable data to lead your decisions if possible. Some testing can also come from presenting a couple of mockups and seeing what is drawing more people in. Data driven decisions are oftentimes the best ones because they can keep you from shooting blind and wasting resources.
A lot of marketing is learning, reflection and reaching customers where and how they want to be reached. Understanding not just what you are selling but how it is improving people’s lives, whether big or small, will make your marketing more impactful.
Think back on the most successful campaigns you’ve done before or the ones that have attracted you to a new company / product /service. What was it about them that drew you in? Was it solely the technical details of the product / service? Or did they also tap into an emotional component?
After you identify the problem, you can also address the different buying stages someone may go through when learning more about your solution. To learn more about this, we have a few resources you can read that will dive into the topic deeper, as well as you can reach out to a LiveFive marketing team member today.