23 Jul 2014

What’s your problem?

So, you sell products and services to customers? Wrong. You provide solutions to your customers’ problems, says Lucia Di Stazio, Director of MRA Marketing.

So, you sell products and services to customers? Wrong. You provide solutions to your customers’ problems. Think like that when you’re marketing your business and you won’t go far wrong, says Lucia Di Stazio, Director of MRA Marketing.

Ask any mother of toddlers. The kids are screaming; the shop’s about to close and she just wants something for their tea. She’s a good mother so she wants something nutritious and healthy, but it has to be quick and simple too. It’s been a long day. She also knows that you can take a toddler to a healthy plate of meat and three veg, but you’ll be lucky if you can get him to eat it.

So our frazzled mum stands in front of a seemingly endless freezer in her local supermarket and is bedazzled by an array of pretty packaging and jaunty marketing messages vying for her attention. ‘Pick me! Pick me!’ they scream. Out of the window go her good intentions, price doesn’t matter, brand doesn’t matter, she just grabs the one that promises the answer to all her problems. The one that says, ‘Toddlers love me – GUARANTEED.’

What can marketers take from this? Easy. Make yourself irresistible to your customers, not by telling them what you do or how good your products are, but by how you can solve their problems. Remember, it’s not a car; it’s an escape from the wife. It’s not a conservatory, it’s an extra room (preferably one you can use every day of the year) so you won’t have to move house. And so on.

The trick is to really get to know and understand your customers. Why do they buy your product or service? What problem did it solve for them? Of course you can talk to them, construct elaborate surveys or hire a research company to do it for you. Or, you can just follow your gut instinct, put yourself in your customers’ shoes; remember why you set up in business in the first place. Remember that gap you spotted in the market? That service no one else was offering, that product that solved problems no other product could?

Just because every Tom, Dick and Harry has jumped on your bandwagon ever since, it doesn’t mean you can afford to lose sight of what makes your customers love you. You are the answer to their problems. The dream maker, the I-can man or woman. You’re the real deal. No wonder they love you.

Agree? Disagree? Want help with your marketing? Comment below, call me on 01453 521621, tweet me at @MRAMarketing or email lucia@mra-marketing.com.

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