At first it might seem like a stretch to say that marketing problems are communication problems. As I was writing some notes for my Marketing Certificate Program this morning, it occurred to me that what I was really doing was solving a marketing problem.
But, what is a marketing or commercialization problem?
A marketing problem is when the potential client does not understand the value of what you offer and the reasons why they should do business with you .
Hence, all marketing problems are, ultimately, communication problems .
If you learn how to solve your marketing problem with well-designed communications (often in writing) you can dramatically increase your results .
Let me outline the key marketing problems of a company.
Four (4) Marketing Problems:
1. Your prospect (potential client) does not know anything about your business , who you work with and the type of results you produce.
2. Your prospect knows something about your business but not enough to feel comfortable calling you for assistance.
3. Your prospect knows something else about your business but isn’t sure if it’s appropriate for their needs.
4. Your prospect is very knowledgeable and is considering doing business with you but hasn’t made a decision yet.
You cannot solve all these problems in the same way. Instead, what you need is to write highly focused communications to address each of those specific issues.
How to write focused communications according to each communication problem
1. The First Problem Is Basically An Attention Problem .
What you need is a short and concise message that communicates the essence of what you offer. Use this message when you meet someone, send a letter or email to a potential client, or welcome a new visitor to your website or blog.
You don’t need to say everything, just communicate the basics of your business . “This is the type of client we work with, the type of problem we deal with, and these are the results we typically get for our clients.”
This simple form of communication will attract attention and generate interest . The goal is NOT to get the prospect to buy but to ask for more information.
2. The Second Problem Is A Matter Of Familiarity And Information.
When you get someone’s attention, that person will want to know who you are, how your services work and if they really work as you say.
Currently the best way to meet this demand is through your website or blog. The material on your website should answer most questions about the nature of your business, who you work with, your approach, a history of your business, and your professional and business background. The focus should always be on the benefits that the potential client will obtain if they work with you.
This increase in information is often enough for the client to react with a “ How can you help me? ” .
3. The Third Problem Is Related To The Qualification .
The information may be enough to get an answer, but sometimes it is not enough for the potential client to have an idea if you can be the solution to their problems. And, just as important as what we have said is determining if the prospect would be an ideal client for you instead of a waste of time.
For this reason, when a prospect calls us or sends an email as a result of our marketing action, we must send additional information.
Inform them in more depth who your ideal clients are, the type of results they obtain and under what conditions those results are achieved. By the way, this is possibly the point that you skip, rushing to close the sale.
Instead, it’s better to be a little hard to get. If the message you convey is that you don’t work with just anyone, prospects will often go out of their way to get an appointment with you, that’s just how people are…
4. The Fourth Problem Relates To Commitment .
Once you meet with the prospect, get to know their situation, and determine the best way to work with them, you need to persuade them to go through with the process and hire your services (and pay you, of course…)
The next step is to prepare a proposal . And guess what, it includes the same stuff you used before, only more specific. You address the prospect’s situation and needs, the goals you will set for yourself, the way you will measure success, your methodology, and the terms of working together.
As Alan Weiss says: “A proposal is a summary, not an exploration.” He first reaches an agreement on how to work together and then summarizes that agreement in a written proposal.
Note that all these marketing or marketing problems are solved with communications that provide the right information at the right time.
All These Solutions Follow More Or Less The Same Formula:
1. Who we work with
2. The problems we deal with
3. The results we produce
4. How we do what we do
5. A call to action
The only difference in solving these problems is the depth and specificity of the communication.
I have found that the key to my business success has been my ability to develop solutions to those four key marketing problems (eg creating the right materials). It doesn’t take a lot of creativity, just an understanding of the process and a desire to “tweak” those materials until they produce the expected results.
When you think of marketing as a process of solving marketing problems by communicating the right information at the right time, things are much easier.
Do you have any examples of solutions to any of these 4 marketing problems that you want to share? I would love to hear your opinions on this topic.