Steve Jobs famously told an interviewer, “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
I would add that many don’t know it even when you DO show it to them — at least not at first.
Marketing to people who know they want your product or service fails to reach all the people who could benefit from it — but who don’t know that your solution solves the problem they’re having.
When marketing a solution, start by marketing the problem.
I’ve spent years developing custom attitudinal audience segmentation research for marketing agencies and their clients.
Do you think my ideal prospects are out there looking for custom attitudinal audience segmentation research?
Not a chance.
In fact, most of them aren’t actually out there looking for research at all. They’re looking for books, conferences, podcasts, videos — anything that can help them market more effectively for their clients, develop new revenue opportunities, be invited to pitch by more prospects, and be selected over their competition.
So while I might garner a few clients here and there who are typing “attitudinal audience segmentation research” into Google (which is unlikely, I can tell you), my biggest opportunity lies with people who don’t understand what I do and would never imagine that it’s the solution they need.
I need to market to agency owners looking for ways to make their agency more profitable — to get the attention of more prospects, to win more business and to generate more work from the clients they have.
My research helps agencies accomplish all of these goals.
But my prospects aren’t at research conferences looking for research providers.
They’re at conferences on agency growth. They’re reading blogs about new business growth and persona development. They’re looking for strategy consulting.
That’s where I need to be.
What problems does your organization solve?
It’s easy to talk about what you’re selling. We all do it.
Unfortunately, that’s usually ALL we talk about.
As a result, many ideal prospects may not even recognize the connection between what we’ve got and the problem they’re having.
Take a minute to look at the home page of your website. Is the most prominent messaging there about what YOU do? Or is it about what your PROSPECTS are struggling with?
Now think about the last conversation you had with a potential customer. How much time did you spend discussing THEIR struggles, versus the time you spent describing YOUR product or service?
How could you improve these interactions for your customers and prospects?
Connect. Then Convert.
I’ve stopped telling prospects I develop custom attitudinal audience segmentation research. I used to say that all the time — and all the time, that’s when their eyes would glaze over.
Now, I tell prospects I help them win new clients and generate more work with existing clients.
100% of the time, the next question is “How do you do THAT?”
And that’s my opportunity to discuss whether their problem and my solution are a good fit.
Your prospects may not know enough about your specialty (whatever that is) to imagine that it’s the ideal solution to a problem they’re struggling with.
But they certainly feel (often acutely) the pain associated with that problem.
How well do you understand those problems? How are you showing that to your prospective customers?
- If you’re talking about their problem, you’ll get their attention.
- If you can accurately describe the solutions they’ve explored, they’ll see you as credible.
- If you understand them well enough to describe exactly why none of those solutions worked for them, they’ll think you’re a magician.
- And if you can offer a solution that perfectly addresses all those hurdles and solves the problem they’re having, they’ll wonder how they ever managed without you.
Need help nailing down the problems you solve and the customers who’ll love you for what you do? We’ve got you covered.
Just want to know how aligned your business is with the needs of your customers? Take our free quiz and get your Audience Alignment Score.