As marketers, it’s natural to want to find answers to problems. We’re in the solutions business, after all. But searching for a solution before clearly defining the problem isn’t just putting the cart before the horse. That’s a cart without a horse.
Addressing the correct problem is the first step in any successful campaign or launch.
Ask yourself what problem, issue or need does your company’s solution/product/service solve? Or, put another way, what does the world gain with your product or company’s existence? It seems like such a straightforward question, but clearly and succinctly articulating the right answer — the one that will set you up for success — can be surprisingly difficult.
Barriers to Defining Your Business Problem
There are two common barriers in figuring out the problem you’re solving.
First, there is a tendency to be short-sighted. We often see companies who don’t cast a wide enough net to capture the entire business problem. This narrowcasting can lead to problems later if you try to grow or expand.
Second, some audiences don’t even know they have a problem. They are getting along just fine without your product or service. In this case, you have a solution in search of a problem. So first you need to shake your audience from their sleepy equilibrium to understand (and agree!) they’re facing an issue. Then you can come in with your new technology or product that allows them to solve this (previously never realized) problem.
Note that your audience is always the problem solver, the hero. Your product or services is simply helping and guiding them.
So before you start thinking about how to launch your company’s world-changing solution, take a moment to step back and ensure your team is aligned on the problem you’re solving.
3 Brains. 2 Eyes. 1 Way to Drive Behavior. (Speaking to the emotional, rational and sensory parts of the customer brain.)
The Impression You Give (Consider the customer’s perception of your company.)
Own Your Place in the Mind (Positioning your message to resonate with your customer.)
Value is Emotional (Value is perceived and defined through customer emotions.)