Understanding Your Market’s Pain Points: The Key to Effective Marketing

Customer pain pointsMany customers assume that marketing is all about the hard sell and therefore think it’s an icky, exploitative process. That is marketing done badly.

Done well, marketing is a service that connects people with solutions to their problems – in other words, it’s about helping others.

As my readers have heard before, marketing and selling (whether done well or poorly) are different. Marketing is a process that unfolds over time and builds relationships. Selling is an event that happens in the moment.

Often sales are one-offs, but repeat sales are the result of marketing done well, and building thoughtful relationships with your customers is the best way to do that.

So it follows that you need to know your customers beyond scanning their debit card. That includes understanding how you can help them solve problems they need help with. These problems are their pain points, and solving them is an essential part of service.

So you want to learn from your customers what those problems are, and then make the connection between them and your product or service.

This is a process with three components: Decide whom you are best able to serve, understand the value of your offering from that group’s point of view, and then communicate that value effectively.

When your marketing messages say no more than “Here is what I sell,” there is no connection between their pain point and your product or service’s solution. It is up to us to make that connection, and to convey that solution through messaging.

So how do you know what those pain points are? Here are some common ones:

  • Lack of awareness: Customers may not know that a product or service exists, or they may not understand its value.
  • Difficulty in finding information: Customers may have trouble finding information about a product or service, such as pricing, features, or benefits.
  • High prices: Customers may be put off by a product’s high price or perceive it as not offering enough value for the money.
  • Poor user experience: Customers may find a product or service difficult to use or not user-friendly, leading to frustration and dissatisfaction.

A great way to ferret out these pain points out is to ask your market. There are several ways to do this.

One is to simply have conversations directly with individuals. Another is to conduct focus groups or surveys, which are ways to interview groups. Another is to ask for testimonials from your customers in which they describe why your product or service worked for them.

And yet another way is to ask for honest feedback, whether at the end of a completed project or sale, or when it is clear that you aren’t going to get the sale.

This latter approach may be uncomfortable, but if you can convince the non-buyer that you want to know so you can improve your offering, you could get some really useful information.

Marketing can do many things: it can inform, it can enlighten, and it can offer solutions. But when it’s only about driving sales, it’s missing the vital component of service.

By identifying and addressing pain points, we can improve our customers’ experience and increase sales and customer loyalty.

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