Article

HOW MANY PROBLEMS TO SOLVE

HOW MANY PROBLEMS TO SOLVE

HOW MANY PROBLEMS TO SOLVE?

This article emphasizes on the need to solve the right problem, for the right person!

RECAP:

A micro-market is a curated set of target clients.

Micromarketing is a strategy where marketing efforts focus on a narrow set of target clients; all activities are defined by and for this set.

It is easy and lazy to say that my solution will solve all the problems that my target client has. This is very tempting – and seldom leads to closed sales. It is best to identify the one KEY problem that a prospect or client has.

Let us look at two real-life stories of two creative companies.

A PAINPOINT INTO A BUSINESS: THE ZWENDE STORY!

A story told from the perspective of the two founders:

We are Innu and Sujay and we were quite frustrated. We recently got married and were setting up our house. You know how it is, new couple new house and everything just had to be perfect, everything had to have our touch.

We just could not find the right table for our house, with the right colour and finish that we wanted. It might seem silly to you but put yourself in our shoes. It does get quite frustrating. Like that little bit of food stuck in your teeth, your attention goes back to that missing gap in your whole design.

We scoured the market for the right table and not finding it, got a table that was close. We sandpapered it and got it painted just the right shade of green that we wanted. This table has a pride of place in our house now. This experience raised a few questions.

Perhaps, there are more people like us who would like something customised!

Maybe they just have an idea and we could help them achieve it.

Zwende was born from this translated want, translated from our experience to those like us. Ours is a platform that provides users tools to satisfy their creative urge, specific to design, whether it is fashion, bags, home decor or personalised gifting.

So, we profiled ourselves first. What we like, what we want to do, how, where and at what budget. Us. Easy isn’t it?

Then we searched for people like us in our geography – Bengaluru – in our immediate network and then one level removed. We identified the kind of people we like to hang out with (and them with us). We made a list.

When we looked at this list, the next question was how do we reach out to them?

We obviously had no need for a nationwide ad campaign; remember, we are a startup. So, was it going to be Facebook, Instagram or other social media channels?

We decided to go direct and ask these people to try out our products. And to spread the word to their network, to people like them. Pure word of mouth transfer. As a new brand, we needed users who liked what we do and for them to transfer the trust and credibility to their network. This transfer of trust translated into direct dialogue, not just, “Hey, I bought this!” but “Hey, you’ll love this product from Zwende, this is so you. Come, let’s go pick one up!”

So, the customers were identified, sales started to happen and we focused on the overall experience, not just one touch point but the overall journey.

We are a design company and so this design thinking was used across in crafting the user journey from the time they visit the website to designing their product, the support and the delivery. You might say this is common sense, but it took us a few loops to get it right.

We analysed our initial set of customers and narrowed down on those who were really in love with us. We involved them in the future steps and some of them became Zwende loyalists, our brand advocates.

We repeat this set of activities as we continue to grow.

KEY LEARNING

The client has a lot of needs and wants. So many problems to make their life easy.

You’ve compiled big of these issues in your initial interaction and research phase.

Solve only one problem at a time! 

However tempting, do not take all the issues at one go.

Select that one solution that will make life easier for the client. 

Ideate on arriving at an optimal solution for that specific problem or pain point.

Simplify. Solve.

Then scale!

That bring us to a key question:

IS IT A NEED OR WANT?

Let’s first know the difference between a need or want.

NEED: Something that I must have, cannot live without.

WANT: A desire, a wish, a choice.

NEED: I must dress appropriately for this important meeting.

WANT:

  • I can wear the latest in business fashion.
  • I can wear a new outfit today that I bought for this meeting specifically.
  • I will wear what I normally do.

The pain point in the case of a Zwende client is that: “I know what I want. It’s in my mind. Can someone help me put it all together into a finished product? Can I co-create this product?” <Do note: The pain point in this case is still a WANT>

Is it a burning “need”?

Only those who really in need will  take active steps in alleviating the pain point and seek out assistance/guidance. Those not dreaming and wishing but not doing something to get rid of the pain..

What is the prospect doing to alleviate the pain point?

If nothing much is being done, then the pain is perhaps just a minor irritant. The solution in such cases will be a want, than a need.

What is the prospect WILLING TO do alleviate the pain point?

Now, this is the answer we need to find out. It is best done by asking, observing and asking again.

KEY QUESTIONS:

  1. What’s my pain point?
  2. Who are people similar to me, like me?
  3. Where can I find them?
  4. Do they have or resonate with the pain points that I have?
  5. Who will be my initial micro set of clients experiencing my solution?

What's your secret sauce?

This the fifth article in "The Micro Marketer" series by Pravin Shekar, an Outlier Marketer.

The first article laid the foundation for what a micro market is. <Hyperlink to the first article>

The second article focused on how to define a micro market. <Hyperlink to the second article>

The third article focused on how to form a micro market.

The fourth article emphasized the need to be curious, at all times – and ask.

About the Author

Pravin Shekar is an outlier marketer, parallel entrepreneur and a raconteur.

If you want to shake up your marketing strategy OR discuss your micro marketing plan, write to Pravin at outlier@pravinshekar.com