Article

SOLUTIONIZING

SOLUTIONIZING

This article emphasizes on the need to work on the best fit solution – for that particular client’s need!

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.

Ideation is done to arrive at a solution, for a particular client (or segment), with a practical outcome – that is usable! Quite a mouthful, isn’t it.

Here is a real life example.

THE MULTI NATIONAL MICRO MARKETER

One size doesn’t fit all!

Why is it not working? Not selling?

It has the latest technology, multiple blades, a smooth shave, diamond-like blades, precision cuts – an amazing experience overall and a statement.

The blade that makes you, a man! The Gillette Mach 3.

Designed and tested in the USA and loved the world over.

Except for rural India!

Sales were flat for years and the team was asked, “Why?”

So the team asked themselves why?

They decided to get into the field to observe, ask and understand the rural Indian customer. Of course, they didn’t talk to every one of them. Hours were spent in this exercise to understand shaving habits, the role of shaving and grooming in the lives of Indian men living in the Indian hinterland.

An average American shaves once a day, sometimes twice. This segment of a village male shaves once a week. Men congregate under the village tree and there is a barber who does the shaving. This has been the trend. Self-shave is of course there, but with two-sided old style razor with cheap disposable blades. The blades need to deal with 3-4 day stubbles at least and the multi-blades get stuck quite often.

And then comes the key insight.

Most of the homes do not have running water. Without running water, it gets tougher to clean the razor after every few strokes. Most of the shaving happens while sitting on the floor and holding a mirror with the other hand, with a mug of water kept on the side for periodic dipping and cleaning.

Then the killer issue. The price differential between the blades the men were currently using and the one being offered was phenomenally high! High enough to reject the 3 blade razor completely.

A product designed and made for an American user cannot be force-fit onto a customer whose usage and needs were a lot different.

A solution has to be devised for the client based on their usage, especially if the new solution is meant to displace a use built over the years.

Gillette had to go back to the drawing board.

  • Shaving while sitting on the floor: ribbed handles for better grip, lightweight overall
  • Blades getting stuck: easy rinse cartridges to be used without running water. Just dip it in a mug of water and shake!
  • Hair/stubble getting stuck: design a mini comb on the razor for an easier shave with lesser cuts
  • Value add: put a hang hole in the handle for easy hanging on the wall
  • PRICE: well, well, well. An affordable Rs. 15 for the razor and blades available at Rs. 5 with clear messaging that each blade will last at least 4-5 shaves!
  • AND CLEAR COMMUNICATION that emphasized: Price, ease of use and very less cuts. The land of “mileage” understood return on investment and how long they could make the cartridges work.

Sales got back on track with micro market after micro market adopting the new razor blades – designed for the Indian rural market.

This is a clear example of creating a solution based on client need and usage.

Questions/Activity:

  1. Who is the solution for? Is it for a need, or a want?
  2. What is the customer/client/user journey now?
  3. How do they currently do what they do?
  4. Have you invested time to study and well, walk-in-their-shoes?
  5. How can you come up with a solution that will alleviate the pain point?
  6. Has the solution been created-for/customized-for this particular client (or segment)?
  7. How will you get into agile implementation of the idea?

Solutionizing is always to alleviate a real pain-point!

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

 

The article series flow:

  1. The first article laid the foundation for what a micro market is.
  2. How to DEFINE a micro market?
  3. How to FORM a micro market?
  4. The need to be curious, at all times – and ASK.
  5. How to identify the right problem/pain-point?
  6. How to micro-network?
  7. What to Ideate on?

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