In our last tip, Marketing Tip: What is Marketing?, we learned about the Four P’s of Marketing in a brief overview. The next four marketing tips are going to dive a little deeper into each of the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Let’s Look at why customers buy our products or services.
Before we go any further, I want you to stop thinking about your business (or idea) in terms of the product or service that you are offering. This makes everything about us and our idea. Instead, we need to focus on the customer, the people we are trying to help and serve. People don’t make purchases simply because they are awesome ideas. They choose to buy because it solves a need or fulfills a want. So what do your customers want or need? What problem is your idea solving? Being able to answer these questions will ensure that you’re on the right track. Marketing helps us keep the focus on our customers and not just on the product.
Why Customers Buy
Old school marketing tactics told us to focus on the key functions of our product or service. In the old days, I was taught that we would differentiate our ideas from competitors and get our customer’s attention by starting with the “What.” What could our product or service do? What made our product or service different than all the others, etc.? But in today’s crowded marketplace, it is almost impossible to reach busy and distracted customers with information about the “what.” Frankly, they don’t care…at least not yet.
If we want customers to care about what we are offering, we have to start with the how. How can we help our customers? How can we solve their problem or fulfill their wants? In other words, we need to get to the heart of what matters most to our customers: themselves. No, this is not some commentary about the selfishness of our society. It is just the truth about how all of us make purchase decisions. If a product or service is not going to help us, we’re not going to buy it. It just would not make financial sense.
Most of us want to talk about what our product will do in hopes that people will draw their own conclusions about how it will help them. Today, we need to start by telling them “how” we will help them and then explain what we will do. Start with the customer’s perspective. Build your product and communication about the product around the solution to their problem. Explain the “how” and then show the “what.” By doing this, you will set a much stronger foundation for marketing and business success.