We are taught that marketing is about delivering what you customers want or need. True, but actually if you understand what ‘pains’ your potential customers, you will find it gives you insights that can be very powerful in your marketing.
It may sound a bit strange to be talking about what pains your customers but bear with me …
We all have ‘pain points’ in our daily lives; things that annoy, frustrate or hinder us. If your product or service can alleviate some of these pain points you are onto a winner!
It may be that your product or service solves a specific problem or ‘pain point’ but even if it doesn’t, there may be a part of the customer experience that causes frustrations or annoyances when buying or using a service and many brands have built on these to change this negative customer experience.
Think about your customers’ ‘pain points’
Start by thinking about what irritates customers about the product or service they currently use? It may be a small thing but maybe you could do it differently?
So think about …
- Do they have preconceived expectations about what it will be like to use the product or service? If so, can you turn it on its head and do things very differently?
- What causes them the most anxiety about the purchase? Can you do something to alleviate that anxiety?
- Can you make their life or job easier or show them in a good light?
What causes ‘pain points’?
At the root of most pain points are a few causes –
- Time pressures – so anything that makes things quicker and more streamlined are good pain alleviators.
- Social pressures – don’t underestimate our need to belong to a tribe and exert our social status or standing.
- Work pressures – can your product or service help people do better at work?
- Financial pressures – money is a great motivator and source of pain. so can you save money, give better value or help people be smarter with their spend?
How can you use these ‘pain points’ in your marketing?
You may be thinking that this is all well and good but how do you use them in your marketing? Well there are a number of opportunities:
1) Firstly, understand what they are struggling with and why.
2) Once you understand their pain points,you then need to show empathy and prove you understand their pain.
3) Lastly, show a solution that eases the pain.
You can use ‘pain points’ to shape the very nature of your product or service by making it something that specifically alleviates a pain point. It may be just a tweak of the way you do things that is needed.
Comparison websites such as comparthemarket.com have built their whole business model around easing the pain of entering your details to multiple websites in order to get quotes for things like insurance.
Amazon Prime takes away one of the biggest barriers to online shopping (the delivery charge) which opens the opportunities for even the smallest of value items to be bought online. They have even run an ad campaign around this with their ‘Thought it. Bought it.’ campaign.
It doesn’t have to be big brands, that can use an understanding of their customer’s pain points. For example, a local solicitor, offering Personal Injury claims, could market the service with the benefit of coming to see you at home, work or even hospital; which will alleviate the ‘pain point’ of coming to their office (especially if you are not well).
These could be changes you make to your offering, or things that already existed that you bring to the fore of your marketing messages. The trick is to understand the pain points, show you empathise and then give your audience a solution.
How do you find out your customers pain points?
If you deal with your customers face to face you should have a good feeling for their pain points, you probably just haven’t thought about them before. So what are the questions they always ask you? Do they have any preconceived prejudices about the products or services you provide that you have to overcome?
Make a concerted effort to find out what frustrates your customers and target audience. You can ask them face to face or look at what questions and chatter there is online. Ask your staff what questions they constantly get. You can even carry out some specific research with your customers; online survey tools such as Survey Monkey make this quick and easy to do.
Just a quick word of warning, however. Don’t always take people’s answers at face value … sometimes you may need to read between the lines and move past the stock answers. People always state things like price as being important, it rarely is as important as people would like us believe otherwise there would be no brands or premium products!
If you would like to speak to us about how you can turn your customers’ pain points into positive marketing messages and campaigns, call Alison Clynes on 01472 269 016.