You’ve probably heard the term “pain point” before. You’ve probably been told that the best, most successful business ideas offer solutions to customers’ pain points. They solve problems and are innovative and groundbreaking.
However, unless you have a business degree or are a marketing professional, you might not know what pain points are. Which makes it impossible to figure out how you can use them in your business and marketing to get more customers. Here’s what you need to know.
Internal and External Pain Points
The first thing you should know is that there are both internal and external pain points in any business.
External pain points would be problems that all of your potential customers face. These are the big picture problems that are solved by innovation. Think about how Airbnb changed the way we rent short term, or how Facebook connected people around the world. There was a need, entrepreneurs found it, and they created a new solution.
Internal pain points are pain points that are present in industries that already exist. These might be things like high cost, poor customer service or complicated contracts. They don’t require a brand-new invention to fix. However, the businesses that find ways to eliminate or minimise them for their clients are well positioned to become industry leaders.
What Do Your Customers Want?
The next thing you need to consider when using pain points for marketing strategy, is what the specific wants and needs of your customers are. These might differ according to your business, and it’s very likely that there is more than one pain point you need to address.
Businesses that sell to consumers might find that their pain points are things like office hours, price and customer service. By finding ways to address those issues, you could find the ideal product or service that puts you ahead of the pack.
If your customers are mostly other businesses, things like flexible payment terms, large stock holding, and speedy delivery might all be business pain points that you could address to make your company and service offering more attractive.
The important thing is to consider what your customers want, rather than what you want to sell them. Use this as the basis for a pain point analysis. Brainstorm things that you know your customers want or have asked about. Read reviews of your own business, and your competition, and look for common issues.
Once you know what your clients want, you are better equipped to find ways to give it to them, and, by incorporating them into your marketing strategy, to tell them about your solution.
Ways to Use Pain Points in Marketing
Pain points are needs that your customer has that are not being met, or not being met sufficiently, they’re also a great way to position yourself as the go to solution provider in your industry or area. There are several ways you can use common pain points to generate more business by marketing. Here is a list of customer pain points that might give you a few ideas:
Financial Pain Points
In marketing, the lowest common denominator is often price, and while we wouldn’t recommend trying to compete on price alone (it’s a race to the bottom!), it is a good idea to use offer a great deal as part of your marketing strategy.
Customer loyalty or points programs are a great way to do this. Reward your customers from buying from you frequently. Or you could offer a fantastic deal on a “loss leader” to get new customers in the door, like most grocery stores do when they deliver flyers.
If you have a great deal on a product or service, tell people about it in your print media marketing, on social media platforms and in traditional media!
Customer experience is more important to business success than ever before. If you can find new ways to delight your existing customer base every time, they deal with you, they will become part of your sales team.
In fact, not only are people using online reviews to make purchasing decisions, but over 80% have said, in some studies, that they trust online reviews as much as they would a recommendation from a friend.
If you aren’t already actively encouraging your happy customers to leave reviews for you online as a part of your digital marketing strategy, you should start! Online reviews are the new word of mouth marketing, and if your customers value the experience, customers service and after sales service they will get from you, this is one of the best ways to reach them.
There’s a reason why global ecommerce grew 18% last year, and why customers are spending nearly 3 trillion US dollars online every year. It’s the same reason online business is putting traditional retailers who have been around for decades out or business: convenience.
Your customers are busy. They don’t have time to browse and shop around the way they once did. They might not even make it out of the office before your brick and mortar locations close. But if they can shop online from the comfort of their homes, or order online and collect when it suits them, you’re already ahead of the pack.
Finding ways to make the purchasing process easier for your customers will solve a big pain point and is a great marketing hook to get people spending their money with you, rather than your competition.
Innovative Product or Service
Another great way to use customer pain points to grow your small business is to develop a completely new, completely unique product or service that addresses their needs in a way that no one else has before. The great thing about this is that you might be able to patent your idea, and new inventions or innovations are often of great interest to the media, which is great for your marketing strategy!
Putting It Together
The truth is, marketing strategy is a lot like high school mathematics. When you first start learning about it, everything seems disjointed and unrelated, and then one day, everything comes together in the form of calculus, and you understand why you needed to learn all that seemingly unrelated stuff.
Modern day marketing is the same thing. Whether it’s SEO for your website, responsive design, content marketing, press releases or social media, everything in your marketing toolbox is related, and they all feed and grow off each other.
Pain point marketing is no different, and you will almost certainly use tools and tricks you have used elsewhere in your overall marketing strategy to devise and implement this plan. A typical pain point marketing strategy might look something like this:
- Use your existing customer personas or develop new ones to identify pain points for your target customer types.
- Create a value proposition canvas that aligns your product and service benefits and features with those pain points.
- Develop a marketing strategy that effectively communicates these solutions to your target customers.
- Create viral and shareable marketing collateral to spread your message over multiple channels.
It may sound complex, but the basis of this type of marketing is to find a problem, figure out how you solve it, and then tell as many people as you can about your solution.
Improving the Customer Experience Improves Your Bottom Line
The simple fact is that businesses are no longer dictating what people should want. We’re no longer using push marketing to beam our ideas into their living rooms, and businesses that do not spend time listening to what their clients actually want are finding themselves in big trouble.
Business in the new millennium isn’t about what you want to sell or how you want to tell your customer about it. It’s about listening to what they want, finding ways to give it to them, and then using marketing strategies like social media to get them interested in how you are helping them.
If you can solve a problem for the people you want to sell to, and make sure they know it’s an option, you will be well on your way to business success, and if your pain point is that you don’t know where to start, or you find this type of marketing overwhelmingly, Polkadot Communications is happy to help.
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