It’s the old breakup classic – “It’s not you, it’s me”, but spin it around and apply it to your digital marketing and all of a sudden it becomes a useful phrase to build your whole strategy on.

Often businesses attempt to sell too early in the marketing process, via an email newsletter, facebook post or other communication that cuts straight to the chase. There’s sometimes no attempt to explain to prospects how a product or service can help make things better for them.

Solving problems

A little while ago we decided to stop and think about the marketing campaigns we were running, and write a new, easier to understand plan. So here it is in all it’s glory! The whole basis of our marketing strategy is now focussed on a single question:

“What are our customers problems,
and how can we help to solve them?”

This way of thinking can be applied to a multitude of businesses. Consider a Financial Advisor who can help you get your finances in order and make sure there are no gaps in your policies. Or how about something completely different, perhaps a pet food manufacturer who can help ensure that your dog / horse / cat / budgie stays fit and healthy?

Note how neither of these examples actually refer to a product or price in their summary? It’s approached from a different angle. It’s no longer about you (the supplier), it’s about me (the customer), and how you can help solve my problems.

Website content

We’ve worked hard recently to provide plenty of content in our blog (the one you’re reading now) which exists purely to offer free help to all those wanting to manage their own digital marketing campaigns. We’re trying to offer advice that readers can take away and use to make things better for their businesses, and if it works for them then the chances are we’ll see them again, or they’ll tell their friends and colleagues. You could provide a similar service on your own website by making sure that your content attempts to do the same.

We recently read an excellent blog post from our friends at CustomerSure who have completely changed direction on their blog strategy:

cs-logo“Our main focus should purely be on creating the best, most engaging and popular blog we can for people who are as obsessed with growing a customer-centric business as we are.”

In other words, their main objective is now to focus on providing great content that helps solve problems, rather than focus on increasing site traffic and sales (which incidentally will probably still happen as a by-product of great content).

What’s the problem?

You can’t solve problems without really understanding what they actually are, and the best way to find out is to either ask your staff, or ask your customers. A potential customer’s problem often isn’t about how much things cost, so consider not leading your marketing on price lead promotions. Instead, focus on offers that makes prospects lives easier, or enrich them in some way.

Remember that different people have different problems. They’re as varied as needing to renew insurance policies online to deciding which bottles of wine to buy for the weekend!

Get social

A great way to help solve problems and build brand awareness at the same time is to use the ever increasing reach of social media. Monitor what those in your social circles are posting about, and if you can help them (note the terminology here – ‘help’ them, not ‘sell to them’) then dive in there and do it. You don’t need to just direct them to your own content, the key here is solving problems. If you manage to help somebody do this then the chances are they’ll remember you for it.

Apply problem solving to email marketing

What’s going to increase your email open / click through rate? A pure sales based subject, or a problem solving headline? We’d bet on the latter, but try it out sometime with an A/B test and see for yourself.

Don’t target markets, target people!

Real people within your target markets are the ones with the problems that need solving. Consider the needs of the individuals within a business rather than focussing entirely on the organisation.

Further reading…

There are plenty more posts on this blog that we’d love you to look through, but if you would like to receive regular email newsletters to help you with your digital marketing campaigns then you can sign up here.