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What Makes People Buy: Part 2

Once you have helped your potential customer realise that they have a problem (as we discussed in the previous article), you can move on to the second criteria, helping them understand what life can be like when that problem is solved. Doing this is closely related to the first criteria, helping them realise they have a problem in the first place.

Why People Buy | Part 2

Many new inventions and services came about because the old way of doing something wasn't working well, and a solution was needed to make it better, easier, or cheaper. But if that's how things have always been done, why would someone try to change it if they don't know how much better life could be?

For example, if you didn't know that using a spreadsheet to track your project progress wasn't the best way, or that your skin doesn't have to be oily, or that you don't have to spend hours baking cookies from scratch, you wouldn't look for a different way. You'd stick to what you know because you didn't know there could be a better of doing things.

Now, as we know, the first criteria that needs to be met before someone makes a purchase is that they need to be aware that they have a problem. We do this by curating our messaging. Once that's done, we move on to the second step: we need to amplify this problem by helping them understand what life can be like when this problem is solved. It’s not enough for your potential customer to know they have a problem, they need to actually WANT to solve their problem. Otherwise, they'll just know things could be better but won't feel the need to do anything about it.

How do we do this? Again, by crafting our marketing message and content.

What does this messaging look like?

For this, we need to go back to the sales funnel and think about where your potential customer is in this funnel. Before they knew they had a problem, they were at the top of the sales funnel. Now that they're starting to realise the problem, they're moving down the funnel. This means that your content should still focus on the problem and how it affects your potential customer's life, but now it also needs to show how much better life could be once the problem is solved.

Let’s take our project management situation above as an example. Here’s an example of what marketing messaging that amplifies the problem by helping the potential customer understand what life can be like if the problem is solved could look like:

“Stuck in a never-ending maze of cells and formulas? Managing projects with spreadsheets might seem like a cost-effective solution, but it could be costing you more in lost productivity and efficiency. Say goodbye to the endless loops of data entry and formula troubleshooting. Embrace a user-friendly interface that simplifies project management, so you can spend less time wrestling with spreadsheets and more time driving your projects to success.”

This can then be simplified into a marketing statement:

“Free yourself from spreadsheet complexities, embrace streamlined project management, and invest more time in project success with our user-friendly interface.”

And simplified even further into a slogan:

“Simplify Success: Ditch Spreadsheets, Embrace Efficiency!”

What type of content works best here?

The kind of content you use depends on your industry and what you're selling. However, whether it's user-generated content, infographics, how-to videos, webinars, or something else, at this stage, your messaging should still not be about you or your brand. Your messaging should be about the problem and showing how big a difference solving it can make. Notice how in the example, we didn't talk about the software's features, price, or anything like that because people aren't ready for that kind of information yet. That comes later. Right now, no matter what kind of content you make, make sure it shows how much better life could be once the problem is solved.

What makes people buy?

Once you have helped your potential customers realise that they have a problem, you can move on to the second criteria, helping them understand what life can be like when that problem is solved.

By aligning your messaging with where your customers are in the buying process, you can guide them from realising a problem exists to really wanting a solution. Remember, right now, it's more about the problem than your product, its features, or your prices.

At this stage, regardless of the format of your content, the goal of your content is to highlight the benefits of solving the problem that your customer is facing. You want to make it clear to them that sticking to the old way of doing things just doesn't make sense anymore and that a solution is the way to go.


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