Problems and Opportunities

Where to spend my never-quite-enough time and money?

That question constantly confronts every consumer, every entrepreneur trying to bootstrap her passion and her good idea into a thriving business, every small business owner juggling one-too-many flaming torches, every corporate manager faced with conflicting deadlines, quarterly objectives, and a limited budget.

Whether you’re a start-up entrepreneur or a corporate marketing manager, catching the attention of potential customers is one of the toughest hurdles on your path to business success.

1. Understand the Problems and Opportunities that motivate your potential customers, and focus on the factors that bring them satisfaction and success.  Customers don’t much care whether you prosper or fail, but they’ll reward you handsomely if you can help make them rich.

2. Identify how your product or service affects the things your customers care about most.  Then concentrate on how you can help solve their problems and realize their opportunities.  No matter how cool and innovative you think your product is, it doesn’t matter a bit if your customers can’t see how it builds their own success and satisfaction.

3. Talk about your offering in words and images that resonate with your customers, in venues (electronic, print, or person to person) where your customers are most likely to see your message.  Educating your potential customers, and influencing their behavior, is expensive.  Make sure you’re investing your time, money, and effort in communications that potential customers will actually see, in language and images they’ll embrace.

4. Differentiate yourself.  Your competitors are trying hard to monopolize your customers’ attention.  Make yourself stand out by making yourself more relevant to your customers’ most pressing problems and opportunities.

Getting started?  Set aside a good block of time so that you and your colleagues can step away from the daily press of business.  Then, force yourself to look at the world through the eyes of your potential customer: What are the keys to their success?  What are their most urgent problems, and what opportunities are most important to their future?  What threats do their competitors pose?

If you don’t have the time and resources, or if you just need some help in developing another perspective, consider engaging an independent consultant like Marketing Intelligence & Strategy Assoc.

3 Responses to “Problems and Opportunities”

  1. sid says:

    Now this is off-topic, I know, but can you say me how did you fix the permalink issue? I came here from the WP forum. :)

  2. Bob Brothers says:

    “sid” My permalink issue has not been totally solved. Older permalinks, in a custom format, now connect to my blog home page, not the originally referenced post. It appears that the newest version of WP converted the older permalinks to the new WP default structure.

    I repeatedly changed my WP permalinks settings back and forth from the custom structure to the default, and I repeatedly changed back and forth from my custom page format to the WP default. However, I suspect that my actions did not partially restore my broken links. I think that WP made a temporary fix.

    Good luck –

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