Asking the Right Questions

Asking the Right Questions

I have tried starting this blog article six times now. I am sitting on a plane, returning from Costa Rica, and have tried six times to figure out how to begin putting my current thought process into words. I know what my point is, I know who my audience, but I struggle with my introduction because I don’t know what the right question is I am trying to answer.

And this is the problem with most companies trying to promote themselves with new marketing schemes and agendas. Million dollar budgets go into advertising, social media, TV promos, and more but the response rate is below expectations and ROI is not met. Why do so many marketing plans fail? They fail to answer the needs of the audience.

If I know you are an athlete and you are in the market for new shoes, telling you my shoes are best because their comfortable and inexpensive isn’t going to meet your needs. I need to go into the head of my audience and put those shoes on. What distinguishes my brand from a competitors? Could it be the breathable synthetic nylon we use or that our soles actually give you a bounce with each step? I must discover your needs and at times subtly tell you what you need if you didn’t think you did.

Successful marketing begins with analyzing the needs of your audience and convincing them that while you may not be the only one who can meet their needs, you are THE one that they want to meet their needs. The question is not, “How can I sell more or increase my retention,” but rather much more simple: “What else can I do for you?”

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4 responses to “Asking the Right Questions”

  1. Andrius says:

    I have found myself in a very similar position as you have described in the first paragraph. Not once.

    I liked this sentence you said: “I must discover your needs and at times subtly tell you what you need if you didn’t think you did.”

    truly important.

    I also remember sony saying “We do not create products for the market, we create a market for our products”. Made me smile the first time I read it :).

    Nice info!

  2. Steve says:

    First, Costa Rica is my favorite place on Earth! Second, the point of your article is so well taken. I find that marketers don’t understand their audience… especially not understanding what the *want* Sometimes they will address *needs* but miss the mark of getting into their head – as you correctly pointed out.

  3. Jacobson says:

    yes, this is true, but then again, the telling part, where you want to convince your potentional customer that he needs your product or service should not be to obviously persuasive and anoying.

    I noticed that these days many websites use exactly same sales page to convince the visitor that he really needs to buy this best ebook or software program in the world.
    When I see a 20 page sales page with 1000 reasons why I really NEED the product or service advertised, I instantly get a bad impression of the website, and start to doubt the product.

  4. william says:

    Thoroughly nice article. Great lines and examples !

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