Use story to understand your customer's journey and simplify your marketing part 2

If you love simple math that adds up to growing your impact, then you’re going to love this simple formula. Here it is. 

The more you know about your hero’s problem, the easier it is to be the solution + The easiest solution usually wins.

You want to win in helping your hero—your audience or customer. That’s why you’re here. So let me share two rules you can use to better understand the problem facing your audience or customer. If you’ll use them, you will make it easier for your audience to choose you. If you don’t, your audience will end up choosing someone else who did. There’s no neutral ground here.

The Setup

If all this series of articles did was help you simplify your marketing, that would be great. But you will also learn some great ways to improve your organization. And this comes free from your audience by way of their 5 movements. Last time we did a flyover of The 5 Tiers of Customers & Their Journey. We ended with some questions for you to evaluate how well you empathize with your audience.

2 Ways to Better Understand Your Audience’s Problem

There are 3 parts moving this drama along. (We called our drama The 5 Tiers of Customers & Their Journey.

  1. Our hero (your audience or customer) 
  2. Our hero’s problem or dilemma
  3. The solution to the hero’s problem (you and others who offer a possible remedy). 

Today we focus on the second part—our hero’s problem.

Rule 1 About Your Customer’s Problem: Size Matters

The size (or scope) of the hero’s problem matters. You must take this into account. A bump is different than a broken bone. The better you understand this, the better able you are to posit a simple solution to your audience. And the easiest solution usually wins. 

The size of your hero’s problem determines…

  • Speed (Urgency): How quickly the hero leaves the comforts of home. For example, a fire in the home means he’s off in a flash. A need for updated curtains likely means she will keep an eye out in the normal course of life.
  • Time: How long the hero will need to make a decision. Larger problems make for longer decisions. Choosing a refreshment happens faster than choosing a retirement plan.
  • Progress: How fast the hero will progress through the 5 tiers (based on urgency and time). Most industries have a standard pace or sales cycle. What’s yours? 
  • Awareness: How aware the hero is of the problem? Some problems are obvious or established. Some are not. Some are old but in need of a fresh solution. Consider home recipe and ingredient meal services like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh. Both are about 5 years old. They made us aware of a real, but new problem: how do normal, busy people cook great meals at home. Most of us did not wake up with that problem ‘top of mind’. Rather, it was just below the surface. Their marketing made the customer aware of the problem. Or take Cyber Monday. It’s a new twist on an old problem: where can I get ‘amazing’ deals on holiday gifts…AND avoid the crowds?

Rule 2: Popularity Matters.

The popularity of your hero’s problem matters. How many heroes have this problem? For example, every human needs water. So the market is overflowing with solutions for the customer. The more popular the problem, the more you need to be clear about your solution. This makes it easy for your audience to choose you. And I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this yet, but the easiest solution usually wins.

Take Action With This Free Resource

Not paying careful attention to your customer’s problem is like ignoring the lobster-red tint of your skin the first day at the beach. You’re gonna get burned…and it’s gonna hurt worse tomorrow. Grow your impact instead. Download this handy PDF. I’ve packed it with specific questions. You can work through them yourself or with your team. Each question helps you address the speed, time, progress, awareness and popularity of the problem facing your customer or audience. Remember, the more you know about your hero’s problem, the easier it is to be the solution. And the easiest solution usually wins. Grab it here.

Here’s The Good News

Did you know this entire series is based on a clear gospel principle? Jesus knew our problem well—sin. He took full ownership of our problem so he could be the solution. Note, he didn’t just provide a solution, he was the solution. You follow the pattern of Jesus when you make the effort to know your audience’s problem and serve them with a solution.

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