Why a Problem Solving Approach is Best
2022 has managed to get off to a worse start than the two years preceding it, and that is no mean feat. As the cost of living spirals and conflicts rage on, we are all feeling the pinch as well as further anxieties over how we are going to afford necessities. While there have long been hundreds of thousands of families struggling to afford food and heating, there are now over 14 million people living in poverty in the UK and this number is rising steadily. Households who may have been “just about managing” up til now are finding that rising fuel costs alongside increases in food and utilities mean tough decisions have to be made.
Businesses are now faced with an increasingly complex marketing conundrum: how to market to a consumer base that doesn't have the level of disposable income they once had to play with? Even B2B companies face this issue as rising material and utility costs squeeze profit margins to breaking point.
The answer to this is to focus on a problem solving approach to marketing your product or service. At a time when we are facing more problems than ever, solutions are much more valuable, especially so if they can remove or reduce some anxiety. This perspective has always been a useful angle to take as it puts you in the shoes of your customers; now the problem solving approach is the biggest factor in a purchase decision.
To turn this approach into a workable campaign, consider a marketing email or social media advert with calls to action posed as solutions people want for the problems they face. Let's take the example of a hypothetical online jewellery company; their products aren't daily essentials so continuing to make sales in the current economic climate could be a challenge without some savvy marketing. The problems this hypothetical company could solve include:
- What meaningful birthday gift can I give?
- I need an anniversary present but haven't got time to go to the shops
- There aren't any jewellery stores near me
- Where can I find modern cost effective jewellery gifts?
A possible online campaign geared to providing solutions for these issues is an email marketing campaign, using the answer to these questions as a subject line (pulling a list of existing customers who purchased birthstone jewellery 12 months ago would create a pre-qualified list of potential return customers who will be looking for another birthday gift). Social media adverts could provide answers as calls to action, such as:
- Looking for jewellery delivered quickly?
- Can't get to the shops for that birthday gift?
- Need a personal gift for your loved one?
This gives the consumer easy and appealing options to the problem of finding a nice birthday or anniversary gift, neatly solving a problem without the consumer having to leave their sofa.
Using a problem solving approach to marketing in these times works because you are removing some worry, providing an easy solution to issues that may have been causing extra stress, and doing all this in the most accessible way for the customer. If you can make someone's life easier you may even get a lifelong customer into the bargain.
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