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The Problems Your Customer Faces

Lesson 17 from: Create a Marketing Plan & Grow Your Standout Business

Tara McMullin

The Problems Your Customer Faces

Lesson 17 from: Create a Marketing Plan & Grow Your Standout Business

Tara McMullin

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Lesson Info

17. The Problems Your Customer Faces

Lesson Info

The Problems Your Customer Faces

So, I want you to think about one particular product, service, or offer that you have on that 12 month marketing calendar. Even better, if it's the next product, service, or offer that you're going to make. Because from here on out, we can start building your campaign, so by the end of this class, you have that campaign completely mapped out in nitty, gritty detail. You guys all have that offer in mind? All right, now that you have that offer in mind, I want you to think about the problem that it solves. The problem that it solves. Now I know that can kind of gum up the works for people sometimes, thinking about problems. Maybe you don't think you have a business or a product that solves a problem, instead I want you to think about desire. And the absence of having what you desire, that's a problem. So, if your customers have a desire, if there's something that they want and they don't have that thing, that's the problem. I just want to make sure we're including everyone here. Some of ...

you know this is the problem solve, some of you know my customers want something. That's fine, just remember that the absence of having what we want, is a serious problem. (laughter) You got the problem in mind, now. There are 5 different ways that customers think about their problem, or think about the ways they're going to solve the problems that they have. The first one is when they are completely unaware of their real problem. And guess what? The vast majority of your audiences are completely unaware of their real problem. The fact of the matter is, they're in pain, or they're experiencing frustration, or they're feeling overwhelmed, they're feeling some discomfort, but they don't know why. They can name that pain, which tends to be a pretty surface level kind of thing, they don't understand what's causing that pain. In fact, they may not even be asking themselves the question: What could be causing this pain? They're just focused on the itch. I've said that a couple of times, now. Our customers have an itch that they keep trying to scratch. The itch is the unaware piece. It's the, "I don't know what the real problem is." The mosquito bite might be the real problem, an allergic reaction might be the real problem, but they're just focused on how to stop itching. So, all of our customers have some itch they're constantly trying to scratch. And some, for a lot of our customers, it's the only thing that they're aware of. They're in pain, or they have an itch, but they don't know why. They don't know how to solve the underlying problem so that the itch doesn't come back. Another segment of our customers are problem-aware. These people do know what the real problem is. They know what the problem is, but they don't know how to solve it. So, if you're thinking about that product, or service, or offer that you're going to be making next, and the problem that it solves, these people do know what that problem is, but they don't know how to solve it. The next group of people, fittingly, is solution-aware. They know what the solution is to their problem, but they don't know how to execute it, they don't actually know how. They know what the solution is, but they don't know how to solve their problem. They know what the solution is, but they don't know how to solve it. The next group of people are product-aware. They know what product they want to chose to solve their problem. And then finally, there are customers, most of the time they're customers, but they can be prospects, too, that are most aware. These are people who love you. These are the people that say, "You make anything, I will give you money, I want it." Here, take my money people. I love those people (laughter) "Here, take my money." "Oh, you have something new? Take my money" (laughter) They're awesome. Those are your brand evangelists. They're the people that know you and your company and what you do inside, and out, they're constantly referring new people to you, they want to tell all their friends, they're most aware. Now, what I see, from members and clients, is that the vast majority of you are marketing only to most aware and product-aware people. You don't take the time to truly define the solution outside of the product that you offer. You don't take the time to truly define the real problem, and you don't take the time, for sure, to talk to the people who are in pain, or feeling that itch, but don't know why. And when you only market to product-aware and most aware people, you are choosing to market to the very, very, very, very smallest group of people who could buy what it is that you're offering. And, so, one of the reasons you're constantly having to reinvent how your business makes money, is because you're constantly running out of people who are product-aware and most aware. So, you're having to constantly make new things for them, because they can't buy the same thing over and over and over again. Some of your businesses, that works. You're still stagnating out, but for the vast majority of us, our clients, our customers, our members can't buy the same thing over and over again. So, instead we need to branch out, we need to go into bigger and bigger segments of our audience. We need to hit the solution people, the product-aware people, and the unaware people. Now, let me show you what this actually looks like in practice, and I chose a relationship coach as an example. We'll get into more examples here a little bit later, but relationship coaching is what we're gonna start with. So, unaware folks might say something like, "My marriage sucks. I might be married to the wrong person" (laughing) Right? It's that itch like, "I can't believe this is the person I have to wake up to every morning." (laughter) I've never been in that situation, no. (laughing) So, that's a big group of people out there. There are a lot of people that say, "Oh gosh, my marriage sucks, I might be married to the wrong person." It doesn't really get at what the real problem is, it doesn't really get to how to really solve it, it certainly doesn't make me think, "Oh, I need a relationship coach." If I think I'm married to the wrong person, I'm calling up a divorce lawyer, not a relationship coach. The real problem, though, is that my spouse and I can't communicate without arguing. That combative communication, that's the real problem. In this example, I'm not saying in all marriages, in this example. Thinking from the relationship coach's perspective, that's the problem she wants to solve, and so there's a group of people, a segment of her audience that's aware that the reason their marriage feels so icky is actually just because they can't communicate without arguing. It's not that they're married to the wrong person, just need a better way to talk to them. The solution is that the want to find a way, or they need way a way to communicate without being combative. They know that if I simply can communicate my needs in a non-combative way, I'll have a better time in this relationship, maybe my marriage can be saved. So, that's when people are solution-aware, that's what they are thinking about from this relationship coach's perspective. Product-aware is actually being aware of relationship coaching as a way to solve this. I want to work with a relationship coach to hone my approach on asking for what I want. So, costumers who are product-aware are actually saying, "This is what I'm looking for," "This is the particular need that I have, "I need a relationship coach," "I need a business coach," "I need a creativity instigator," "I need a content marketing expert," "I need a speaking coach." (laughing) They know exactly what it is that they're looking for. In fact, they know they need your solution, as well. Then, finally, most aware, the most aware segment might say something like, "I absolutely love working with my coach and can't wait to go on the next retreat she offers!" She's one of those, they're one of those take my money people, we love them, we love them. So, this is the spectrum, this is the journey from unaware to most aware. Something magical that happens is that you could start to see, "Okay, this is the story I need to tell. My marriage sucks, but maybe not. Maybe I just need to see the problem differently, I need to address what the real problem is." So, you get educated on the real problem. Once you're educated on the real problem, you start to see what the solution is. Once you know what the solution is, you can evaluate your options and choose the right one for you. Once you've evaluated your options, you are associated, you're connected to a particular brand that you love. This is the journey that all of our costumers go on at one point or another. Sometimes, people come to you solution-aware, sometimes they come to you problem-aware, because they've done that work, they've taken that journey, on their own, with someone else, with a different company. But, at some point in every market for every product we've ever bought, we've gone on this entire journey. Make sense? Mm hmm. Okay, cool. We're gonna keep going, gonna look at this from so many different angles you're gonna be sick of it, except that you're gonna love it. (laughter) So, when you're trying to market to an unaware segment, that's when the brand awareness piece of your campaign really comes into play. Because you need to start associating your brand, your company, your point of view with the particular itch that your costumers want to scratch, whether that's the itch that you scratch, or not. Okay? Whether you're the mosquito bite fixer, or whether you're the allergic reaction fixer, your goal is to talk about the itch first, and to connect the itch to your brand. The same thing happens with problem-aware. So, another piece of the brand awareness puzzle, is identifying that particular problem, the real problem, the core problem that your costumers need to solve. Part of that is helping educating them on that problem and part of it is actually talking to them from the perspective of them actually understanding that problem already, that's the brand awareness piece. We can also start to into lead generation here. Where we can ask people, "Is this your problem? Are you aware of this problem?" And we will talk about how you do that in just a little bit, but we start getting into that part of the campaign. By the time we reach the solution-aware phase, we are deep into lead generation. Either people have already raised their hands, or we are asking them to raise their hands for a particular solution. And then finally, when we get to the product-aware phase and the most aware phase, that's when we're looking for conversion. That's when we're pitching our offer, we're putting that call to action out there, we're closing the sale. So brand awareness, lead generation, conversion. That's what, every time we're running a campaign, we're helping people take step steps from unaware to problem-aware, problem-aware to solution-aware, solution-aware to product-aware, product-aware to most aware. Make sense? Okay, let's look at it from a different angle. What does that actually look like in practice? Well, to go after that unaware segment of your audience and to attract more people, you might write a blog post that's simply titled Wonder If You're Married to the Wrong Person? This Could Be The Real Problem. So, see what I've done here? The first part of that headline is the itch they're trying to scratch, "Oh gosh, I'm married to the wrong person." And then I'm saying, "You know what? That might not be it, here's what the right problem might be." So, I'm taking what they're aware of, and I'm educating them on the real problem. This is the beauty of costumer awareness, by the way, is that as you start to identify each phase of what your costumers know, or are aware of, you not only see how to reach them, but you see where to take them next. So, throughout this example, you're going to be seeing me reaching out and saying, "Here is this you, now you need to go this direction." Problem-aware people, for them I might write another blog post, or a podcast episode, and title that one 3 Things You Need To Say To Avoid Fighting With Your Partner. So, now I've named the core problem, fighting with your partner, and I'm using that to reach people who are problem-aware. On top of that, I've taken those unaware people to a new stage of their journey. Next up is solution-aware, this might be a webinar that I'm offering, or a talk that I'm giving at a local event: The Secret to Peaceful Conversations With Your Partner. Peaceful conversations is going to be the solution, that's the solution I want to make them aware of. And so I'm gonna share that at this particular lead generation event. Where do I go from lead generation to conversion, so I'm gonna introduce my product. This might be the headline of my coaching page, my work with me page as a relationship coach: Now You Can Have Peaceful Conversations Without Giving Up What You Want. And so maybe I've got a 6 week, peaceful-conversations coaching package, this is the headline of that page. So I've taken them from their itch, to the real problem, I've presented them with a solution, and now I'm gonna say, "Not only is that the solution, but I'm the one who can help you execute that," or, "My product is gonna help you get that done." Then finally, most aware, this is kind of gonna be a follow-up offer maybe: Join Me For The Peaceful Marriage Retreat In New York City. It's another sales pitch, it's a direct headline, and all it tells me is that if you love peaceful marriage, you love me and you love New York City, you should totally give me your money. (laughter) Okay? So, this is a whole journey. This is a content marketing progression that takes people from where they're at, to where you need them to be to actually buy what it is that you're selling. So they recognize what you're selling as the solution to their problem, and that problem being the cause of their pain.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Tara Gentile - 12 Month Marketing Calendar
Tara Gentile - Implementation Month

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Tara Gentile - Campaign Building Blocks
Tara Gentile - Create a Marketing Plan Workbook
Tara Gentile - E-mail Marketing Templates
Tara Gentile - Sales Page Templates

Ratings and Reviews


Tara, the information you delivered in this class is invaluable. I am in the launching stage of my business, and I know I need to market my business and services and I know I need to write a plan, but I didn't know how to do it. Instagram, content upgrades, Facebook, email marketing, webinars, blogging, etc. etc., I know it all. But I just couldn't get my head around how to truly use marketing campaigns for my business, and especially for my services, to reach my ideal client, help my ideal client and to reach my ideal income. You explained the why behind marketing campaigns and you showed us how to create a marketing campaign from A to Z. The whole sha-bang! You gave me the knowledge and inspiration in how to market my services, how many people I ideally want to reach and above all, a framework I can use time and time again to create a marketing campaign. I purchased the class right after seeing the live broadcast so I can use this class for planning all my next marketing campaigns. You clarified a lot and I am much more confident (and so much more less stressed haha) in creating a marketing campaign plan that works for my business and services. I learned a lot! Thank you! P.S. Love the hot seats.

Susan Best Jones

Tara, I love your creative live events I always learn so much and this time was the same. Perfect timing on this info, it is exactly what I need right now and I feel confident that I can do it! I joined CoCommercial and am excited about that. Thank you, Tara.


This class is well worth the time! Tara does an excellent job of not only providing a step by step system for creating a marketing campaign, but she provides clear context and insights along the way. This is important so that you're not just going through the motions and crossing your fingers that your marketing will work. She helps you understand the strategy behind the scenes so you can get the most out of the work you put in. I highly recommend this course to anyone considering doing their own marketing, or people who are already doing their own marketing and want to feel more empowered and get better results.

Student Work