Secret 1: Sell The Problem, Not The Solution
the first secret of viral marketing is to sell the problem, not the solution. So in this video we're going to talk about how to position your product or service so many more people will demand it before we talk about that. I want to talk about one of the world's most popular game shows jeopardy. Now, as most of you may know, unlike most game shows, jeopardy starts off by asking the contestants and answered and that forces them to guess the question that led to it. Here's an example. For those of you may be unfamiliar. The category is the civil war and here is the clue. The battles of Shiloh and collier ville were fought in this state, Jeff, what is Tennessee? You're right, you're the champion $75,000. Come on out here. As you can see, Jeopardy is a pretty mind boggling game and you're presented with the answer and forces think of all the possible questions that lead to it and when it comes to marketing, too many companies play jeopardy with their customers and let me explain. You see, ...
they market their product as the answer without telling their customers how or why it results a question in their life. For example, take a look at this ad for Samsung's notebook laptop. Yeah, I'll start the clip there so you won't get too bored because that one was pretty brutal. And Samsung has had a lot of great ads out there. We're going to cover a few more in this course. But let's just say that wasn't one of them. It's because they jumped right into flaunting features like the eighth generation intel core processor and Samsung's dual channel memory and I'm sorry. But what the heck do those even mean? I mean, why are those things important? What problem are they solving? In contrast, take a look at this ad from Google in terms of how they marketed their Chromebook laptop. Mm hmm. A serious error has occurred. A serious error has occurred. A serious error. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Okay. Mm hmm. Yeah. Mhm. Yeah. So do you see how differently they marketed their laptops compared to Samsung google lead with a problem before presenting their laptop as the answer. They lead with the problem of viruses, slow load times and errors. And they made you feel the pain of those problems before they offered a solution but where Samsung, they just offered the solution while forcing you to guess the problem. In reality could Samsung's laptop be a better product than Google's. Sure. But that's the power of marketing because they didn't set up the problem. Well, in the ad, they are much less effective at convincing you that their product was better and that's why it's important to always always lead with the need to tell the customer on the problem first, not just the solution. And I know that sounds counterintuitive because so many companies want to put their products on a pedestal. But the truth is your initial competitors aren't your actual competitors in your industry. Your customers have so many damn problems to worry about. So you have to make them feel like the problem you're solving is one of the most painful in their life and soon people will associate your product as the best solution. Now, you may be asking yourself, how do I even find out which problem is most painful to mind customers? And we're going to get into the tools of how to do exactly that here in a moment. But I want to share a couple more examples beforehand to really bring this point home, especially for those of you who may be wondering, okay, okay, john you know, I get it. I'm not marketing. These products are as sophisticated as a computer or laptop and I don't have a budget like google or Samsung to produce those high quality videos. And I hear you, I hear you. I totally hear you. So let's just say we're marketing something much simpler this time, Right? Let's say we're marketing a mouthwash and we're marketing through print ads, not video. Now, what do you think would be the most effective way of leading with the need of selling the problem, not the solution. Well, thanks to crest, we have an example of what not to do. I mean, take a look at this print ad they ran where they're promoting their wintergreen mouthwash. They tout the fact that it kills 99% of germs and promotes a healthier mouth. But again, they're playing jeopardy they're giving you the answer. You're not quite sure what the question is. Why is it important to kill the germs? Why should I have a healthier mouth? In contrast, take a look at how Listerine, their main competitor, marketed their mouth wash it's night and day in terms of how they position their product versus crust, you'll see that a recent ad campaign that they put together doesn't emphasize a picture of the product. Instead, Listerine says, no one follows bad breath and they put that slogan in a corner and instead emphasize a sailor with bad breath, trying to show a captain that they're on the verge of hitting an iceberg that captain doesn't really care to listen to the sailor. It's just a social commentary on how we want to stay away with people with bad breath, even if they have something important to say. Now, I want to show you another example that brings this point home. Take a look at this another ad in that same blistering campaign, this time as a woman trying to convince an army general that opposing Greeks are coming and infiltrating their city with a trojan horse. But like the captain in the last ad, this army general doesn't care to listen to someone with bad breath and once again, we see the tag line of the body. No one follows bad breath, that tagline is why you need blistering, it's the problem. It's a setup, right? They lead with the need and by showing you these humorous and exaggerated examples of the sailor and the woman. They emphasized how bad breath can hurt your social capital and lead you to lose respect in different scenarios. So you want to fix those problems then you should get Listerine. Right? Do you see how much more powerful that setup is compared to crest? Who just told you about their product without being clear on why their product was important and what problems they were solving. In fact, Listerine is focused on selling the problem has been so effective that they've been running different versions of the same exact marketing campaign since the 1920s. I kid you not back then. They marketed the pitfalls of this disease called halitosis and there's this medical condition that urgently required treatment and cause you to be a social outcast. Again, Listerine just popularizes. It wasn't really a medical term that doctors through around back then. And here's the Listerine and where they say just this, they say halitosis makes you unpopular and you see a picture of a woman feeling like a third wheel as a couple behind them is all lovey dovey. And you see another headline that says halitosis is inexcusable and can be instantly remedy, right? They're setting up the solution and they say lucky for you. That remedy is Listerine again, they're selling the problem before selling the solution. In fact, Listerine ran another ad in the 1920s I got a lot of, a lot of attention for better or for worse. Um They talked about how you'll always be a bridesmaid, but never a bride if you have bad breath again, they're really making you feel the pain of the problem. And they doubled down on this strategy in the first video ads as well. And I know we were just talking about print and talking about smaller budgets, but I want to show how this strategy really really came together more holistically. So take a look look at this jane has a pretty face. Men notice her lovely figure, but never linger long Because Jane has one big minus on her report card. Halitosis. Bad breath. Why depend on toothpaste jane? Use Listerine antiseptic. The most common cause of bad breath is germs in the mouth. You see, no toothpaste is antiseptic. So no toothpaste kills germs as Listerine does by millions. That's why Listerine stops bad breath four times better than any toothpaste. Listerine antiseptic stops bad breath four times better than any toothpaste. Okay, that's a pretty harsh ad for a lot of reasons and it definitely would not run or be okay in today's world or even back then. But you see what Listerine is doing right there, emphasizing the problem before talking about their solution. And let's be honest with each other here will bad breath actually keep you from finding your significant other. Probably not. Probably not. But customers who saw those ads certainly felt like that was the case. They felt the pain of the problem race to find a solution. And lo and behold blistering was that solution. And it's no surprise that blistering sales skyrocketed during this era and they still use different versions of that same marketing strategy over 1990 years later. And now there's countless more examples that we could talk about why it's important to lead with the need. But at this point I want to talk about how we can go through an exercise together to really put your skills to the test to make sure that next time you're working with a client or another brand that you're not forcing their customers to play jeopardy. So let's take a quick quiz here and to set it up. Here is the situation, let's say your marketing and acne cream for teenagers. How would you go about promoting it? Would you a emphasize the acne creams panted formula. Would you be advertise how the cream will restore self confidence and self esteem or see hype up how the cream has twice as much aloe as a leading competitor. The correct answer of course is beat And to show you why I want to share a case study from client that I worked with called Acne Pro one. Initially here's how their homepage looked. You can see that they emphasize their panted technology for skincare. But I had to break the hard truth to them that nobody really cares about your new patented technology. So we work together to refocus the marketing campaign on the problem, not the solution. We changed their slogan to be the following. Let's be clear. Which is a word play on the common phrase. So many teenagers struggle with self confidence. We position acne pro one as a way to not only feel better about your skin but to feel better about yourself and who you are By implementing these changes across their packaging, their website and their social media. We not only increase their engagement but also their sales as well. And so all of that begs the question. All right, john well how did you find out which problem was most important to their customers and for you, how do you find out which problems are most important to your customers? Are the clients that you're working with? Well, for that, I want to tell you about my secret weapon, which is a tool called google trends. And I'm truly baffled by how so few people know about this tool, let alone use it. You see, google trends is a free tool that analyzes what people are searching for. Think about that. It's like being able to do an extensive market research without having to pay the fees of an expensive focus group or marketing consulting firm. So by using google trends, we could get a glimpse into what people are searching for, what they care about, what problems they're trying to solve on a day to day basis. And then we could pick how to position our product based on that data. Now I'm a big believer into getting into the details and showing you the behind the scenes process. So let's go through this step by step together. Alright first let's type in google dot com slash trends into our browser. Now that we have the homepage, let's type in how to have clear skin and it makes sense right? People who want an acting cleanser will likely have the problem of pimples and acting right? Makes sense. Now let's try a slightly different angle and type in how to be more confident as a search term to compare to. Now we're going a little bit deeper here than just skin problems. And personally I remember how self conscious I felt when I had acne growing up and really hindering my self confidence. So I'm curious to see if the data confirms that other people are searching and trying to solve that problem as well. And boom, right off the bat, we see that there are people are much more interested in solving this problem and searching for it than just trying to solve acting problems. Now let's try another angle how to be more attractive. Right can we test whether people may be concerned about solving problems related to attracting the opposite sex and going on more dates and you know, we can see if there's a relationship there between acting and is that related to confidence? Yes, absolutely. But it's more of a targeted version of the problem. Now, let's throw in another search term. Let's try more professional angle here. Let's type in how to be a better public speaker which may speak to the group of adults who still have acne and may struggle with presenting in front of colleagues. And we see that that search interest for that term is nowhere near as high as the phrase. So worth testing. Worth testing. But ultimately, the data shows that other problems have more promise and potential in terms of our positioning. Now for clients, I keep going through this process, I try out more phrases to try multiple variations on those phrases. And I see what different regions and what different time periods work the best. And I really encourage you to do the same and do that really lengthy process for each client or any project or any brand that you may be working on because it really shows you that the data doesn't lie. And it tells you the problems that people care about most in their lives. And ultimately, for this case, study how to be more confident was the most highly searched phrase versus everything else that we looked up. And you can see it's a much more universal problem to speak towards than just clearing up your acne or touting some patented formula, which nobody really cares about at the end of the day. So that's what informed our marketing decision. That's what informed the changes. It's no surprise that change is much more traffic and conversions as a result. So now that you know why it's important to sell the problem first and how to find out which problem is most pressing using data, I want to say congrats for finishing this lesson, our first lesson in our series, and I want to see in our next video, we're gonna talk about how to increase the share ability of your social media posts so we can dive in even deeper. So I'll see you there.