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Why problem solving should be the only value proposition you use

People like brands like P & G, Warby Parker and Apple.

But, can you guess what these three brands have in common?

They solve all the problems of consumers.

P & G invented a better way to mop with the Swiffer.

Warby Parker has created stylish and affordable eyewear.

Steve Jobs of Apple introduced the iPhone as a "smarter mobile device."

These brands made their own value propositions by solving problems. They are resolvers of creative problems.


In the spirit of these creative problem solvers, I will analyze the concept of designing a value proposition by going outside the box with problem solving.

But before digging, we must first understand how we got there.

We were living in a world where "marketing strategies" boiled down to bombarding the public with messages about how your product was the best.

If this sounds a bit simplistic to you, it's because it was the case.

And this raises an obvious question: did it work?


Why did it work? Well, it was largely because of the media that dominated the consumer's attention.

The promotion of television and radio has had a considerable impact on the effectiveness of a brand's marketing efforts. Television advertising alone accounted for 2% of US GDP after 1950.

And if I had to mention one thing that made these marketing strategies so successful, it would be the traditional consumer culture.

Passive media channels were a base for this culture. Television and radio constantly interrupted the user's experience to broadcast advertisements.

In the absence of other options, the traditional consumer has become accustomed to the idea that repetitive advertisements are part of everyday life.

But all this changed once the Internet began to gain popularity.

Embracing the Nature of Digital Media

The marketing rules of engagement changed suddenly and completely.

The experience has gone from passive to interactive. The average person has acquired the ability to choose what marketing content they have consumed with a simple small search engine:

<img src="" alt=" google homepage 2018" class = "full-size alignnone wp-image-37527" />

This transition would eventually determine the future of digital marketing strategies and fundamentally change the way companies communicate with consumers.

And this is not so surprising when you stop and think about it.

In a world where ads were the status quo, consumers did not really have a choice.

But the moment when consumers became aware of a life without advertising was the moment when traditional marketing began its quiet death.

That 's how we arrived today with 615 million devices that use adblock and 59% of the millennia that pop the ads on YouTube.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" Estimated advertising revenue on youtube "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-37528 "/> <img src="" alt=" ad revenue estimate youtube" class = "alignnone size-full wp-image- 37528 "/>

With its 92 million consumers, Spotify has a large number of users who do not even want to pay more for ad-free streaming services.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" spotify active users every month "class =" alignnone size-full wp-image-37529 " <img src="" alt=" spotify monthly active users" class = "alignnone size-full wp-image- 37529 "/>

Of course, all of this speaks to a bigger problem.

Frankly, the modern consumer plays with a different set of rules.

They reject the idea that a jingle or a self-promotional television advertisement should be enough to make a living.

If you want their attention, you will have to give them something that traditional marketing strategies can not: real value .

Actual value is about problem solving

At this point, some small business owners might say, "Is the value of my product / service not enough?"

Well, the answer is yes and no.

The true value is not the frequency with which you self-promote. It's about solving problems.

Having a valuable product or service is important, and it will always be the case. there is no doubt.

Buffer did not become a Buffer just because they had a nice interface. They have built a brand around the offer of a social media solution for consumers looking for an easier way to share content.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" buffer value proposition "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-37530 "/> <img src="" alt=" buffer value proposition" class = "alignnone full-size wp-image- 37530 "/>

Buffer has 82,156 paying customers. They have a 19-person advocacy team that helps their clients solve their problems.

In this highly competitive and ever-changing digital media landscape, you need to stand out before and after the sale.

One of the easiest ways to convey the problem that you are solving is content marketing.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" content marketing costs less "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-37531 "/> <img src="" alt=" content marketing costs less" class = "alignnone size-full wp-image-37531" />

Especially on social media, content is the key to developing a relationship with consumers.

Audiences are constantly in need of new content that is worth seeing.

And when you try to solve problems with your content, there is an approach that all small businesses can adopt:

Educational content.

This is the cornerstone of most successful brand blogs, and for good reason.

Sites like NerdWallet are proud of their ability to provide users with this type of content.

NerdWallet ranks among more than 1.3 million keywords in the personal finance consulting industry.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" nerd wallet credit card keyword "class =" alignnone size-full wp-image-37532 "/> <img src="" alt=" nerd wallet credit card keyword" class = "alignnone size -full wp-image- 37532 "/>

Here's what Maggie Leung, vice president of content for NerdWallet, said in an interview:

"At NerdWallet, we see people of content as an investment."

But to arrive here is not easy.

To begin content ideation to achieve NerdWallet status, you must understand your audience.

And to better understand your audience, you will need to use tools and strategies to generate content ideas.

Your content is not only practical. This is the backbone of authority online, and this gives you the opportunity to connect with consumers.

And that brings us to the most important reason for focusing on educational content:

He actually sells the brand without selling a product.

Think about the American Express OPEN forum.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" Open American forum in 2018 "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-37533 "/> <img src="" alt=" Open American forum in 2018" class = "alignnone size-full wp- image- 37533 "/>

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This is what Courtney Colwell, director of content marketing at the American Express OPEN Forum, told Entrepreneur about the forum:

"All of this stems from our mission of helping these companies to do more business.With our small business customers, their growth feeds ours.It is win-win if we can help them succeed. "

They have 109.9 million cards in circulation and a valuation of about 18.3 billion dollars. They do not need to worry about selling their brand. This forum does it for them.

Or take Irene Pavico, videographer and professional post-production, for example.

Irene has created a course called THE iPhone Film School to help people get started in video marketing that uses only an iPhone.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" the school of cinema iphone "class =" alignnone size-full wp-image-37534 "/>

<img src="" alt=" the school of cinema iphone" class = "alignnone size-full wp-image -37534" />

She explains that those who are just starting to make videos may not want to invest in an expensive camera. So, she wants to show you how to get started with the technology that everyone has: an iPhone.

The approach of Irene shows that she understands her audience. It breaks down the pain points that they experience when they embark on video marketing and then solve them.

In terms of educational content, there are usually two categories you can focus on.

The most common that companies tend to address is the tangible solutions category.

Tangible solutions relate to here and now.

No matter what industry your company is in, your audience probably has a lot of problems and issues that they need help with.

That's why consumers are 131% more likely to buy a brand after consuming educational content.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" content vs control "class =" alignnone full-size wp-image-37535 "/> <img src="" alt=" content vs control" class = "alignnone full-size wp-image-37535" />

It may not be fascinating, but consumers need sound advice that helps them deal with these immediate problems and appreciate them.

Bux set up a knowledge base, which allowed him to improve his first 18% call resolution.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" Bux support center "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-37536 "/> <img src="" alt=" support center bux" class = "alignnone full-size wp-image-37536" />

It's easy to follow, it does not ask the reader anything, and it's objectively useful.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg.

While practical and practical solutions are important, value-based content is not limited to the immediate future.

Can you focus on solving specific problems for your audience? You can absolutely.

Is everything your content can do for them? This is certainly not the case.

The other side of the coin is enlightened leadership.

If tangible solutions are short-term, enlightened leadership is focused on the long term.

Here's the kind of content you'll see industry leaders like Gary Vaynerchuk:

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" gary vee I choose optimism "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-37537 "/>

<img src="" alt=" gary vee I choose optimism" class = "alignnone size-full wp -image-37537" />

Gary is an opinion leader who connects with his fans to inspire loyalty. It is worth more than $ 160 million and employs more than 700 people.

When you create thought leadership content, you are not just trying to solve the problem of someone today. You seek to address the source of this problem completely.

Just take a look at how brands become enlightened leaders in tackling change.

SEMrush makes a weekly discussion on Twitter where he talks about the latest SEO trends.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" tweet of semrush "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-37538 "/> <img src="" alt=" semrush twrush" class = "full-size alignnone wp-image-37538" />

Or, think about the Webinars at the Content Marketing Institute.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" content webinars content "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-37539 "/> <img src="" alt=" marketing content webinars" class = "full-size alignnone wp-image-37539" />

With thought leadership, you stack educational content with a breakdown of the marketing principles that small business owners should embrace.

And do not think this is exclusive to digital media. Any business can benefit from thought leadership.

According to CEO Omar Sayyed, the tie company has seen its revenue increase by 30% over the last five years thanks to the trust placed in digital content.

Here is an example of one of their most successful content on how to tie a tie.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" how to tie a tie "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-37540 "/> <img src="" alt=" how to tie a tie" class = "full-size alignnone wp-image- 37540" />

Informed leadership does not just pay attention to symptoms. It identifies the disease and helps your audience heal themselves.

As you can probably imagine, it is the most difficult type of content to create. This requires a good understanding of the problems at the scale of the industry and, more importantly, how to solve them. But if you do it well, the results are worth it.

Of course, problem solving is not just about creating blog posts.

You could create e-books and give them in exchange for registrations to email newsletters like Mike Gingerich.


You can also create a brand authority via your mailing list with the help of your blog at the same time. After all, email marketing has a median ROI of 122%, which shames other marketing formats.

You can also treat social media as an extension of customer support by focusing on individual interactions and dealing directly with customer issues.

KLM, European leader in the airline industry, used Facebook Messenger to increase customer interactions by 40% .

At the end of the day, your marketing strategy exists for a reason:

To convince people that they should do business with you.

And if you want to show how valuable you are, you need to solve consumer problems more efficiently and consistently than your competitors.

Focus on Understanding Your Audience

At this point, it is quite clear that treating marketing as an opportunity to solve problems meets the needs of the modern consumer.

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Up until now, I've only covered what it sounds like in a general sense.

If you really want to get your hands dirty, you have to see what it looks like in action.

That's why I'm going to look at three brands that have managed to create interesting and valuable marketing content.

More specifically, I will analyze how their particular audiences dictated their marketing strategies.

Why? Because understanding the needs of your audience ensures that your marketing content will be meaningful, impactful and valuable to them.

Here is how Seth Godin says:

"Trying to appeal to everyone is almost certain to fail, for the simple reason that everyone wants something different!"

So, how do you do that? My advice is to start by creating buyer personas.

You have probably already created them for your product or service. Now, it's your chance to develop them.

If you have not updated your buyer's personalities for a long time, you can use this Xtensio model:

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" user persona template "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-37541 "/> <img src="" alt=" user persona template" class = "full-size alignnone wp-image-37541" />

Overall, there is a fairly clear correlation between your attention to customers and the success of your business.

In fact, a study found that 65% of companies that exceeded their revenue and earnings goals had updated their buyer identity in the previous six months.

The more information you have, the more you will be listening to your customers' problems. So, do not be afraid to ask questions.

What social media platforms do they like to interact with you?

Who are the industry influencers to whom they pay active attention?

What is the problem with everyone in your audience fighting regularly?

The general principles of digital media marketing are important, but they are not worth much if you can not apply them to your unique marketing situation.

Companies that used problem solving effectively

In the next section we will look at some successful business marketing strategies. But in doing so, keep in mind that the goal is not just to copy them.

Instead, use them as a point of reference for your particular marketing strategy.

Regardless of the tactics you choose, your content should always address your audience specifically and give it value on every occasion.

Keeping this in mind, let's take a look at some companies that have been successful at solving problems.


If you're not familiar with Mint, here's what their elevator pitch might look like:

Difficult to keep your finances in order? Use our service to stay organized, get back on track, or start saving enough money to buy a house.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" home page of mint 2018 "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-37542 "/>

<img src="" alt=" home page of mint 2018 "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-37542 "/>

After starting the business, he grew up quickly. They managed to acquire 1.5 million users during their first two years.

But marketing a service like this is actually a little tricky.

After all, who could not use more help to keep their finances in order? How do you make a marketing strategy that targets the majority of the population?

Mint found a solution: Market to their two types of users.

The first group is already relatively literate financially. They seek to create wealth.

The second group tries to budget as efficiently as possible. They are more interested in keeping their bank account in the green than anything else.

How can I know that these are their two types of users?

Watching their official blog tells me everything I need to know.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" mint blog "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-37543 "/> <img src="" alt=" mint blog" class = "full-size alignnone wp-image-37543" />

These blog posts target the extremes of their buying personalities, and Mint uses both.

Since most of their listeners are probably between these two extremes, it is fair to say that Mint has managed to effectively cover their bases without diluting their message.

As for the content itself, it focuses on tangible and concrete advice.

And that makes sense when you consider the audience they are addressing. People looking for concrete financial advice will not appreciate vague advice.

Someone who has trouble managing his finances wants a roadmap to get back on track, not a study on the growth of a Fortune 500 company:

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" mint life blog "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-37545 "/> <img src="" alt=" mint life blog" class = "alignnone full-size wp-image-37545 "/>

Mint's content is a mix of blog posts, interviews and computer graphics that target younger audiences who are starting to manage their money.

Largely because of their blog, their SEO strategy generated 20% of their site's total traffic.

Mint eliminates thousands of visitors from their budgeting models and spreadsheets.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" mint keyword traffic "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-37546 "/> <img src="" alt=" traffic keyword" class = "full-size alignnone wp-image-37546" / >

So, what's the lesson?

You should not just make your content relevant to the problems of your audience in general. To make it as effective as possible, you must be sensitive to their particular situation.


<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" home page late in late 2017 "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-34503 "/>

<img src="" alt=" home page at the end of 2017 "class =" alignnone size-full wp -image-34503 "/>

If you've spent a lot of time on the tech startup scene, you've probably heard raving people about Slack.

And that's all the hype that he's getting.

When you need an email application that prioritizes productivity and ease of use, it's hard to find anything better (especially if you're working with a remote team).

That's why they are worth about $ 5.1 billion.

With all the tools and integrations that they offer, it's easy to see why their slogans are "less busy" and "where the work is going".

In fact, instead of focusing on content marketing, Slack aims to rank keywords related to their integrations.

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<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" slack integrations keywords "class =" alignnone size-full wp-image-37548 "/> <img src="" alt=" slack integrations keywords" class = "alignnone size-full wp-image- 37548 "/>

With this in mind, you can already start to see what the public of Slack looks like.

You can imagine a level C beginner looking for a credible solution to his productivity problems at work.

The integration process of Slack is really where the magic occurs. Slack has a thorough knowledge of what his audience needs and creates a unique approach to integration.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" soft onboarding "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-37550 "/> <img src="" alt=" soft onboarding" class = "full-size alignnone wp-image-37550" />

From the beginning you will see content designed to improve the overall efficiency of the workplace.

Slack even has articles for tips on naming channels and e-mail templates to introduce Slack.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" Moving to Slack "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-37553 "/> <img src="" alt=" Moving to Slack" class = "full-size alignnone-full wp-image-37553" />

Beyond that, Slack also chooses to provide value with updates on his own product.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" get the soft application email onboarding "class =" full size alignnone wp-image-37555 "/> <img src="" alt=" get the soft application email onboarding" class = " alignnone size-full wp-image-37555 "/>

And administrator users can opt for weekly summaries of activities.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" Weekly soft summary "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-37556 "/> <img src="" alt=" soft weekly summary" class = "full-size alignnone wp-image-37556" />

They also offer instant notifications.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" Unread soft message sent email "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-33734 "/> <img src="" alt=" Unread soft message sent email" class = "full-size alignnone wp- image- 33734 "/>

Slack also keeps a blog with product updates, integration ads and tips for improving productivity.

Design their blog posts to ensure that the public can use Slack to the best of their abilities.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" blog loose post "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-37557 "/> <img src="" alt=" blog loose post" class = "full-size alignnone wp-image-37557" />

For them, it is not so much to sell the product as to improve the user experience.

So what is the moral of the story?

Support consumers, whether or not they have spent their hard earned money for you. Always provide solutions to their problems as they develop.

Dollar Shave Club

At this point, you are probably tired of hearing how impressive the Dollar Shave Club marketing strategies are.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" Home page of the 2018 dollar shaving club "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-37558 "/>

<img src="" alt=" Home Page of the 2018 dollar shaving club "class =" alignnone size-full wp -image-37558 "/>

But acquiring 12,000 customers in the first two days is a little too impressive to ignore.

There are a lot of digital media marketers who are fascinated by this brand, and I am one of them.

Why? Well, especially because it's a success story that proves that sound marketing tactics, no matter the audience in question, can help your business excel.

To put it simply, Dollar Shave Club excels in its ability to create a unique consumer experience in an industry that desperately needs it.

And their audience, which is mainly composed of men looking for an elegant, playful and witty brand, can benefit from the blog content of the Dollar Shave Club.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" dollar shaving club blog "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-37559 "/> <img src="" alt=" dollar shaving club blog" class = "full-size alignnone wp-image-37559 "/>

The articles have clear and catchy titles, and they are full of value – while maintaining that unique DSC brand voice.

They even send personalized emails based on their purchase history.

<img src="data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODdhAQABAPAAAP///wAAACwAAAAAAQABAEACAkQBADs=" data-lazy-src="" alt=" dollar shaving club personalized emails "class =" full-size alignnone wp-image-37560 "/> <img src="" alt=" dollar shaving club custom emails" class = "alignnone size- full wp-image- 37560 "/>

Si vous ne prenez rien d'autre dans l'exemple de Dollar Shave Club, souvenez-vous que votre capacité à créer des expériences client attrayantes est tout aussi importante que les conseils que vous donnez dans votre contenu.

Ce n'est pas seulement ce que tu dis. C'est comme ça que tu le dis.


Je comprends.

Le marketing des médias numériques peut être un peu écrasant.

Mais on ne peut pas contourner le fait que vous devez vous démarquer dans votre industrie si vous voulez que votre entreprise reste compétitive.

L'ère du marketing traditionnel est terminée. Ne perdez pas de temps à essayer de boucher les trous du Titanic.

Que vous soyez nouveau dans le jeu ou que vous essayez de reconstruire votre stratégie marketing, concentrez-vous sur la grande image: la résolution de problèmes.

La valeur stimule les ventes. Et si vous voulez augmenter vos ventes, vous allez devoir trouver de nouvelles façons intéressantes d'offrir plus de valeur aux consommateurs.

Avec le contenu de votre blog, assurez-vous d'aborder les problèmes d'aujourd'hui ainsi que les problèmes sous-jacents qui conduiront à des problèmes dans le futur. Cela vous aidera à rester pertinent tout en vous établissant comme un leader d'opinion.

Afin de résoudre les problèmes de votre auditoire, vous devez comprendre votre auditoire. Vous devez déterminer exactement qui ils sont afin que vous puissiez résoudre les problèmes spécifiques qu'ils ont.

Et pendant que vous réfléchissez à votre stratégie pour résoudre les problèmes de vos utilisateurs, recherchez des idées innovantes. Assurez-vous simplement de faire votre propre stratégie et de l'adapter à votre auditoire.

Comment vous êtes-vous concentré sur la résolution de problèmes dans votre stratégie marketing?