To decide on the strategic focus for your product marketing, ask yourself one simple question. What ‘problem’ do my potential customers face?

This can be a challenge for business and marketers alike. It’s vital to develop a message demonstrating that your product solves your customers’ problem. Whether it’s a website, an ad or any piece of marketing collateral, your marketing communication needs to cleverly and persuasively address their needs – no one will buy a solution for a problem they don’t have, it’s that simple.

A common mistake I see is business simply being too close to their own products when thinking of how to sell them. They get caught up in the features/benefits component and don’t take the time to think about the person on the other end of the communication and how the product can work for them.

Potential purchasers don’t have time to figure out complicated product or feature lists and how they apply to them. A marketing strategy that says “We solve your problem” better than anyone else is the clearest and most compelling message possible.

When you think about it, problem solving is the reason business began in the first place. All of the best products begin with an intimate understanding of a market, a problem identified and a solution developed. The icing on the cake is a great marketing idea that hits the nail on the head. Top brands achieve this by encapsulating their differentiated value into a single slogan – one that people remember.

A ‘problem’ solved by Apple
A great marketing example is the iPod from Apple Inc. When developing the product they clearly focused on the experience of the end user. Apple identified a problem – in an increasingly mobile world people were restricted when it came to taking their personal music collection on the go.

Their marketing message helped solve this problem. They used silhouettes of people enjoying their music with the ipod prominently featured in white. The movement/dancing, clothing styles and use of bright coloured backgrounds cleverly suggested the person could be anywhere and everywhere.

Remember, a product is only as good as the problem it solves and only the right marketing message can help deliver the sales results you want.