Marketing is the art of showing your customer how your product or service can help them solve their problem. Even if you have to meet a fairly basic customer need, you will encounter a complication :
It is not always easy to identify a need !
The customer may lie to you or not tell you his true wishes. Often his true need is hidden deep in his unconscious mind. You are dealing with a customer need that is difficult to identify.
Most of us are uncomfortable if we follow our emotions or our instincts. Yet the idea that our behaviour works this way is not as sinister as it seems. Most of the time, before making a purchase, a customer functions in the following way :
If your client doesn’t care or isn’t aware of the danger, then you’ll have a hard time selling your solution. Knowing this, don’t get into a bidding war with the risk of being branded by your client as a pest and becoming inaudible to him.
How do you want to prove the usefulness of your product if everything goes well. That’s the problem with all products, which is to avoid danger.
Even if, in theory, you solve a fundamental need of your customer, you will have to deal with several marketing obstacles :
- Your client is not aware that he has a problem : For example, trying to convince your prospect that his diet is harmful and suggesting a new diet.
- Your client is not motivated enough to take action : Like when someone goes to the gym, your client needs to think that he or she will have enough discipline to go there regularly.
- Your client is not convinced that your solution will work : This is the way you can demonstrate to your client that your solution will work better than anything they have had to date.
- Your customer has the choice between other comparable solutions proposed by other companies : The identified need is not a definitive criterion when it is already proposed by different companies. Hence the importance of identifying a deep customer need in order to stand out from other players.
A customer need – Your client, a being in search of meaning and a strong sensation
Generally speaking, there are several ways to solve the same customer need that is difficult to identify. Although there is a rational approach that consists of comparing offers to choose the best cost-risk-benefit ratio, the choice is often made on instinct at the time.
It is not always certain that a “logical” decision is always the best one in the face of an “emotional” decision. Most of the time, the worst decisions are made by “feeling“. But measuring the risks and benefits of each decision in a “rational” way would take far too much time.
The human being is a social being who seeks to satisfy a need to belong. He needs to belong to a group in order to be accepted and protected. For our ancestors, the hunter-gatherers, an individual to survive had to be accepted by a tribe.
A tribe meets all of the following psychological needs :
- All the members of your tribe are recognizable: They have a behavior, an attitude, a dress code, a common jargon.
What’s the sign that brings the tribe back together ?
- Your tribe has an opponent : It’s either another tribe or an abstract idea such as wanting to fight “inequality” or the image of order and conformity conveyed by the image of the individual in a “suit and tie“.
Who’s the tribe’s opponent ?
- Your tribe has a status scale and value system : All members of this tribe converge towards a common goal. Those who reach the end and contribute the most to the tribe are rewarded. For each individual, their goal is clear and they know exactly where they stand.
What are the values of your tribe and how do you earn the admiration, respect and friendship of other members ?
Status is a currency : It is a reward for members who act in the interest of the tribe. In exchange,they get a reward. For our hunter-gatherer ancestors, so they could increase their chance of survival and especially of reproduction.
Sending signals to join a new tribe has become much easier thanks to the internet. You can show off your work more easily than a diploma. Let’s take the example of a web-marketer who will be interested in showing the sites he has built and the same idea applies to a designer with his portfolio.
However, this approach does not work for all professions because it is impossible to assess a physician’s skills through a website.
There is an astonishing amount of connection between the meaning of life, existential crises and online needs. Even if it may seem at first counter-intuitive, your online business will have to help your customers in their deepest need and quest for identity.
What your customers are looking for isn’t really an “answer” but rather a “feeling”
This “feeling” will reveal itself when your client’s reality, identity and desires are aligned.
The rules of the game for your clients
Just as basic as the need to be solved, the whole point is to reveal and convince your prospect that their problem is important, real and that your product is the best solution.
If you have a safety or survival business, the best way to sell your product effectively is to influence imaginary scenarios by intensifying the sense of danger. This method will be the most effective way to convince your customer to take action now. He will succeed when the demonstration of your product relieves his fear.
Here are the 2 steps you need to apply :
- You have to make the danger visual and immediate because if it is too far away in time, your prospect’s brain will think “That’s not my problem“. This technique aims to create an immediate emotional reaction. It is useful when you ask your client to “make an effort” to gain medium or long-term “benefits“. In the case of online training, you can convince your client of the “expense” involved in training.
- Your product must position itself as a spectacular solution because thanks to your product, your customer must feel safe. For this, you have two options :
- Either you insert yourself into an existing community. This is because each member plays by mimicking each other and if you manage to insert your product in this community, you have a good chance that it will spread quickly.
- Either you create your own community around your product or your personality.
While carrying out your project, you will undoubtedly encounter difficulties, periods of doubt and existential crises. This is quite normal! To rebalance these small temporary crises, you can question yourself for example every 3 months on your projects to succeed in aligning your reality, your identity and your objectives thanks to these 3 questions :
- Are my actions aligned with my objectives ?
- Do I still want to achieve the same thing ?
- Am I who I think I am ?
In the same way, to create meaning in your client, you must be able to align their reality, identity and desires. To achieve this goal, you have 2 markers to develop :
- Create a new reality to meet your client’s search for meaning. You can exploit the concept of “gamification” where the person’s progress generates a sense of meaning and motivation. For your client it is :
- having goals that are clear.
- perceive your talent that are useful and recognized.
- that everyone can become the hero.
- Leave your brand on the world, that is to say allow your customers to point out their qualities to others because our image depends on the image that others have of us. All charitable, political or commercial organizations make the same promise to express our values and leave our mark to “change the world“.
In human nature, due to the fact that our brain has evolved only slightly and even if we manage to achieve technological feats, we cannot really transcend our “animal” needs.
For each of these needs is an opportunity for you to create a new product
To go further…
Stan Leloup In : Votre empire dans un sac-à-dos: Décodez la psychologie humaine pour trouver une idée de business, vendre sur internet, gagner votre vie depuis votre ordinateur [Online] Paper book format available in french on : < https://amzn.to/3g1cHH7 >