Solution Driven Marketing can reshape a firm’s view from product or money focus to customer-needs’ focus. Solution Driven Marketing applies to every organization—profit, and not for profit. A key challenge is to change customers’ wants to valuable needs. In the long run, this will provide significant value to the firm, too.
Solution driven marketing has four distinct parts
Solution driven marketing changes wants to needs
First, the firm develops solutions or benefits based on its view of customers’ current or future wants or needs. To begin, the firm must learn about its customers and their wants and needs. It does this by highly targeted market research, and in focus groups.
The process starts with a clear vision and mission to define what the firm wants to be, and what it plans to do. The mission will appeal to certain groups only, not to everyone. Hence, the firm must decide the best approach to present its proposed solutions and benefits to help current and potential customers.
In Solution Driven marketing, the business does not “push” its services or products. Instead, it offers benefits, opportunities, and solutions it expects customers will find helpful. Look at Amazon, for example. It creates benefits for people to stay at home to shop for their wants and needs. As well, it tries to change people’s wants to perceived needs.
A values-driven business must ensure it does not manipulate people to spend. This is a judgement call and difficult to achieve; but it is possible by God’s grace.
Second, the business creates easy, convenient, and on going access to its solutions and benefits. In a university, students should be able to work in an setting where it’s easy to access what they need to complete their courses. The administration should make it simple and convenient for students to attend classes, pay bills, get needed advice, and so on. So too, a business should ensure suitable access not only to its products or services, but to friendly, effective after sales support.
Amazon provides easy, convenient, on going access to products, and has excellent customer support. It is easy to buy, and easy to return stuff hassle free to Amazon and Walmart.
Solution driven marketing presents value to customers
Third, the business should ensure it is presenting value to customers. In solution driven marketing, the firm attempts to take the customer’s eyes off the price and provide something that the customer would value. A university should present programs based on its vision and mission that students would find value in. The university should be attentive to what’s happening to students. It should listen to student’s feedback, and in its best judgement, change courses or develop new courses as it thinks fit.
Being customer centric and solution driven does not mean the customer decides the firm’s action; that’s always the organization’s decision. It means the business must listen and respond to genuine feedback. However, it must have a goal to listen, and it must want to learn.
At a university, professors must show the value in the learning journey. Therefore, they must stress that success is a byproduct of curiosity, dedication, and the myriad inputs the student applies during the learning process. In addition, they must remind students of this Thomas Edison comment during their learning journey: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Amazon’s customers look beyond the price to the value they get when they buy from the comfort of their homes. So too, with Walmart. The value is more than the price. Quality, reliability, easy of buying and ease of returning items add to the value customers get from dealing with a firm.
Solution driven marketing leads to increasing customer satisfaction
Fourth, the business should not push products and sales, but should educate customers continually about solutions, access, and value. Solution driven marketing is as valuable to a not for profit as to a for profit business. The key is to focus on the customer and try to provide products and services he or she might find useful. This is the essence of customer driven marketing. In the long run, this approach will create customers who will tell others about your business…and your business will grow, and grow, and grow!
© 2016 Michel A. Bell
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