Step 1 — Identifying the Client’s Needs

Marketing and Advertising

Marketing is often associated with advertising and sales. In fact, this is only part of the truth. The concept of marketing is broader.
The goal of marketing is not to advertise and sell, but to study the market and create a product that does not need to be advertised, which will be sold without significant advertising investments.

I will tell you one example from my life — the Rechnik store

I live in a small northern town — Khanty-Mansiysk. Five years ago, this city was just an unfamiliar place on the map for me, whose name I heard, but had little idea where it was located. But life is full of surprises.

So, when my family and I moved to Khanty-Mansiysk, we faced one problem — in this city there is no bread made from high-quality flour. A day after the purchase, the bread spoils and becomes moldy and does not want to be eaten. This problem plagued my wife for about a year. Until one day I asked my driver where he buys bread. He replied:

— Let’s go, I’ll take you.
So I got acquainted with the Rechnik store, where half of the city of 100,000 (without exaggeration) buys delicious bread. Everyone goes there for bread, buying in the store and other goods.
It should be noted that the Rechnik store does not have a favorable location — you really need to look for it. The road goes to the yards, not very convenient parking. And despite all the disadvantages of the location, external and internal appearance, the «folk trail» does not grow into this store.

By the way, this store does not advertise either. And it’s not about advertising. And there are sales — daily and stable.

In essence, marketing is the answer to the questions: what, to whom, at what price and where will we sell?
Thus, we come to four based questions and concepts of marketing: product, consumer, price, place. In order to build a marketing strategy for a business, you must first answer the questions listed above.
The concept of the product — what is bread? This is a food item. From a marketing point of view, bread is a way to satisfy hunger. In order to satisfy this need of the client, it is necessary that the bread has certain properties: it is tasty, it is satisfying, it is healthy, it keeps fresh for a long time, etc.

When we sell a drill and a drill, we sell holes in the wall.

I will tell you another example from life when there is no advertising, but there are sales.

My eldest daughter started getting «holes» in her teeth early. Even milk teeth were already with «holes». The child, of course, was still small at that time — 4 years old.

But the problem needs to be solved. Teeth need to be treated. My wife was preoccupied with the question: how to do it in order to cure her teeth, but at the same time not instill in a child a panic fear of dentists from childhood?

The problem was solved simply: at work, they advised a paid children’s dental office, in which «children’s teeth are treated without pain.» We went to the place indicated by one colleague at work.

We were met on the threshold, the daughters immediately showed attention: they gave toys in their hands, they began to talk in them. When we went into the office, the doctor asked her daughter to open her mouth and looked:

“And what is this worm we have here?” Gotta get him out…

This was followed by a brief story about how a worm wound up in the teeth, it spoils the teeth, but you need to buzz a little, make some noise, sprinkle some water, and the worm will run away.

And so it happened. And it all ended with the fact that the daughters offered a choice of multi-colored fillings.

We all left the dentistry satisfied, although we paid money for the treatment.

By the way, I have not seen any advertising of this dentistry anywhere either. And I saw clients.

Why is it important to identify customer needs?

When developing a marketing strategy, it is extremely important to determine the customer need that our product or service will satisfy.
Remember Henry Ford’s famous saying: «I’ll sell you a car in any color, as long as it’s black.»
He could only say that because the appearance of the car was at that time clearly not a leading need. Now any car manufacturer offers a line of products with many different characteristics. The focus of the consumer has shifted.

What happens if you misunderstand the customer’s top need?

For example, a bank, issuing a loan in the amount of up to 1 million dollars, believes that the client’s main need is to pay less interest. Let’s assume it’s not. The leading need is to get money quickly and easily, i.e. without collateral or guarantors. In such a situation, the bank also loses income, because. sets a very low interest rate on the loan, and customers, because they go to competitors, from whom a loan can be obtained in 15 minutes without additional verification procedures.

Moving on to step 2…