Find the pain buyers want to solve


In an earlier post I talked about the 4 P’s of Product Marketing. The first being pain and the buyer’s need to know: “Do you solve my pain? I really don’t care about how smart you are.” After reading Seth Godin’s “Some problems are easier to sell” I am second guessing that buyer question.  Seth talks about how we are wired to pay attention to problems that are visible, non-chronic, symptomatic, painful, certain, self-fulfilling, enviable, expensive and, of course, solvable.

Buyers focus on problems or pain they can see, feel, have a desire to fix and can justify.
So maybe the buyer question isn’t “Do you solve my pain…” It’s really, “How well do you know my pain because what you CAN solve may not be what I WANT to solve.”

I think about how this applies to my day job – product marketing for a data security company. In the cybersecurity space, it can be argued that there are two camps of data threat: ones that come from the outside (malware, ransomware, etc.) and ones that manifest from the inside a.k.a Insider Threats.   For years outside threats have always received more focus from our security buyers than inside threats, and now it makes sense why – they are wired to want to solve those pains.

Applying Seth’s thinking, outside threats are more visible – security buyers see them everyday. Just think of all of the security alerts they get on a daily basis – thousands. Because our buyer sees them everyday, they can rationalize addressing them, and as outside threats continue to evolve, they continue to be a pain with certainty making the role of a security buyer fulfilling, enviable and that much more valuable. They focus on outside threats because they are the pains they can see, feel, fix and justify.

Insider threats on the other hand are largely invisible, chronic, constant, unenviable and to date, largely unsolved. So the trick will be how do we as product marketers make security buyers see, feel, fix and justify the growing insider threat problem.  I think we will find the answer simply asking the question: How well do we know the everyday pain our buyers see, feel, want to fix and can justify? Find the group of buyers who WANT to solve the pain we solve and we will find our target market.