Ecommerce Start-up Marketing: Using Problem Communication to Build Market for your Products

At ILFR, we receive many business inquiries from start-up retailers. We see how many of  these startups are doing something unique, something that’s never been done before. A unique product, a unique service, or a unique price (direct to consumer pricing models).

However, the greatest thing about doing something unique is that you don’t have any competition. But when there is no competition, it means there is no market. You being the first player will have to first ‘build’ your market.

When I say there is no market for your product, what it also means is that your product or brand is solving a problem which people don’t even realize they have. Or may be people realize the problem but they are not motivated enough to take any action to solve that problem.

So how do you build a market when you’re doing something unique? The answer is fairly simple. You start talking about the problems that you’re solving with your brand & products. I can tell you from my experience that only few start-ups out there are doing it well enough. Most of them are talking about their solution & benefits without establishing the problem as a real problem in the mind of their customers.

Just talking about the problem once on your homepage or about page, may not be enough for building a market that’s big enough for your business to become profitable. You might have to do it repeatedly in your marketing communication.

When we work with startups who are entering a new market we often give them a common marketing approach which can be applied by most startups businesses out there:

    1. Know your customers and where they hang-out
      You must know your customers well enough to know exactly where you can find them. Which blogs they read? Which conferences they go to, What time they use Facebook or Instagram? etc
    2. Bring them to your turf
      Now you can use Facebook ads, Google adwords, Linkedin, Email Marketing, or whatever channel it takes to bring them to your website.
    3. Show them problem content
      When they land on your website, there should be relevant users should see the problem content. You might have to write series of blog posts, publish videos, infographics, market researches to establish the problem as real. You must share the real proofs of the consequences of the problem. Create content to entertain, educate and engage your way to establish the problem to build market for your products.
    4. Show them solution content
      Now when these customers who believe that your company is solving a real problem, they are going to buy and also help you further build the market by sharing your brand and products with others.

You might be offering an amazing product to your customers but if you can’t describe it in a way that makes them buy, they will not buy. Often, you have to build the need and demand for your products in the market.

After reading this article, if you think your marketing isn’t working out because you have been too heavily focussed on the solution, may be it’s time for you to try using the problem itself to build a market for your start-up.

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