Understanding and Using Customer Pain Points In Your Messaging

Marketers seeking active interest from online audiences, especially search marketers, have long known that there’s great value in “putting oneself into the shoes of searchers.” By making a concerted attempt to understand the unique informational needs of each targeted audience, the marketer can more easily craft messaging likely to resonate with these people and stimulate a positive response.

Mitchell Levy, interviewed recently by Didit’s Kevin Lee for the eMarketing Association, is an outspoken exponent of this approach, which he characterizes as developing “an audience-centric mindset.” Mr. Levy’s way of planning and executing such “audience-centric” messaging uses what he calls the CPoP (Customer Points of Pain) framework, whose goal is to move the marketer — in the minds of his/her audience — from “someone who wants to sell to me” to “someone who might be able to help me,” thereby making it more likely that the message will resonate and that the prospect will take positive action.

Why are CpoPs important?

Every client, customer, and prospect has a unique set of pain points. Some wrestle with employee productivity issues, others struggle to maintain or expand market share or other top-line business concerns. Others wrestle with issues relating to productivity, employee motivation, or other pressing business issue. (Mitchell Levy has an exhaustive list of pain points on his web site, mitchelllevy.com.)

Discovering the unique pain points of your audience begins with audience research. Businesses with a long history in the market likely already have access to a rich set of data that can identify these pain points, for example, market research data, CRM data, sales force experience, and data from other sources.

Understanding and taking steps to address customer points of pain is an essential task for every business.  Failing to do so can leave the business stuck in a self-centered “what I do/what I can sell?” mindset, whereas what is needed is a more welcoming “what do you need/how can I help?” mindset. This orientation is far preferable In the context of a world where people are generally distrustful of aggressive selling,

Using CpoPs to Refine Your SEO and Social Media Messaging

Using the CPoP framework forces the marketer to be very clear and focused when crafting the messaging used on websites and in social media. As Mr. Levy observes, one test of a valid CPoP is “whether the spouse of the target will understand the message.”

But being clear is not enough; one must be brief. “As marketers, we’re not taught to be succinct,” observes Mr. Levy. But “if you can articulate a CPoP in one to ten words — essentially in one to three seconds — what happens is that it becomes shareable. It becomes memorable. And if it’s done to someone who actually cares about your CPoP, it begs the next question, which is ‘tell me more.’”

You can learn more about Mitchell Levy’s CpoP framework at mitchellevy.com and watch the relevant portions of the interview between Kevin Lee and Mitchell Levy below:

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