“The day you open a '61 Cheval Blanc, that's the special occasion.”
I watched “Sideways” again at the weekend. It's about a wine buff in Napa coming to terms with his life going to hell in a harndcart.
He has an incredibly expensive bottle of wine that he's waiting for the right moment to open, until a waitress he meets tells him this truism:
We don't wait for great moments, we create them.
Let me flip this story into marketing:
IN 2022, the gap from a prospect becoming aware of a problem to buying a solution is incredibly short.
We can be sick, diagnose our problem and have a cure ordered and on its way before we've even left the bathroom.
The obvious route to getting in front of people is SEO, so you're the one who shows up when someone starts looking for a solution.
But SEO is slow, and intensely competitive. Only the people at in the top few spots ever see a return from it.
We need a way of timing our messages in organic channels and ads that coincides with that thin sliver of time that the prospect is looking.
We need to flip this on it's head to make it possible.
People live with a lot of problems for years.
– Plenty of people want to lose weight, but don't.
– They want to change jobs, but don't.
– They want to quit smoking but don't.
These are all problems waiting to be solved, if we can only get someone to focus on them for long enough for it to become a priority.
We can move people to solve these problems if we can raise it to the top of their priorities and make it something they want to deal with NOW.
We don't wait for the moment, we create it.
To do that, we have to find the right stick to poke them with, and we find it by asking the right questions.
Last week I left you hanging with one of the three essential customer research questions missing.
Here it is at last:
“What first made you start looking for a way to [solve this problem]?”
The answers to this can plug directly into our ads and be very powerful.
Here's this week's example:
See how this ad for alcohol addiction treatment uses almost the exact same question to elicit a testimonial:
At about 8 seconds they ask “What inspired you to give up drinking?”.
The story that follows is one that anyone who has struggled with alcohol can relate to. The downsides of drinking come rolling in one after another. You can't help but want to avoid the same fate.
This is another video I found in VidTao.
Just plug in the name of the problem you solve (e.g. “alcohol”) and look for adverts with the most views.
They're the ones that have been running the longest so they're a good bet that they're being measured and are working well.
What's the problem you can solve, that someone has been living with for months, or maybe years, that you can raise to the top of their to-do list?
P.S. The film ends with our hero drinking his wine from a paper cup in a burger bar, happy at last, creating his own moment instead of waiting for life to give it to him.
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