Problem Agitate Solve

Problem Agitate Solve

Problem, Agitate, Solve

A tried and true marketing formula for your advertising in any and all media could be summarized at “Problem, Agitate, Solve.”

Find a problem that’s the “Conversation already going on in their head.”   Call out that problem.  Discuss the “worst case scenario” in an emotionally charged way.   Then present the solution.

It’s pretty straight forward.

None of the above works without a couple of other factors:

  1. “Message to Market Match”
  2. Getting their attention.
  3. Call to action.

What’s “Message to Market” match?

Well, the mistake often made by business owners of all types is to do something that approximates drawing a radius around their location and thinking that anyone in that area should be a client.   That’s exactly the wrong approach.

I heard an otherwise extremely well regarded coach in the Financial Advisor sector say that “everyone needs our services.”

Well, that may be objectively correct, however it’s a HORRIBLE way to think about marketing to prospective clients and about “Message to Market Match.”

Let’s say that I have a message about managing retirement, timing social security, or similar topics.   A horrible place to broadcast that message would be on a college campus.   With the exception of a few senior citizen professors the message would certainly NOT get to a “conversation already going on in their head.”   It would fall on deaf ears.

It’s an obvious point, I know but it’s shocking to see how many messages make one of two mistakes.   The first is having so broad a message that it tries to be something for everyone.  That’s almost always a mistake.  Better to “rifle” shot that attempt to be something for everyone.   The second mistake is to try to always focus on “broadcast” media not on narrow affinity media.   I’d rather be advertising in media or online in ways that hit a small and very targeted audience to that I can have a message that’s right on target for them.

The second point on “getting their attention.”

The useful and appropriate trend now is various forms of “permission marketing.”  Communicating to people who’ve contacted you, who’ve requested information, who have an existing relationship.

That’s all correct as far as it goes.

To open that door requires one of two initial actions.

They look for information and you show up in front of them.  That’s the crux of “Content Marketing” online.   Blogging, YouTube Channels, Podcasts all the way to being a published author found easily in Barnes and Noble and on Amazon are all various sources of content marketing.    With these sources you’ve got to make sure you go quickly from answering the question to getting the into your communications channels (email, direct mail, text, on the phone, etc.)

The second approach is classic “Interruption” advertising.

Showing up in the mail unannounced, in a video ad on top of someone else’s YouTube video, display ads that show up on Facebook, unsolicited message on LinkedIn are all examples of this unsolicited and unexpected “interruption.”

It’s certainly true that the percent that respond is likely much lower, however if you’re going to be proactive in your approach you much combine both approaches to get people into your “nurture” process.

Next is the “Call to Action.”

That’s also a big topic, that will have to wait until tomorrow and we’ll cycle back to further explanation of “Problem, Agitate, Solve.”

Hope this has been helpful…


Stephen Oliver, MBA

Advisor Wealth Mastery