Solutions Solve Nothing in Marketing

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A "solution" does not explain your product or service
A “solution” does not explain your product or service

By Craig de Fasselle

Unless you’re a chemist or mathematician, you shouldn’t use the word solution in your marketing. It’s not an effective sales term–it’s overused market speak.

Simply put, a “solution” does not explain what a product or service is, what it does, or why you need it. In marketing, you are much better off clearly stating what you provide.

These days, it seems many businesses wants to market “solutions.” But that term is so generalized and vague that it obscures what you’re trying to market. If I’m a potential customer, having you tout “solutions” won’t help–I need to know specifics of your product or service. If you cannot explain it to me, I’ll find someone else who can.

The use of solutions tends to suggest that common needs are problems that require solving. The purchase of a new iPhone does not necessarily solve a problem; more likely, it’s simply something that I want. The next trip to the grocery store isn’t to find “hunger solutions”–it’s to buy food.

Marketing a “solution” hardly makes you unique. A Google search of the exact phrase “we provide customers with solutions” returns about 1.4 million matches. Visit some of those sites and it may take you several clicks just to learn what they can do! Are they avoiding specifics, or do they simply not understand their own product or service? Perhaps the writers think it’s effective to use “solutions” in describing their products or services, but different readers may have different interpretations of the term.

Google a phrase like “transportation solutions,” and you get everything from airport wireless services to driving school websites. Try adding other words to “solutions” in your favorite search engine–you’re likely to get a really interesting mix of results.

In daily speech, we rarely use the word solution–we talk about specific products, services, events, etc. If I need a garden hose, I’m not going to Google watering solutions. I’m hard-pressed to think of anytime I’d want to use the word solutions in a search.

Blitz Media Design practices what we preach–you won’t hear a sales pitch from us offering “marketing solutions.” Our presentations deal with how we provide effective websites, print designs, and marketing services. You won’t see “solutions” on our web pages or marketing pieces.

In conclusion, let your competitors offer “solutions.” You’ll gain an advantage–and customers–by offering specific products and services.

Written by Craig de Fasselle

July 30th, 2013 at 10:03 am

Posted in Marketing

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