Achy Back or Heart Attack?

By Natalie Svensson No Comments

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My eyes scanned the pages in front of me, and I see this bullet point “Achy Back or Heart Attack?” That’s rather strange, I thought to myself. What is a line like that doing in a marketing workshop? I’m still new, so I don’t know everything yet that has to do with the workshop. I figured this was just some sort of term that Adam and Karen have come up with.

“Achy back or heart attack?” I said out loud.

Adam sensing my curiosity began to explain the concept to me. Products fall into two categories. The ‘nice-to-haves’ or the ‘have-to-haves.’

“Imagine you have been sleeping on the floor. You wake up with your back aching and in pain. You see someone else sleeping on a mattress. That mattress certainly looks very good to you right about now. Do you really need a mattress? No. Is it preferable? Yes. However you can get by just fine by sleeping on the floor. From this point of view a mattress would be ‘nice-to-have.’ ”

“Or the other scenario is you are dying from a heart attack. In this situation, it’s either do-or-die. You either try to get help or not. Here the consequences are much more severe than just wanting a mattress. If you are suffering from a heart attack, it becomes a situation where you ‘have-to-have’ the solution.”

With any client, we have to figure out which category does their product  fit into. What sort of problem does their product or service solve? Are they solving an achy back or a heart attack? Depending on the answer, shapes the way that the our whole marketing platform is built. We should always try to appeal to the consumers emotions. However if it is a problem as crucial as a heart attack, then we need to create a sense of emotional emergency to act now. Their problem is much more urgent and requires an immediate solution. However if it is an achy back sort of issue, then we have much more time with the consumer. Then we can afford to take on a more educational role. We should always know how consumers view our product. How crucial is it to have in their lives. If we know its level of importance, then we can effectively communicate that to the consumer. Then we make the consumer really want to have the product or service.

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Author Natalie Svensson
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