Buyer Matrix: Don’t Just Sell Features. Solve Problems.

Article by | September 21, 2016 Positioning and Messaging

There are problems in your target market. The more technology has evolved (and the more competition has arisen), the more complex those problems have become. And if you want your offering to succeed, then you need to be the one to provide the solution. 

The good news is that you don’t have solve every problem, just one. The solution to even one part of complex market problem can have very significant consequences (remember the forklift problem that XOEye solved?).

However, we often find technology companies are speaking only to the features their product has, not what it does to solve a market problem. Today, I want to unpack that a little more and talk about buyer matrixSM – aligning your product to solve problems, not sell features.

What is a Buyer Matrix?

A buyer matrix is an approach to marketing that seeks to position your product or service in a way that speaks to your buyer.

The idea is to describe your offering to the market not by its technical functionality or features, but by the problems that it solves. In other words, it is a market-oriented description of the product that is developed in response to the market problem.

Ideally, you should use buyer matrix to keep your messaging from getting bogged down in the technical aspects of your product and instead refocus on how the product solves problems for buyers. Buyer matrices are created by mapping your product’s features to your target market’s problems.

Use the step-by-step assignment below to to map your own BUYER MATRIX:

1. Have your marketing and/or sales people put themselves in the shoes of your primary buyer(s). They should know them, right? Have them make a list. This is where your customer interviews come in handy.

  • What keeps your buyer up at night?
  • What would make your buyer more money?
  • What would save your buyer money?
  • What problems is your buyer having today?

2. In a totally different conversation, have your technical or product manager, whoever knows your product the best, list all the features of your product or service.

3. Now, compare these two lists and draw a line from your product features to the problems they solve. That’s it. Those are buyer matrices.

Here’s the rub. If you weren’t able to map many (or any) of your features to market problems, you’re marketing and messaging is falling on deaf ears. It’s makes sense to you and your team, but not to your customers.

Remember, innovation isn’t everything. You have to solve their problem.

If you can’t map a buyer matrix, then go back to your lists. Start with the market problems and reframe your features to fit those. Then build your key messaging around your new buyer matrix. Your customers will start to listen, because you’re talking their language now.

If this exercise is more complicated for you and your business, call us and we can help walk you through it. Get in touch.

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