In order for an idea to be useful, it must help someone. It must make someone’s life better, take away pain or provide other benefits of value to that person or target audience. I recently came across an article on e-mail marketing on the ClickZ Today Web site entitled “The Most Important Question E-mail Marketers Need to Answer” that emphasizes how successful products and services must start with the customer — their needs, their problems, their “pain.” If you can’t convince a customer that your new product, service or idea has value, you’ve failed. That’s the bottom line.
In this article, author Paul Soltofff some valuable questions that every successful product or service must answer. He says that customers want to know how your product, service or idea will:
While Soltoff’s article focuses on how these key questions apply to crafting a successful e-mail marketing campaign, the fact is that these are universal questions. Once you’ve brainstormed a list of potential product or service ideas, you must put yourself in your customers’ shoes and ask “What’s in it for me?” If people don’t understand how your product, service or idea will benefit them, you become just another intrusion, fighting for their limited time, attention and energy. To rise above the din, your idea must promise a compelling benefit from the people it is designed to serve — whether that’s a customer, an employer or even a family member. I urge you to keep this list of universal questions handy, along with the 5 magic words (What’s in it for me?) and use them during your next brainstorming session to help focus your ideas on real benefits for the people who matter most to you!