We part with our money only when the benefit received, or the pain avoided, is worth more than the money. If the pain or benefit is equal, we tend to hold on to our money. Until we spend it, money (or time or our attention) has nearly limitless possibilities. Once it’s spent, the only value we retain is the product or service we traded it for.
Value is in the Eye of the Customer
Would you normally pay $50 for a quart of drinking water? No. However, if you were near death from dehydration (think three days in the desert without a canteen) you would gladly give up the money (or more) because the water is worth much more than the money you part with to obtain it.
The majority of our transactions aren’t nearly as clear as this. The key to being a helpful marketer is understanding what potential benefits your product or service provides that are more valuable to your potential customer than the money they will spend to get it.
In the healthcare arena this has become something of a lost art. Perhaps we’ve become so used to having others foot the bill (insurers or Medicare/Medicaid) that we don’t take the time to consider what pain we’re trying to respond to.
Confirm Your Value Proposition
As we deal with other players in the healthcare industry, such as nursing homes, home health agencies, physician practices, hospitals or even individual consumers, we will discover that the answer is not the same for everyone. For example, one customer may be overwhelmed with responsibilities related to compliance with state and federal standards. If your product helps reduce their compliance burden they will be attentive. Another customer may not be concerned about their compliance burden (maybe that’s someone else’s responsibility), but would like to be able to make life easier for staff. If your solution consumes less staff time you’re on your way to success.
Most marketers buy into the idea of customer pain, but don’t take the next step to confirm their intuition. If we believe our customers are primarily interested in reducing compliance time and build our entire campaign around that theme, we will be disappointed when we discover that employee workload is the primary issue for most of our prospects.
Talk to your Customers
Fortunately, there are tools available to us as digital marketers to help us understand our customer pain points, many of which we will feature in future blogs. However, the easiest thing to do right now is to talk with current customers and ask them to rank the importance of your service based on a number of factors (e.g., cost, reduced compliance burden, ease of use, popularity with their customers). While not definitive, this exercise will help you begin to better understand what will make other potential customers eagerly trade their money for your service.