This is the third post in my sequence about collaboration. Last time I suggested that collaboration between competitors can be rewarding. This post, about raising awareness, is based on the first rung of the Awareness Ladder. Remember, the lower the rung on the ladder, the harder it is to move to the next rung.
If your market has no idea it has the problem, your task is to persuade them they do in fact have it.
Your Differences Don’t Matter
If your prospects don’t know they have the problem your business solves, it doesn’t matter what your solution is. Your prospects don’t care about your solution or your competitors’ solutions because they don’t recognise the problem as theirs.
This makes raising awareness together mutually beneficial. Any business offering solutions to a problem most people don’t believe they have, faces an uphill struggle. Why should anyone believe you?
Furthermore, if you do persuade someone they have the problem, what’s to stop them looking around for a solution elsewhere and finding a competitor?
Collaboration therefore means you can work together to find creative approaches to explaining the problem without fearing you’re going to lose out to your competitors.
I used to be obese. To look at me now, you would find it hard to believe!
I didn’t think I had a problem. My image of an obese person was someone of gargantuan proportions. I was clinically obese, which means I met the clinical definition of obesity.
Did it matter? Yes it did. I told myself it was encroaching old age that led to my lack of energy. I had high blood pressure and developed Type II Diabetes. It was that diagnosis that led to me accepting I had a problem and seeking a solution. The fact that I did not acknowledge the problem cost me my health.
I lost about one third of my body weight, once I understood I had a problem and took it seriously.
If you had a solution to the problem of obesity, how would you persuade obese people they have the problem? They won’t buy if they don’t see the benefit.
Similar difficulties face people who sell financial advice, prepare wills, life insurance, trusts, etc. Many people need these businesses to solve a problem they are not aware of. The problem is real, the problem is lack of awareness.
Raising Awareness for Mutual Benefit
Whenever I promote my business and especially the problem it solves, I benefit other people in similar businesses to mine. Similarly when they raise awareness of similar issues, I may benefit from their marketing.
Ah, yes you may be thinking. If you promote your own solution at the same time as you raise awareness of the problem, then surely you have an advantage? Perhaps that is true but remember, the next step on the Awareness Ladder is to increase awareness that the problem can be solved. And then people don’t always buy solely on the quality of the solution.
I shall address these steps in future posts but there are other possibilities for collaboration at this bottom rung of the Awareness Ladder and I’ll cover these first and so next time I explore “Research”.