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Addressing the Whys Behind the Wants in Software Marketing

Rebecca Graves
By Rebecca Graves on September 26, 2016

Addressing the Whys Behind the Wants in Software Marketing

Rebecca Graves
By Rebecca Graves on September 26, 2016

Addressing the Whys Behind the Wants in Software Marketing"You can't always get what you want."

These seven simple words helped the Rolling Stones sell millions of records and gain worldwide popularity. The phrase became an ear worm in the minds of many. It also revealed a universal truth and life lesson that remains as true today as it was 30 years ago. And with a little bit of tweaking, the words can also guide your software marketing strategy:

Sometimes you're going to have to work hard to understand the "why" behind the "wants."

Statistics and research show that there's a tangible gap between what people say they want and what they actually do—and it can have a big impact on your company.

Consider a study focused on cyber security conducted by researchers at Brigham Young University. Researchers found that people say they care about cyber security and protecting themselves from malware, but few actually did anything about it when given the chance to protect themselves.

Study participants told researchers they wanted to be safe while using their computers and would heed warnings about untrustworthy websites. For sure. No doubt. Online security was what they wanted, so they'd avoid the dangerous websites, shut down their computers and even yank out their computer cables if necessary.

That's what they said.

When it was time to test their behaviors, nearly every participant ignored several alerts warning them that they were about to visit a potentially dangerous website—and they eventually had their computers hacked.

So do they really know what they want?

That's the question you need to answer in order to have an effective software marketing program. And it starts with addressing the "whys" behind the stated "wants."

Finding the Why Behind the Want

When a customer or prospective customer tells you they want something—a new feature, online security, etc.—you should always try to find out why.

It's quite possible (and even likely) that the customer doesn't really know what they want—but does know why they think they want it.

For example, people know they want to be protected from being hacked. Why? Because they don't want their personal or professional information stolen. That they know, so they want something (anything!) to protect them from danger.

And that's when they start telling you what they want.

"I want to receive an alert when I'm about to visit a website that's not tested."

And then they ignore the alert.

What they really want is something that automatically protects them from malware and questionable websites. The alert was just the first thing that came to mind—the first thing they thought they wanted.

That's why you need to ask follow-up questions anytime a customer requests a new feature. You need to find out why they think they want it so you can develop a solution to their actual problem, not their perceived problem.

The Benefits of Finding the Why

Digging deeper and committing to doing what makes sense. These are two things that lead to innovation—and they are what you're doing when you find the why behind the want.

Asking follow-up questions of customers allows you to do three things:

  1. Elevate your customer service to impressive levels by actually addressing the root cause of your customers' concerns.

  2. Discover new ways to address things that may have been overlooked.

  3. Create innovative new features that can take your company to new levels of success and give you a leg up on the competition.

These are the benefits of exploring the "why" behind the "want." And they can be critically important to making your software marketing efforts even more effective.

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