Solving a Better Problem
The three-step process for identifying the right problem to solve
At the core of our responsibilities as Account Planners is to help solve problems. While there is plenty of advice available on how to go about finding, framing and presenting solutions, there's relatively little on actually how to identify the right problem to solve in the first place. This tutorial will provide tools and tips for interrogating a brand's current situation in order to uncover the root problems that need to be solved.
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT
At the start of a project, the client gives you the problem they need solved. However, what they are giving you is their problem. And the client's problem and the customer's problem are usually two different things. As an Account Planner, if you aren't ultimately focused on solving the customer's problem, you're rarely going to be successful in solving the client's problem.
WHAT TO EXPECT
This email-based tutorial includes three key lessons on how to better diagnose and address the most pressing problems.
I. DEFINE THE PROBLEM: The five areas to investigate to understand the client’s problem / The importance of translating a client problem into a consumer problem / 149 questions to ask before you begin / Proven tool for helping you separate the symptom from the disease
II. REFRAME THE OPPORTUNITIES: Why boring questions lead to boring solutions / Turning problem statements into opportunity statements / Using a brainwriting approach to generate hypothetical paths forward / Downloadable framework for generating new and more interesting problems to solve
III. SELECT WHAT TO SOLVE FOR: The search for a “well-rounded” problem / Identifying which problem to solve first / Scoring system for measuring the quality of each problem
Format: Email tutorial
Structure: Three lessons with accompanying worksheets delivered via email over the course of three days
Time Commitment: 10 minutes per day
Anyone – a current student or a prospective one – is invited to set up a 15-minute phone call if there is a question about course material; an inquiry for custom, on-site training for your company; or a desire to discuss and work through a project you're currently working on. So let's talk! Click here to find and book a time.
Dan Carlton is the founder of The PARAGRAPH Project. Founded in 2005 to provide marketers an alternative to market research and brand strategy that is either uninspired or over-intellectualized, PARAGRAPH has become recognized as a leader in infusing research with creativity and developing fresh marketing approaches for clients mired in fiercely competitive industries. Over the years, PARAGRAPH has partnered with companies such as Target, Starbucks, Best Buy, Dropbox, Fruit of the Loom, Habitat for Humanity, Land O'Lakes, Google, and Coca-Cola, among others. You can follow him on LinkedIn.