What's stopping people from using your products / services

What’s stopping people from buying your product / service?

What's stopping people from buying or using your product / service?

You’re busy. You don’t have time to learn a new language. Or do you?

Duolingo’s new ad challenges the “too busy to learn a new language” mindset. It shares an example of a situation – waiting for your date to arrive - where you find yourself with some free time. Free time that you can you fill with its language learning app.

It seems as though Duolingo might have found that “too busy” & “no spare time” are some of the most common reasons why people aren’t:
a.) Downloading the app, or
b.) Logging back into the app after downloading it & regularly using it or buying the premium version.

The team has then used this information to craft its marketing message. The end result? An advertisement that's simple, clear & encouraging. It helps people think about their spare time & language learning in a different way.

Duolingo billboard advertising

Overall, it’s a great example of how to do marketing when you know what’s stopping people from buying or using your product / service.

If you’re reading this & thinking, ‘this doesn’t apply to me – I don’t market an app or own a business with an app’ – hold it right there. The takeaways from this example don’t just apply to brands with apps. They apply to every business.


what's stopping people from buying from you

It doesn't matter what industry you work in. Or what it is that you're selling. To grow your business, you need people to buy & actually use your products / services.

Buying but not using can be just as detrimental as not buying at all, especially if you need people to purchase from you regularly. For example, you're a business that relies on a high turnover with a relatively low margin per product.

What's more, if someone buys something, but doesn't ever use it, they won't be able to tell all of their friends just how good it is.

So, as you can see, it's not just important to consider those who don't buy from you. When you're after more sales & crafting marketing messages, you also want to know what's stopping people from buying from you again.

If, after you’ve done some research, you find that the feedback focuses more on your core offering – for example, your product doesn’t work properly, your consultants are rude, your services lack key features – then these issues need to be addressed before you do anything else.

It’s important to remember that, if there are major problems with your products or services, you can't just cover them up with marketing. Marketing - no matter how good it is - can't save you from products or services that don't add any value.

Once these issues are solved, then it is important to use marketing to highlight new features, showcase product / service improvements or promote new benefits… after you’ve done a bit more research, that is.


finding out why people aren't buying

Before I say anything else, I think that it's important to acknowledge the fact that market research is a specialist field in its own right. If you have the budget to hire a professional market researcher, then I strongly recommend that you do. Experienced researchers will be able to help you know which questions to ask, how to ask them &, just as importantly, how to interpret the answers.

However, if you don't have the budget available to do this, you can start doing some basic market research yourself. I'm not going to go into research methods in detail, but here are a few ideas to help you start thinking about & planning your own research project.

If you're an established business with a decent number of sales

When you're already selling your products, you have sales data that you can review. You can:
• Review the data in your customer relationship management (CRM) database, keeping an eye out for purchase & repeat purchase rates. Pay special attention to people who've registered with you or enquired about your services, but failed to buy. Keep an eye out for any email correspondence, surveys or other data that provides feedback on products / services, salespeople, your website & so on.
• Hold an internal feedback session, asking team members to share customer or clients' feedback with the team.
• Read through comments about your brand on online forums, social media sites & review sites.
• Discover why people unsubscribe from your company emails, if your email service provider (i.e. MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc.) allows you to collect this information.
• Re-read your own customer emails (if they're relevant).

It's important to avoid getting stuck focusing solely on people who have purchased from you. This won't help you understand why some people haven't bought from you. To research this part of your ideal customer base, you can use some of the suggestions listed in paragraph below.

If you're new & you haven't made many - or any - sales

Before you start asking any questions, you'll need to understand who you want to speak with. Answer the question, "who is my ideal customer / client?" & then find them. You might meet them at networking events, Meetups, industry conferences or even out in your local high street.

Once you've worked out who & where, you can start thinking about what you'll need to do & ask to get the right information from them. There are a number of options, but some of the most common (& cost effective) can include:
• Creating surveys (online or offline).
• Running a product / service trial & collecting feedback.

Your research can be as simple as grabbing a clipboard & asking your audience to test out your product / service or rate available features.

If you're not 100% sure that your website is doing what it should be (i.e. helping customers buy from you!) you can also check out tools like Hotjar & Five Second Test.

Sales or no sales: research your competitors

It doesn't matter if you're just getting started or you're bringing in a comfortable number of sales - competitor research is always important. It can help you understand how others in your industry are performing & why.

As a starting point, you can find out:
• How their products / services differ to yours.
• What people are saying about them on social media, on online forums, review sites & even within comments on their blog posts.
• How they're promoting their products / services & the brand overall. You can review their website & you can also sign up to their email list to gather more intel.


Once you've conducted your research, you can start reviewing the answers that you've collected. Be sure to approach all feedback with curiosity & don't be afraid to dig deeper.

When you have your answers, you can begin creating marketing that converts, using campaigns & messages that address issues & help change behaviours & mindsets.

Comments 3

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