Monthly Archives: April 2013

Don’t Sell the Problem – Sell the Solution


One of the most important stages in the process of building a product is choosing your marketing strategy – including your target and goals (especially if you are on the marketing team).

Frankly, when you’re a marketer (or least not a developer), the initial product development period gives you time to think, plan, and act towards your marketing strategy and decide how to approach bloggers, customers, users, etc.

Your marketing strategy should involve many aspects such as social media, public relations, and SEO, in order to broaden your reach as much as possible. To keep it simple, Kissmetrics covered these points in an amazing guide called “The Ultimate Guide to Startup Marketing

Getting to know and choose your market (the first point in Kissmetric’s guide) is not only about defining demographics and market size, but about the message you are going to deliver to each one of these potential users.The first thing to understand is that you are not selling your users the problem, you are selling the solution.


We want to help people who have a problem sharing content

Earlier this month, we released the private beta of our new product, Swayy, a tool that brings you content to share with your community. As founders of a startup, we worked hard keep our social media accounts active on a daily basis. This in large part involved finding engaging content for our followers to consume, and thus grow our community and position us as thought-leaders in the industry. That was OUR PROBLEM. No one had to explain me why I should be active on my social media outlets, what my goals should be, how time-consuming it is, and how painful they are to maintain. When you are familiar with the problem, you understand the solution.

Once we had our first version of Swayy ready for beta testing, we decided to devote the first few weeks to pitching it only to close acquaintances and asking them to test it in order to get early feedback.


The feedback was divided into two clear groups:

Those who had the same marketing problem as I did focused on the quality of the content and the necessary components of the system.

Those who don’t understand the point of sharing mostly gave feedback on the UI (which should not be discounted).

I instinctually had the urge to explain to the second group why they should share, why it’s important to be active on social media, and why they should want to grow their community. After enlightening them, how could they not fall for Swayy?


You can’t convince people to solve a problem they don’t have

The defining moment in our marketing efforts was when we realized that we cannot sell the problem itself. We’re not here to explain the importance of social media for you and your startup, we’re not here to explain what sharing can do for you. We aren’t the messengers of blogging, content marketing, and content sharing. We’re here to solve a problem for the people who already know they have it.


Filter feedback from “fake” users and ignore their metrics

Having more users onboard is a good thing, but it’s a bad thing when it negatively affects your usage percentages. The users that didn’t understand the point of Swayy or social media marketing were not counted as signed up users, and their activity on Swayy was ignored. These “fake” users are great for getting feedback on UI, UX, the onboarding process, and so on. Their feedback is important, and we made a point of never ignoring it.


How we approach user growth at Swayy

At this moment, several weeks into our private beta, we’ve better learned more about who our users (or potential users) are and are not. We also learned which channels to use for finding potential users, and which should be avoided.

The most important lesson we learned since launching the beta is to not waste time explaining why Swayy will help one solve a problem someone might experience in the future. We’re here to solve an existing problem for those who know they have it.


I would love to hear about how you find your potential users, and the ways you reach out to them. Leave comments or be in touch on Twitter


If you are interested in using Swayy, leave your email at to join our growing private beta.




Photo Credit gem66