Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Occasional Series I - Problem Statement

I have been promising to start an occasional series on how to put some of the social media ideas I cover in this blog into practice. Of course, I'm not going to provide all the answers - no amount of inspiration can replace perspiration. But hopefully I can begin to lay out some strategic thoughts that will help you polish your ideas before you call in the experts ... and that should save some cash in these straitened times! So here goes ...

Let's set up the context. We are working for a bank (let's call it WSG) that has been doing reasonably well, but its engagement and customer satisfaction numbers have been flat for some time. Sheesh - in Australia, banks have been bas**rds since Hanrahan's time. The CRM work has been well executed, and profitable, but the financial crisis has tarnished its "human" face.

The CMO has identified a potential opportunity among young couples ("Builders") where the main income earner is 25-34 years-old. If WSG can reach out to these customers, there is a reasonable likelihood that some serious LTV is available provided WSG can deliver a unique value proposition and focuses hard on customer retention.

Trouble is, this group is cynical about banks in general and rarely if ever visits a branch. For them, banking is a transaction-based commodity service that is more often than not a stress-giver than a solution. They are most prone to switching, particularly when credit card debt consolidation is offered. Worse still, this group is more likely than most others to feel financial pressure - and the last couple of years haven't been great.

The first step is to create a problem statement. 25 words or less, this should wrap up the cogent details so even the most time-poor executive can understand the issue. I also like to highlight 5 key parts of the Problem Statement.

Problem Statement: WSG needs a place where it can "meet" Builders on their terms, create an conversation around relevant issues, and offer value-added solutions to their needs.
* Yes, I cheated by hyphenating "value" and "added". Why not - it works for Ben Bernanke!

Up Next Time: Defining the Audience

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