Search marketers have long known that there’s value in “putting oneself into the shoes of searchers.” By so doing, they can craft and deploy content that precisely addresses searchers’ informational needs in a voice likely to resonate with these people and stimulate a positive response.

Mitchell Levy, interviewed recently by Kevin Lee, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman at Didit, for the eMarketing Association, calls this orientation “an audience-centric mindset.” Developing such a mindset greatly enhances the marketer’s ability to understand the unique “pain points” of their audiences, thereby moving the marketer — in the mind of his/her audience — from “someone who wants to sell to me” to “someone who might actually be able to help me,” thus maximizing the chance that the prospect will take positive action.

Why Customer Pain Points Matter

Every client, every customer, and every prospect has a unique set of pain points. Some struggle to maintain or expand market share; others wrestle with issues relating to productivity, employee motivation, or other business issue. (Mitchell Levy has an exhaustive list of pain points on his web site,

The more specific the pain point, the more narrowly tailored the remedy can be. For example, taking two examples from Mr. Levy’s site, if the pain point in your audience happens to be “CEOs of companies that are $3M – $5M in revenue who need to understand the true value of digital marketing,” a specific training program might be devised for those CEOs. If, however, the pain point is “Business leaders who really want to ensure that their organization is still around tomorrow and the day after,” an entire range of issues might need to be explored and solved before this pain point is no longer a challenge.

Discovering the unique pain points of your audience begins with research. Businesses with a long history in the market likely already have access to data that can identify them, for example, market research data, CRM data, sales force experience, and other data. Startups may have a more difficult road ahead given that their products and services are new and their customer bases might also be new. For these newcomers, one useful research technique is to perform a competitive audit to determine how competitors are succeeding (or failing) at identifying these pain points and positioning themselves as resources offering relief.

Understanding customer points of pain is an essential task for every business because without doing so, companies risk being stuck in a “what I do/what I can sell” mindset, not in a “what do you need/how can I help?” mindset. And in a world where people are impatient – as well as increasingly distrustful of being aggressively sold to — that’s poison.

Using Customer Points of Pain to Refine Your Messaging in SEO and Social Media

Understanding CPoPs can help marketers drive creative strategy, as well as define their online messaging across social media and SEO content. Using the CPoP framework also forces the marketer to be very clear and focused when crafting this messaging. As Mr. Levy observes, one test of a valid CPoP is “whether the spouse of the target will understand the message.”

But being clear is not enough; one must be brief. “As marketers, we’re not taught to be succinct,” observes Mr. Levy. But “if you can articulate a CPoP in one to ten words — essentially in one to three seconds — what happens is that it becomes shareable. It becomes memorable. And if it’s done to someone who actually cares about your CPoP, it begs the next question, which is “tell me more.”‘

You can watch the relevant portions of the interview between Kevin Lee and Mitchell Levy here at the link below or on this page:

Didit Editorial