Cause and Affect

April 5th, 2013 by Matthew Rosenhaft Leave a reply »

Wait, I can hear my Chief Grammar Editor screaming “NOOOOOOO” it is supposed to be effect. Stick with me….

You wake up one morning with a sore knee. A shooting painful, throbbing awful kind of ache that flashes mortality across your brain even before you have had your first cup of coffee. A sufficient enough pain that you use your coffee to wash down the multiple Advil. And then you wait, hoping the pain will go away. The ache subsides, but the deep pain does not. Sufficiently painful that next step is to schedule the doctor’s appointment. Given the location of the pain, you go straight to the orthopedist given the proximity of the pain rather than your general doc-in-the-box down the street. Not wasting time messing around with this amount of pain.

After the nurse takes your symptoms, pokes and prods a bit, and then leaves for an hour; in pops the doctor who introduces themselves and then tells you that based upon your symptoms, that he needs to schedule you for an amputation and he can fit you in tomorrow. WHAT!!? “I am the best amputation specialist in the country, don’t worry. You will be fitted with a great prosthetic and you will only occasionally have phantom pain.”

Hmmm. Can we second opinion? What if the second one said that you need the latest drug protocol to rebuild cartilage.  He is the leading expert in the country and is one of the owners of the drug company. Only run you $25,000 per pill for a 3 month treatment course.

And so on and so on…. You probably would pop on to the internet and see what other people had done to fix their knee pain and see if you could diagnose it for yourself.

Or like most people these days, before you scheduled the first appointment, you would have gone online and searched for your symptoms to find out what might be causing your pain. Could it because you were overdoing last night dancing? Tripped and fell down? Could it be the amount of training that you have been doing lately? The good news is that you will find lots of opinions. Bad news is that you will find lots and lots of opinions, misinformation, and noise. Just useless noise.

What is the point of the above story? The doctors did not help you diagnose the underlying problem. They just went from painful symptoms straight to treatment option. The peer information online had too much information that confused the symptoms and the possible underlying problems making it impossible to diagnose which symptoms were really directly caused by which problem.

Welcome to the world of being a buyer in your market. Answer a simple question, what problem do you solve and for whom? Hints:

  • If you have a complex solution or market with a strategic decision maker – Has to be a strategic problem
  • If it isn’t an underlying cause, but rather a painful symptom – lose a point
  • You can’t use your gee-whiz solution’s features to describe the problem – lose a point
  • You can’t use your benefits statement or ROI or any “after” outcome – – lose a point
  • You can’t describe a process – lose a point
  • You can’t use a competitor’s name – lose a point
  • You can’t use your category name – lose a point
  • It can’t use any of these combinations of words ( business, analytics, cloud, automation, relationship, experience, advanced, growth, revenue, new, latest, SaaS, security, application, ROI, valuable, profitable, safely, better)
  • It can’t be longer than a long elevator ride – lose a point
  • It can’t be generic enough that not only could your competitors use it, but every other company that sells to the same decision maker no matter what they sell. “Grow their revenues” – lose 10 points
  • It should be a unique problem that only your company can sell because it highlights your unique capabilities and differentiation – add 10 points
  • It should be sufficiently strong enough to enable the decision maker to realize that they can’t solve it themselves – add 10 points
  • It should be self-contained enough that people can easily understand it – add 20 points
  • It should be delivered in a way to assist the buyers in realizing that they have an underlying problem and lend clarity to the painful situation they find themselves in – add 25 points
  • Bonus – reach them early enough, in the right places, for the right people, in the right way to help use the problem diagnosis to clarify what decisions they need to get consensus from all the stakeholders to get agreement to the problem sufficient to be considered a trusted advisor guiding them through the diagnosis, solution optioning,
    requirements, and vendor selection = The price of your solution
  • Bonus2X – ability to help them self-qualify the different possible problems that underlies the symptoms and to best diagnose which problem they really have = revenue growth
  • Bonus3X – The ability to affect their thinking about the underlying problem causing their pain in the market prior to engaging them in the sales process = market share

What problem do we solve?

For market adoption owners who have responsibility for driving market adoption for their company and see the buyer adoption shift from vendor-driven to peer influenced education on the problem definition before they engage for education on the solution differences is marginalizing them with buyers who are empowered; how do they operationalize problem diagnosis on a market level to reach the buyer earlier in their buying process so their company can be considered a trusted advisor in the buying process prior to engaging them 1:1 in the sales process?

Bonus Question

How do you do this in a way as to drive more market adoption for our company?

Matthew Rosenhaft

Matthew is a Social Marketing Executive and is co-founder of Social Gastronomy, LLC and the Social Executive Council. Prior to founding Social Gastronomy, Matthew has over 18 years’ experience as an executive in marketing, product management, and sales. Matthew has an extensive background in the SaaS Software, Social Media, Mobile, IT Services, and Telecom industries. He has prior entrepreneurial experience as a founder and executive in several early-stage venture-backed technology companies, as well as, holds several US patents for a mobile marketing technology. Matthew is a prominent blogger and regular industry speaker on social marketing and strategy topics. Matthew’s blog can be found at For more information on Matthew, you can check out his LinkedIn profile at or contact him directly at