What Is a Marketing Problem Statement?

A marketing problem statement is simply a statement that aims to address or resolve a marketing problem. The problem statement is used as a tool meant to enact sound and appropriate solutions to a marketing problem.   

According to data published by Statista, as of January 2021, the top three most popular platforms for social media marketing were Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. An overwhelming 94% of respondents used Facebook in their marketing campaigns. While Instagram measured 76% and LinkedIn at 59%.  

Examples of Marketing Problems

Like in any field or discipline, there are always potential issues or problems that need to be resolved. If you are a marketing professional or practitioner, chances are you have encountered one or a number of these common problems. It is important to have a deep understanding of these issues in order to resolve them in the most appropriate way.   

Lack of traffic or awareness. One of the most common marketing problems is that there is lack of general awareness of one’s brand, product or service. Not many people know about the brand or even care to learn about it. It is the marketer’s job to generate interest and stir awareness to potential customers and clients. More often than not, it is not so much the lack of foot traffic that is the root of the problem but the marketing strategy or approach. You may have to reassess your target market or back it up with more substantial research and evidence. It could be that your marketing plans or strategies lack focus in that it fails to penetrate the right target market. When there is a significant lack of traffic or interest, you may need to conduct more exposure or concoct more ingenious ways of capturing prospective customers or clients. Lack of support and resources. Another common marketing problem is the lack of resources. Marketing returns usually take longer to materialize compared to other departments. It is often said that marketers take on the role of spenders and not necessarily income-generators in an organization. It is for this reason that some companies make it more challenging to release funds when it comes to marketing initiatives and projects. Unless there is surplus budget or resources to spare, marketing professionals have to earn their share. They need to argue and present their case before financiers or backers. And unless businesses and corporations invest a great deal in their marketing efforts, those marketers on the ground need to contend with occasional budget problems. Marketing professionals also sometimes need to deal with lack of support from upper management or executives. Without the backing of the latter, the execution of marketing plans can be a challenge. Low sales or returns. With the lack of traffic and resources, sales can inevitably be affected. It is much like a domino effect wherein everything is directly affected by one major problem. In traditional business organizations, sales and marketing always go hand-in-hand. They are like two sides of the same coin. Without sufficient and effective marketing, a company’s sales may suffer dramatically. And with poor sales performance, marketing budget and strategy is directly affected. Fortunately, a good marketing strategy may help counter low profit margins or returns. Although increased traffic does not always translate to higher sales, it can be a good starting point. Many companies suffer from a sales slump or poor market performance. But by investing in strategic and targeted marketing efforts, sales performance may potentially improve. Fierce competition. Another common problem encountered by a lot of marketing professionals is competition in the field. Modern capitalist systems promote free markets and trade. And with that system in place, both innovation and competition organically arise. Since there is fierce competition in the field of marketing and advertising, the pressure to stand out and offer a unique value proposition is much greater. But it is important to note that the reality of cut-throat competition can either be seen as a problem or an opportunity. It all depends on your mindset and attitude. How you approach it can make all the difference. If you see competition as something negative, the tendency is to engage in constant comparison and you can get easily discouraged by other people’s success. But if you view competition as an opportunity to grow and innovate, then you can focus on your own professional development and success.

Tips on How to Manage Common Marketing Problems

Even if a lot of people experience common marketing problems, how you handle it can spell the difference. Some marketers fail to get past their work problems while others look for ingenious ways to address them. The following examples are just some simple tips on how you can learn to manage common marketing problems. 

Speak up. Keeping problems to yourself rarely solves anything. Especially when it comes to marketing problems or any workplace issues, sharing the weight of the problem could help resolve it quicker. It is important to air out your concerns to the right people. You can seek counsel or advice from your superior or manager. Confide in someone you trust. Much more can be done when more people are actively trying to solve a problem. Do not be afraid to open up to people about the problem you’re encountering. But you also need to be truthful and sincere in asking for help. You should act with accountability too if the error or mistake had anything to do with you. It is basically a balancing act of being open about the problem but also conveying and handling it in a professional way. Think outside the box. Marketing problems can come in different shapes and sizes. They may vary in severity and do not always require the same solution. Although most marketing problems have tried-and-tested fixes, some may feel novel or may pose a greater challenge to solve. Thus, it is vital to always keep an open mind and not get too caught up in how things have ‘always been’. If you encounter a problem that you can’t find a ready solution for, try thinking outside the box. It pays to be resourceful and creative when approaching challenging problems. Having problems with your marketing budget? Find innovative ways of garnering funds and support. Suffering from a sharp dive in product sales? Try a different approach other than what has already been done. Only marketers that have the guts to think creatively and differently end up truly making an impact in their field. Go back to the drawing board. Another helpful tip that can help you resolve a marketing problem or issue is to go back to the drawing board. What this essentially means is that you allow yourself to take a step back and reassess the problem from another angle or perspective. It cannot be emphasized enough that oftentimes, all it takes to deal with an existing problem is by looking at it with fresh eyes. If you have been stuck on a marketing problem for several days or even weeks, try recalibrating your approach. Gather your marketing team and go back to the drawing board. Do not be afraid to start from zero. When the problem is too significant or far-reaching, it helps to brainstorm as a team for possible solutions. As mentioned previously, the more people are actively trying to fix a problem, the higher the chances are of actually resolving it quickly.

How to Create a Marketing Problem Statement

To create a concise marketing problem statement, you need to do more than just identify the problem. And if you are looking for quick and convenient problem statement templates, there are tons of sample templates above that are available to download. Select one that suits your needs then follow the basic tutorial guide below. 

Step 1: Introduction

If your aim is to create a formal marketing problem statement, you need to start with a suitable introduction. How you frame this section is entirely up to you. You can discuss your major objectives for creating a problem statement; or you can offer some context or background on why you chose such a problem to solve. Having the appropriate introduction can help the reader ease into your problem statement and subsequent discussions. As much as possible, you want your audience to understand your point of view. So by providing some initial context, you can lead and guide them towards understanding your major points or ideas.   

Step 2: Statement of the Problem

Once you have crafted a brief introduction, the next step is stating the marketing problem. As discussed in the earlier sections, there can be different types of marketing problems- both simple and complex. But in order for you to move forward with your problem in a solution-oriented way, you need to state the problem clearly and directly. A problem statement that is either too vague or too general may not necessarily produce the best outcomes. Thus, you need to be sure that the marketing problem can be addressed in concrete and realistic terms. It may not always be a guarantee that proposed solutions will resolve everything entirely; but what matters is that you have a problem statement that is clear and concise.    

Step 3: Analysis

After stating the marketing problem, the next step is conducting a thorough analysis. Only by examining and evaluating the problem can you come up with the appropriate steps to resolve it. Why is it important to analyze a problem? Some issues require quick and easy fixes; but some are a little more complex or complicated to solve. An analysis takes a problem and looks at it from all dimensions. This gives a broader and more in-depth look at a mere surface-level problem. In the case of a marketing problem statement, you may need to consider several angles and possibilities before finally understanding the problem.      

Step 4: Recommendations 

The last step is offering sound recommendations or possible solutions to the marketing problem. In a typical research paper, there are separate sections devoted to findings, recommendations, and the conclusion. But for the sole purpose of addressing a marketing problem statement, you can collate your action plans and recommendations into a single section. The goal of stating a marketing problem is so you can come up with and apply suitable solutions. The objective is to have a good grasp and understanding of the problem so that you can offer the proper recommendations. Ideally, your recommendations ought to be based on sound research and logic. It must also be realistic and feasible enough.      

FAQs

How do you write a marketing problem statement?

To write a marketing problem statement, it needs to be specific and targeted. Avoid crafting a problem that is too vague or general. Refer to the previous section for more detailed instructions on how to create a marketing problem statement.

What are the 5 elements of a problem statement?

According to an article on Medium, the five elements of a problem statement are the problem, the solution, the purpose, the procedure, and the results.

What are some problems in marketing?

Some problems in the field of marketing include lack of resources and organizational support. Refer to the example problems in the earlier sections for a more in-depth discussion on marketing problems.

A marketing problem statement is meant to help you or your team come up with concrete and clear solutions. And in order to resolve an issue, it might be wise to conduct an assessment or analysis of the problem first. Browse the wide selection of sample templates above to get started on your own problem statement!