You know the saying No Pain, No Gain, but here's a little different way to look at it. I have been reviewing/refining 2014 sales & marketing strategy for several clients yesterday and today, and the pain or gain aspect of market planning is really resonating with me right now.
One thing we understand about selling (and therefore, marketing) is that every purchase someone makes is either to eliminate a pain or to create a gain. If you can resonate with the potential buyers' emotions associated with either eliminating pain or experiencing gain (or both) you can use that in your marketing messages, images, and strategies.
The way to figure out what pain you can eliminate is to ask. Just ask your customers for the list of things they are frustrated with relative to what you have to sell. Then figure out a way to express what you have to sell as a solution to a pain.
The gain aspect can be a bit more challenging to define. For many purchases, the gain is simply that it makes the buyer feel better. Savvy marketers dig in and try to understand why and how the product makes them feel better. They also look for ways to make the experience of buying the product feel like a gain - not just the purchased item itself. When selling business-to-business the gain is often outside the actual product. The gain may be in the services, brand cache, terms, or other support you can provide.
What pain are you alleviating, or what gain are you providing, with the product you sell? Think about it for your business!