Pain Points: Hit Me Where it Hurts

On Sunday night one of my teeth started aching. This was no surprise, since the dentist and I have a love-hate relationship—she loves to send cute postcards reminding me it’s time for a check-up, and I hate going. So I don’t.

The result is a broken tooth, one that (so far I as knew) died painfully a few years ago. That time, I didn’t go to the dentist but decided instead to ‘tough it out’, a terrible choice since it was like someone stabbing the side of my face with a dagger for days on end, and when that got old a pounding sledgehammer. So when the tooth started to ache this weekend, I assumed it had a little more dying to do and I’d be fine a few days.

Incorrect.

I tried everything. Aspirin, Orajel and clove oil, then salt water rinses and ice packs. Nothing worked. I even tried putting glue in the exposed socket to stop air from getting to the nerve. This too was unsuccessful. So on Tuesday morning with throbbing face and fearful heart, I started calling dentists. One nearby had an immediate opening so off I went—and was told the source of the pain was a severe infection. Not surprisingly, the tooth would have to come out.

Today I’m pain free, thanks to a talented dentist and the wonders of IV sedation, which let me avoid the terror of someone hacking away at my face but putting me in a semi-conscious happy-time state. I can say with complete certainty that I remember getting the IV and I remember being told the procedure was over. The rest is missing.

Bring the Pain

Once I’d recovered enough to think straight and lament all the work time I’d missed, the experience got me thinking about ‘pain points’. I hear this term quite often from clients who want to engage potential customers—what makes them hurt, and how can we fix it?

While part this engagement comes from intelligent market assessment and SEO best practices, part of the answer is expertise. When my tooth started screaming, I reached for in-house tools. When that didn’t work, I went to an expert. To determine who fit the bill, I started from the top: Who deals with teeth? Dentists, obviously, but that wasn’t enough. I wanted someone who could take away my fear of dental surgery, so that meant a company with expertise in IV sedation. Next came the on-site analysis. Upon arrival for my 8:45am appointment I cased the joint—was everything clean, did the staff seem knowledgeable? How did I feel about the doctor?

Since everything checked out, I booked the procedure and everything went to plan. They got my business and my money, because of their expertise. Because they addressed my pain points. Freelance copywriters fill the same role, providing a way for businesses to market their expertise in such a way that it speaks directly to customer pain points. Often, in-house content generation struggles to create this link, since while internal reps are familiar with company offerings they may miss the bigger picture.

Consider my dentist again. Appealing to the largest number of potential customers could have been achieved by focusing on the idea of great dentistry at cheap prices; everyone loves a good deal. Instead, the office played up IV sedation, a much more expensive alternative to standard Novocaine. But this specificity gave them access to particular consumer set: People afraid of the dentist and willing to pay for a sense of peace.

Want your Web content to grab consumer attention? Hit them where it hurts.

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