The first rule of marketing is, unless you are in the business of selling basic provisions or lifesaving medicines, nobody needs your products.

As marketers it is our job to create desire and make people want to buy products. The best way to do this is by demonstrating how a particular product can solve a problem or fill a void in your customers’ life.

I recently spent the day with a musical instrument retailer. He had recently taken stock of some in-ear monitors (audio devices worn inside the ear to help musicians hear how their music sounds to their audience). As a gigging musician himself, he found the devices incredibly useful. In fact, he described them as life changing as they gave him the freedom of the stage and for the first time ever the ability to hear himself play above the crash of the drums right behind him.

The only problem with his in-ear monitors was he couldn’t sell them.

Simply listing the stock on his website (with high quality images and a detailed product specification) was not enough to persuade people to part with their cash and buy these really useful items.

He needed to make his marketing copy personal so that it would speak to his audience in a language they could understand, creating a real desire for a product they perhaps had never realized that they needed.

Anyone can create a product listing and publish it to the web. Very few people can speak with authority about a product and let their enthusiasm and knowledge do the selling.

I suggested he create a video or write a blog post and talk as a professional musician about how these products made him a better performer. He was in the perfect position to create a marketing message that was authentic and insightful and this would go a long way to perhaps solving a problem that many of his clients did not know they had, ultimately helping him to sell more in-ear monitors.

The best marketing will help your customers solve problems. Don’t wait for them to work these problems out by themselves. If you are struggling to sell certain items, perhaps you could inject a little more usefulness into your campaigns.

This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.