The primary objective of a bridge is to cross something. A challenge or an obstacle on the other end of a desire or need. We’ll examine the obstacles a little later on, which may take some time to fully understand. So, let’s take some time to understand the need.
Any relationship requires a connection, and any connection starts with a fundamental need or desire to be connected. This applies to people, careers or activities. There’s always one part that is drawn to the other. And before we go building bridges, we need to know if there is something desirable that will motivate people to cross it. So let’s look at some of these.
Understanding your audience
Different people want different things. And although some needs/wants may seem universal, many people’s desire or priority for a universal need may be on a different scale from one to the other. Nearly everyone wants or needs a home of their own, but some people are either not ready to get one, and then there are people who just don’t want one as much as they need an income. Then there are those who ready to have one, but have prioritised something else above it and are not sure which set of priorities to rank above the other. These are needs, and these sets of decisions are what motivate different audiences. Those priorities can be classified by Age, Race, Location, Language, Culture, Beliefs, Lifestyle, and so many other influencing factors.
This is how we begin defining the audience, who they are and how they behave so that we can develop and refine a product/service specifically for them.
Discovering the facts
We need to understand these sets of data and, more importantly, we need to be able to manage the data. The best way to manage anything is to have the right tools to measure it. So how do we measure needs, interests and audiences? Well, there are many tools available that can give us all this data. We can also build them using reporting tools such as spreadsheets, surveys, focus groups and other online tools.
Or we could opt to buy the data from data portals or data hubs that have already collected these statistics over a period of time, such as Nielsen or Deloitte. The point is, if you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it. So use whatever tools and methods are available to you.
Establishing the need
If you already have a product or service you want to offer, that’s great, but you still need to be able to assess the depth of the desire for what you’re offering. Is it just for you? Are there others who are really looking for this? If YES, who are they, where are they and are they willing to pay (and how much)? If NO, then you have two choices…
Either you can reevaluate your business model and your current offering, or you need to turn your existing offer into something intensely desirable that people simply have to have. Either way, this is all possible, but that boils down to the strategy and design of how exactly you intend to build your bridge. Let’s take a look at that in our next chapter covering the offer.