Use customer's pain to build an effective product strategy - the talk with Etgar Shpivak

May 12, 2022

An outstanding marketing expert with many years of experience, in addition to being an author, speaker, and the one helping startups and entrepreneurs improve their ways of doing business, the СЕО at Fixel - Etgar Shpivak helps us to understand the customer audience so clearly and precisely, that it will increase your profits and make marketing much more efficient.

Etgar Shpivak came to the marketing world accidentally. His journey started as a programmer, he even experienced it in the Israeli army. Then, his father asked him to work for his IT website. He did a number of roles in some advertising agencies, from sales to business development, marketing, and lots of hands-on experience.

Etgar started working as a consultant; he had the privilege to work with some of the largest companies in Israel, along with some companies from the US. He is a co-author of the book “Marketing in the Digital Era”, which is a part of the syllabus in the leading universities and colleges of Israel, among CEO and VP marketing in the leading companies in Israel. Today, Etgar also teaches advertising and digital strategy at the Israeli Academy.

So, recently Etgar started the company Fixel, he saw that there was a lack of efficiency in understanding the website audiences. He decided to help companies do business better by making their customer data work for them. They started to build metrics, and to find out if this user/customer is relevant for your business or not. It was a tedious and time-consuming process to deliver great results.

We decided to start the company, out of personal pain.

Etgar gives several recommendations on the most important things the entrepreneur should focus on when building a new digital product:

  • Fall in love with the problem, not the solution. You have to understand what you solve for. You have the problem, but you need to understand what causes the problem.

It's much cheaper to put mirrors inside the elevator than fixing the whole elevator platform.

  • Develop a real vulnerability. Be very open to what people say to you, listen to all advice you hear, but filter them based on what you do and what will be better for your business.
  • Accept the fact that you are not as genius as you think.

By understanding and not doing everything, but listening to everything being vulnerable.

Customer discovery

This is the most essential thing the founder should do before writing a single line of code. You need to understand the problem you want to solve, and go and interview people who are ‘stakeholders’ relevant to this problem.

You need to find people that not only have pain, but actively look for solutions. This is a very long, tedious process taking three to six months.

There is a gap between saying “I have this pain” and “I'm looking for a solution”.

The discovery phase has some steps:

  1. Define your customer profile
  2. Start listening! Be focused on the pains, not only on Who might want your product

What to Consider? When you Build an Effective Strategy?

  1. Be very focused. Plan not only for global time, but make short-term plans
  2. Solve a real problem, not just offer some product, because someone said, “Yes, I want it!”

You need to focus on pain, and build a great offer.

“Can we win with just a simple promise?” – “When you're in the industry, and you already have your product, I think your creativity is maybe the most important factor that you can improve to scale your business results. But if what you sell is not interesting enough, I don't think the creative will solve it.”

Key challenges entrepreneurs face in the digital era:

  1. To stay focused: too many options, too many distractions. The failure starts when the entrepreneur thinks, “Let’s do FB/TikTok ads.”
  2. To outline what is best exactly for YOU, to leverage all ad channels for your goals.

Number one pitfall when starting a startup:

  • Thinking you know it, not focusing on pains
  • Not having a clear strategy plan
  • Despite having a product-market fit, despite keeping to all business book, rules, step by step, always be ready for the fact that you may fail. “You have to smile, anyway”.

It’s so rewarding mentally when customers pay to you: when it started with only your idea, you choose this product, you built the strategy, and someone is willing to pay for this.

If you want to hear the full story of Etgar Shpivak, where he tells how he accidentally fell into digital marketing, how he became a practitioner, speaker, author, and teacher, what typical mistakes entrepreneurs make, and how to avoid them, listen to our new podcast.


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