Market Problem Map
What is it?
Market problem map is a tool that helps you make sense of the market, its participants and their needs, and formulate a plan of attack.
What does it help you achieve?
The main uses for market problem map are to help you decide where to enter markets, how to position yourself, and how to grow and expand. But companies also use it for everything from making roadmaps, aligning the team, introspection, and all the way to extracting insights from customer interviews.
Who would benefit from it the most?
Market problem map is a great tool for anyone deciding where to start or where to go from here. Be it marketers devising a going to market strategy, CEOs thinking about positioning and long term growth strategy, or product owners trying to mediate between the needs of their customers and their business.
How to use it?
Fill out the segments (or personas). Make sure that segment definitions are specific and actionable.
Fill out the problems.
For each segment x problem pair write down how that problem manifests for that specific segment. Be as concrete as possible here. Not all segments have all problems. It’s fine if you skip some pairs.
For each segment x problem pair asses how big of a pain this problem is for for this segment (using a scale of 1-10, with 1 being insignificant, and 10 an existential threat); how easy it is for you to sell the solution to this problem to this segment (using a scale of 1-10, with 1 being very difficult, almost impossible, and 10 being very easy – the solution more or less sells itself); and lastly how easy it is for you to solve this problem (using a scale of 1-10, with 1 being very difficult, almost impossible, and 10 being trivial or already done).
Unlock the power of Market-Problem Mapping
Test the model for yourself after watching video tutorial here and let us know on LinkedIn (Maja Voje & Simon Belak) what were your key takeaways from the application of the Market-Problem Map mind model.
This is a tool you should iterate with rather than use one and be done with.
As you are filling it out you will often discover that some segment might be better split into two, or that multiple top-level problems collapse into one or vice versa. That is to be expected and a sign you are understanding your market better and better.
It is better to go through multiple iterations than to try and get it perfect on the attempt.
Don’t get bogged down by the scores – most of the value is in relative comparisons and ranking.
Feel free to add other ranking dimensions or remove some of the existing if they don’t make sense.
Market problem map is a snapshot of your thinking – take full advantage of Miro’s annotation tools (stickies, arrows, comments) to capture all the nuances, uncertainties, questions, and action points.