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123 The Two Categories of Problems / Opportunities

Monday 10th June 2024
LOM_Episodes-123 The Two Questions Problems and Opportunity

In this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s talk about the two categories of Problems and Opportunities that we face, and the questions that we need to ask to figure out what we’re dealing with when an issue or an opportunity arrives.

Know the Category of Problems / Opportunities First

If you’re a business leader or marketing leader, you’re an entrepreneur. Of course, your job is to deal with problems and opportunities as they arise. So when any new problem or opportunity arises first, let’s think about what is the context of it? What type of problem or opportunity is it?

It turns out there’s really only two big problems that we face. One, knowing what to do and two, doing it. So when an issue, opportunity, or a problem comes up, it is critical that we ask the questions that we need to ask to understand: “Is this a ‘knowing what to do’ problem, or is this a ‘doing it’ problem?”

Most people just jump to problem solving before they know what category of problem they’re solving. Of course, solving a ‘knowing what to do’ problem a.k.a. strategy is very different from solving a ‘doing it’ problem a.k.a. execution.

So the next time something pops up, ask yourself and your colleagues, is this a ‘knowing what to do’ problem or ‘doing it’ problem?


Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger.

He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur.

Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist.

In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion.

He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive.

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on Apple Podcast! You may also subscribe to his newsletter, The Difference, for some amazing content.