Do you ever actually talk with customers or prospects about your product?
Doing so is old advice, but it can yield profitable results.
Veteran ad man Joe Sacco once had an assignment to write a campaign for a new needle used by diabetics to inject insulin.
What was the key selling point?
The diabetics Sacco talked with praised the needle because it was sharp, which Joe said surprised him greatly.
A non-user probably would view being sharp as a negative.
But if you have given yourself or anyone else an injection, you know that sharper needles go in smoother, with no pain.
Sacco wrote a successful ad campaign based on the claim that these needles were sharp, thus enabling easier, pain-free insulin injection.
At times, insights into the prospect’s desires and concerns can be gleaned through formal market research.
For instance, a copywriter working on a cooking oil account was reading a focus group transcript and came across this comment from a user: “I fried chicken in the oil and then poured the oil back into a measuring cup. All the oil was there except one tablespoon.”
This comment, buried in the appendix of a focus group report, became the basis of a successful TV campaign.
Commercials dramatized that the oil was not absorbed by the food…and therefore the food was not greasy when cooked in it.
Copywriter Don Hauptman advises, “Start with the prospect, not the product.”
By listening to your customers and prospects, you can often gain a deeper understanding of their wants, concerns, problems, and fears before you try to sell them something.
Stronger marketing campaigns usually follow.
Bob Bly is the author of “World’s Best Copywriting Secrets” and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him “America’s top copywriter”.