Wednesday, April 1, 2009

How do our mindsets play a role in writing killer copy?

 If you ask me what makes me feel if a brand is good or bad. I wouldn’t hesitate to tell you that it’s their ultra sensitivity. Isn’t it? How about you? It’s the concern for the consumer that separates one successful brand from a not-so-successful one- from a successful blog to an okay- kind-of one. Here the denominator is their unstinted concern.

If they can represent and reflect my inner most feelings and sensibilities, I would vote for them. Even our relationships and society feel sophisticated and civilized with this sensitivity.

But. How many of us have time to really go into the nitty grityy each time we embark upon one – writing assignment like an ad or a brochure. Its bit difficult to fake your concern and it’ll always be a half-hearted attempt. It always fall a wee behind the expectations. May miss the right opportunity.  Unless you’re blessed with this sensible mindset, I feel, it’s quite difficult to look at others’ concerns.  The consumers’ life and priorities don’t really sink into to your collective conscience. Hence, you can’t reflect the same in your copy. Your copy lies insipid.

If you think / want your customer to benefit from a very good car/residential site/ fridge/ TV/ career course which is low priced and can easily fit in to their budget, tell him, that this product genuinely benefits them. Or if required nudge, and cajole him/her to take a decision with a voice that they feel is their own (a familiar and friendly tone). Compare and contrast his/her reason with yours and finally let him/her consider with their discretion.

Does this offer benefit him in the end? Does he/she feel happy about the decision? Won’t he/she become your loyal friend and customer all through life? Soon, they will, for sure.  

Even the customer doesn’t take a decision; he or she respects and considers you as a friend, though. As someone who trusts you, no matter what.

If you treat him/her a friend, you’d certainly hog the extra mile to win his/her heart through gentle speech that is directed to benefit him; not to trick him or her.

"Forget words like 'hard sell' and 'soft sell.' That will only confuse you. Just be sure your advertising is saying something with substance, something that will inform and serve the consumer, and be sure you're saying it like it's never been said before."  -William Bernbach

 A caring attitude helps to fathom the inner soul

                                                  (customer’s, that is) 

Brands and consumers relationship is akin to any relationship in our life. Reason why David Ogilvy said: “the consumer is none but your wife”. If we need to understand a person’s outburst or anger we need to know, what the reason is. If we care for a person we will know what are his likes and dislikes. We need to make attempts to understand these concerns (we call it research or experience). Then, and only then, the tone and voice of your copy will certainly gets attuned to entertain and educate the reader.

No effort spared to make him/her smile

Our choice of a headline, or body copy – the lead, will be made interesting, if you really like the person to whom you target the copy. If you care for him or her, you would write a couple of headlines more and see which one can potentially interest the reader. The lead – the introductory paragraph and the entire copy in the ad is made so interesting that you want your best buddy isn’t bored. You make it spicy and hilarious and yet at times poignant to elicit a kaleidoscope of emotions in your friend – reader, the target audience.

Some beautiful posts on the blogs of some famous writers mirror their efforts. Their genuine concern for the reader, who trudges to their sites for information and solace, is shown in their posts. Some sites are God-sent blessings to me as I can’t imagine a day without reading them.

 Your love has no boundaries

You make a conscious effort not to hurt him or her by misguiding them or by being rude or being brash. There is one hoarding which screams: ACT LIKE A MONKEY. Hmm.. what do you call it if not downright disregard for your customer. This hoarding and several other substandard ads I came across, prompted me to write this post.

If you know you hurt him or her inadvertently, you don’t waste time to say sorry and apologize. At last you find new and novel ways to tell stories to your reader to make them happy and give bits of information about something which is quite useful to make their lives easier and effortless.

Like… I want my friend to tell me if there is a good book on copywriting with a new perspective; a sale which is very good for purchasing a good pair of jeans, a good set of dining table etc. I appreciate that effort and want to reciprocate the same to him or her.

Your copy represents a sense of long-lasting relationship through the emotions you show towards your customer. For which, I believe, besides your wherewithal and know-how on copywriting and greater language mastery, it’s your caring mindset that makes you a good copywriter as someone who can write – killer copy that tugs the heart strings of your reader.

I read one post in a blog of a reputed freelance copywriter in America who shares similar sentiments:

Does this concern help us to go the extra-mile, or can we write an emotional and touching copy even without actually feeling for the one whom it is addressed? Pls. feel free to comment and share your views.


Marte said...

You are so right - caring for the consumer is an important ingredient in a successful promotion. Marketers (and their copywriters) who care about the consumer bring honesty to the promotion that does ensure a long-term relationship.

One well-known copywriter, Joe Vitale, says that when he sits down to write he actually says "I love you, I love you, I love you."

Solomon said...

Hi Marte,
Thanks again for your invaluable comment! Your presence as a learned and most reputed copywriter gives this blog a new lease. Truly!

Your blog too has a wealth of information on copywriting, blogging. I really enjoyed reading them, and will lookforward to learn much from you in the future.