Are You Marketing To Yourself Or To Your Target Market?Wednesday, November 11th, 2009
Message from Michelle
I can hardly believe it’s November, especially with the warm weather we’ve had in Charleston. This weekend was absolutely gorgeous and we were able to celebrate Halloween and Mama Mia’s Birthday outside.
I’m busy preparing for my speech tomorrow at the Queens University MFA alumni conference, where I’ll be sharing with writers, editors, and publishers how I married my love for writing and adventure and started a copywriting company. As I look back over the last two years and what I’ve learned about writing effective marketing copy, I thought I’d share some of that knowledge with you.
Marketing copy. It’s what persuades prospects to buy from you. If the message is not clear, if you do not tap into your prospect’s needs and desires, if you focus too much on your company or the products / services you offer, you fail to connect and prospects are less likely to purchase from you. This issue’s feature article encourages you to take a good look at your marketing copy and see if you are marketing to yourself or to your target market.
Are You Marketing To Yourself Or To Your Target Market
Whether you’re writing copy for your website, a brochure, landing page, or press release, you must write for your target market. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But it’s a common mistake many companies make. One of the best ways to tell whom you are marketing to–yourself or your target market–is to see if your copy is too focused on the features of your products or services.
When your copy focuses too much on your product / service and all the great features that go along with it, you’re straying far from what your target audience wants to hear. What they care about is how it will fulfill a need or desire they have. Only when you tap into their needs and desires will your prospects want more details.
How do you know if your marketing copy is too product-oriented?
Does your copy speak about the product features and not the benefits your target market will receive? If so, your copy is too product-oriented.
Your copy should effectively communicate how your products / services will fill your target market’s needs. In order to sell your product, your target audience must perceive your product in a certain way. Why? Because perception drives purchasing decisions. Prospects must believe your product / service will satisfy their needs.
Purchasing decisions are influenced by several unconscious and conscious factors. When people think about purchasing a product, they analyze the features and the benefits associated with the product / service. Then, they associate certain features and benefits with emotions. They might ask: Will this product fulfill my need and desire? How has a product / service such as this made me feel in the past?
No matter the product / service, making a purchase must provide a logical solution to their needs as well as an emotional solution. When you win over both the rational and emotional side of your prospect, prospects will purchase from you.
Does your copy allow your target market to connect with your company? If not, your copy is too product-oriented.
When your copy is too focused on your product, your target audience will not feel a connection. When there is no connection, they are less likely to purchase from you. Prospects can’t connect to features, but they can connect with benefits they perceive about a product / service. Features are empty?there is nothing to connect with until there is a benefit. In order to effectively connect with your target audience, you must illustrate your business message in a clear and concise manor and show your prospects how they your product / services will satisfy them.
Does your copy encourage your target audience to perceive your product / service the way you would like them to? If not, your copy is too product-oriented.
People perceive themselves and their environment in specific ways. It is up to your marketing copy to tap into your target audience’s desires, needs, and emotions and influence them to perceive your product / service in a specific way. You must convey a clear brand message?one that ignites a prospect’s emotions in a positive way and persuades him or her that their need will be satisfied. Your target audience’s perception is a reality.
Tip of the Month
According to a report conducted by J.D. Power and Associates, the percentage of used-vehicle buyers who used the Internet as a primary resource for locating cars for sale increased 6% from 40% in 2008 to 46% in 2009. 31% of these people found the car they ended up purchasing via the Internet. Only 28% of buyers found their car at a dealership they visited.