A colleague and friend of mine, Susan Monroe of Written Right, recently posted this information about writing relevant marketing copy. I thought it valuable and wanted to share it with you.
One of the things I enjoy about writing this blog is reading interesting stuff, digesting it, and passing it on. Today’s pass-along is about relevance in marketing communications, for which I owe thanks to Kristin Zhivago, a Rhode-Island based revenue coach.
In her article “Secrets to Writing Marketing Copy that Customers Can’t Ignore,” Ms. Zhivago contends that “marketing copy is dead. Dead. Dead. Dead.”
I hear her. There’s a lot of moribund copy out there. At its best, it’s clear, concise, and relatively easy to read. But it doesn’t address the reader as though she were sitting next to you at the beach. And that, says Ms. Zhivago, is what makes copy relevant and engaging. Of course, writing copy that grabs and holds readers requires that you know them and what they want. At a time when buyers can get all the information they need from sources other than your company, this not a mere “nice to have.” Your copy must also make tradeoffs for the prospect. Again, this requires that you know your prospect well enough to know what those tradeoffs are.
What a concept. Your prospect is probably not saying “Gee, I really like it that Acme Motors has designed a nifty super-cooled frammis into the new model. I’m gonna go for it.” Instead, he’s more likely to be saying, “Hm. I like the frammis a lot, but is it worth the price, given that Acme’s kinda light on the widget-exchange factor?”
I think Ms. Zhivago is saying that once you know your potential customers’ tradeoffs, you should address them in a friendly way. This approach makes sense, absolutely. But I wonder if it works better in “friendlier” markets. So many copywriters work with clients who sell complex products or services, and that seems to argue for a fairly formal marketing writing style.
Could converting them to a more relaxed one require too much re-education?