Three Quick Marketing Makeover Fixes

Do you like to watch home makeover shows? It’s kind of fun to see radical transformation happen fast (if only because it NEVER seems to work that way in real life), and, as a marketer, I find it interesting to see all the different ways you can ‘merchandise’ a space to make it more appealing.

You’ll notice that one of the timeless tricks used to take a home from dilapidated dump to definitely delightful is a great coat of paint. If you’ve ever painted your own pad, you know that, proportionally, very little time is actually spent with brushes or rollers in hand. The critical phase comes in the preparation: choosing the color, assembling the right equipment, moving the furniture, and covering the places that need to stay paint-free.

I’m happy to tell you that your copy will just about write itself if you follow the steps of proper preparation. And compelling copy will sell your products or services like nothing else…all without any mess or pesky fumes!

Here are three key steps to start your own marketing makeover:

1) Do a Background Check
Whether you’re writing your own copy or hiring someone to do it for you, you need background materials. Here is a list of possible items to collect before you start. (Many of these you won’t even have. Don’t worry. Just try to gather as many as possible in one place.)

Tear sheets or reprints of any previous ads
Examples of competitors’ ads and sales literature
Product/service brochures, data sheets, catalog pages and any other sales literature describing the product/service.
Reprints of articles or papers relevant to the topic
List of customers, clients or users
Sales figures for past five years (dollar amounts, units sold)
Samples of the product/service
Press releases and media kits
Testimonial Letters from satisfied customers
Complaint letters
Evaluation forms from seminars, training programs and consulting services
Product/service reviews
Marketing and Business plans

2) Identify Your Target Market – and Make it a Tarket
Instead of spending the majority of your time crafting HOW you’re going to sell your audience with your offer, focus on finding out WHO the heck you’re talking to – your target market.

Put on your detective hat. When you’re looking at your target, recognize that most of them are broken down in one of these four categories:

1. Gender
2. Age
3. Income
4. Family Structure

Corporations and big business literally spend millions of dollars to fully understand how to segment and target their market. Believe me, it’s well worth your time to look a little closer too. Once you have a grip on your average target market, you’re ready to eliminate all but one. Don’t worry. No one gets hurt. It’s just for your copy. You’re going to narrow your target market down to a specific tarket! The word tarket comes from combining the words “target” plus “market”. I coined the term because it’s CRITICAL you think in the singular, not plural. Target market sounds like a mob. Tarket is one person.

(Do you know who Volvo’s tarket is? A 35-year-old mother of two. Not a female college student. Not even a 35-year-old FATHER of two. That’s not to say one of those other people might not buy a Volvo… but Volvo knows the power of focusing on ONE specific tarket.)

Some questions to uncover your tarket:
What’s their level of education?
Male or female?
Age range?
What kind of jobs are they drawn to?
What are their hobbies?
What kind of family life do they lead?
Most importantly, what problems keep them up at night?

3) Define Your Products/Services
When I’m writing copy for a new product, I take a sheet of paper, draw a vertical line down the center and title each side. On the left is “Features.” On the right is “Benefits.” (NOTE: Handwriting works best for me on this exercise – you do what feels right for you). Now list all the features under that heading.

Features are specific qualities that are built into a product or service. What those features mean to prospects and customers are ‘benefits’. Features are the adjectives, or tangibles, of the product. What does it look like? What does it do? How does it help? What unique advantage does it offer? How is it different than other products? And so on. You should be able to list three to five features. Now transform each feature into a powerful advantage, or benefit, to the customer.
Next under the “Benefits” heading, describe the outcome of each feature.

Benefits are the emotional component. How does that particular feature bring value to the customer? Will they sleep better, eat better, make more money, what? Finally, there should be one ultimate benefit that stands out. THAT is the foundation of all of your copy. Each benefit could actually be converted into a headline, sub-head or bullet point. It is your task to decide on the most compelling benefits and focus on that exclusively. Build around it.

There you have it: a powerful primer for enhancing your business with a fresh coat of copy!

Article by:

Copywriting guru Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero has been helping entrepreneurs and copywriters get their marketing messages razor sharp since 1999. Get free access to 5 tips to turn your “blah” sales message into red-hot copy that ROCKS… at www.redhotcopy.com

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