Internet and DR Marketing: Do You Know Your Audience’s Level of Sophistication?

Eugene Schwartz, the guy who revolutionized direct response marketing – the guy who didn’t get paid enough for his copywriting skills – the genius of marketing, broke down this very important lesson.

As I reference in my previous post about understanding the buying process of your audience, it is also important to understand their level of sophistication.

This “level” is determined by understanding your market and your target market’s historical interaction with the product, your competitors and their overall advertising efforts.

What products are currently advertising in this market? What claims are they making? What is their offer? What has your audience heard over and over again?

Study that and you’ll start to understand Eugene Schwartz’s concept of “level of sophistication”.

Let’s take one of Eugene Schwartz’s products – memory supplements. If memory supplements were new, you might be able to say “take this pill and improve your memory”. But they’re not. People are hip to that – and thus you’d have to move on to the next level.

Perhaps you need to swell the promise, like: Take this pill and Improve Your Memory in 7 Days. That’d be taking it to the next level – making the promise bigger.

The problem in many markets is these kinds of claims have not only been made, but have failed. Bigger isn’t always better. So your marketing has to evolve to include something your audience can sink their teeth into. You need to give them a reason to believe: Take this pill – with 7 memory enhancing antioxidants – and improve your memory in 7 days.”

However, when this unique proposition (the 7 memory enhancing antioxidants) becomes ordinary, common and no longer unique – marketing once again must evolve. Mr. Shwartz calls this the final level of sophistication – and that is:

Now your marketing needs to resonate with the audience. This is where testimonials come in, where users tell their story. This is where the message is no longer objective – it’s personal. If you still use the phrase: Take this pill – with 7 memory enhancing antioxidants- and improve your memory in 7 days. , it will be restated from the customer’s point of view AND said by the customer himself.

This final “level of sophistication” is where Twitter, Blogs and Facebook got their start. If marketing still worked at the first level – these tools would not likely exist yet.

Now go back and read my post about the buying process. Then take what you learn about your service/product from that, and combine that with what you learn about your audience here.

When your marketing can mesh these two important principles – that’s when you’ll hit the home run.

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