Often, when companies write, they are very focused on what they want to say and the messages they want to put out. In the process, they forget about their audience – their clients, prospects and stakeholders whom they are targeting ─ and the copy comes across as a sales pitch. The result? The audience tunes out.
When it comes to products and services, whether your company is B2B or B2C, people only ask one question: “What’s in it for me?” Your ad, brochure or website has to answer this question. It needs to identify or create a pain point and explain how you can solve it for them.
According to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, human needs can be categorised into five basic categories: physiological, safety, social, esteem and self-actualisation.
The more needs your product or service fulfills, the more your audience will pay attention. For instance, if your business deals in home CCTV cameras, instead of talking about your product and how fantastic it is, you can focus on: 1) how people deserve a safe and secure home (safety needs), 2) how by owning such a product they can still check on their children even when at work (belongingness and love), and 3) how by knowing they and their loved ones are safe, they can sleep soundly at night (physiological).
Sometimes the same product can have two different needs for two different types of people. Take for example tricycles. If you’re targeting parents who already have to spend a lot on their child, you would probably want to emphasise aspects like safety and price competitiveness. If you’re targeting grandparents who love to spoil their grandkids, you’ll want to highlight the exciting features and how much fun they’ll have together.
The trick is to understand your customers. In knowing what makes them tick, you can spell out how your product or service can meet their needs and grab their attention.