As a copywriter specializing in the disability market, I was recently in Las Vegas attending a conference for blind and visually impaired people.
Standing in line, waiting to chat with a person behind an exhibit hall booth, I got a little nervous.
The room was gigantic. Hundreds of people were talking over each other. Noise was echoing everywhere.
When its noisy, people lean in to hear each other.
At this point, breath mints are appreciated by all. A quick palm to my front shirt pocket said I didn’t have mine.
Standing there I thought what I always think at times like this…
“How is this applicable to marketing?
The answer came almost immediately.
I’ll explain it like this…
If you asked what breath mints I prefer, and I said, the cinnamon kind, what does that tell you?
Obviously, I like cinnamon.
It also tells you I probably don’t buy them all that often.
Now, you don’t get that last one from what I said. You get it from what I didn’t say.
If you asked again, and I said…
I’m a cinnamon person. So far, Breath Savers Peppermint is the only exception to my taste rule.
Unfortunately, something in the ingredients makes me sneeze every time I put one in my mouth.
No matter what, cinnamon flavored Altoids always comes out the winner.
They come in a handy tin I can use afterwards to store small things like guitar picks.
I like the soft, chalky texture when you bite them.
And of course, they come in cinnamon and don’t make me sneeze.
What does that tell you about me?
A bunch of obvious things. I like the tin. The flavor. The texture. They don’t make me sneeze. And, oddly enough, I play guitar.
But it also tells you something super important, without even saying it.
When it comes to breath mints…
I’m an expert.
Apparently, I’ve tried many brands and flavors to reach the detailed answer I gave you.
But you find out even more…
- I’m neat and organized. I like to store things in their proper place.
- I’m resourceful and frugal. I reuse the tin to store things rather than buy an organizer.
- I’m curious. I keep trying new brands to see if I find something to top my personal winner, cinnamon Altoids.
- I value my personal preferences. I won’t settle for less than what I want.
What does this have to do with your copy?
A lot actually.
For starters, if you wanted to present your brand of breath mint to me, you know a lot about me.
Include the points I outlined, and you’d pretty much have me from the get-go.
Knowing your customer is important.
If I were a copywriter, and a breath mint expert, do you think I know your customer and market?
Out of all the brands I’ve tried, I’d know things like… which work well, last the longest, are most or least expensive…
Other things like, which ones leave an after taste in your mouth, are sugar-free, and contain caffeine.
I’d even know weird stuff like how breath mints lie to your brain.
Mints contain menthol which bind to a protein called TRMP8. When this happens the ion channel to your brain opens, convincing your brain your mouth is now cooler.
When in fact, no temperature change takes place.
I’d even know which types are more popular among executives.
It’s not dignified to offer a breath mint from the roll you pull out of your front shirt or pants pocket.
Lint dangling off the ripped tail of paper hanging there.
Not to mention, filthy coins rubbing up against the exposed mint you’re about to offer someone’s mouth.
Depth is value.
All that background information, trivial as it seems in our example, is valuable to a breath mint company.
If I know this depth of detail, I obviously know more.
I know your market, your customer, because I am one.
Work with people who understand the practical details of marketing.
But, also work with someone who knows your customer and market intimately.
The value and depth they bring to the table is extremely valuable when creating copy for your market.
You’ll save time. You’ll get new ideas you might not have thought of before. The depth of understanding is through the roof.
Finally, the working relationship is so much more enjoyable and efficient… and profitable.