Know Your Audience, Your Market, and Your Product

Thu, Nov 5, 2009

Copywriting

It does not really matter whether we choose to talk about copywriting or affiliate marketing.  At the end of the day, what will matter is whether or not our text leads to a sale.  At the risk of being tagged as frank, I will say that achieving success in copywriting relies heavily on how well the writer understands his or her role and goal.  Copywriting is  all about promoting goods or services and persuading people to avail themselves of same.  To put it simply, a copywriter is a salesperson making the pitch using the power of the written, rather than spoken, word.

Becoming a good salesperson

As would be expected of any good salesperson, the first thing I had to do when I was learning the ropes of copywriting was to get to know the product that I would be selling and the market I would be selling it to.  When I say “knowing,” it goes beyond merely gaining a basic familiarity.

Why?  A basic principle of consumerism and marketing is that in order to sell, you need to know your product-—and know it well.

Let’s say that I’m selling a brand of shampoo.  If all I know about my product is that it is meant for cleansing the hair, then I would have little to say about the benefits you can get from using it. If this were the case, my income will be solely dependent on luck; the chance, perhaps, that a thousand people with dirty hair will come across my website.

But if I am well-informed with regard to the ingredients used as well as the people I am targeting to sell my shampoo, I can make recommendations, such as which one is best for those with oily scalps or which variants work best with certain hair types.  What significance does this have?  I have a better chance of turning even “No, thanks” into an “Okay, maybe I’ll take one.”

For me—-and almost every other person will agree—-there is no better way of knowing a product than using it myself.  Beyond sales ethics, I think that marketing a product you have not even tried will make the work seem more complicated than it really is.  Companies do product tests and restaurants do taste tests before releasing their goods into the market. And why shouldn’t you do the same thing and check the product out before telling the whole blogosphere about it?

When I do use a product, I don’t expect to discover every little thing about it, but I always try to keep my perspective the same as that of any consumer.  The first time I tried this approach, I created a checklist of basic questions about the product that I, as a consumer, felt that I should find the answers to.  The list I came up with contained the following questions:

  • What is it for?
  • How does it work?
  • What benefit will I get from it?
  • Will it work?
  • What makes it different from other products/brands?
  • How much does it cost?
  • What options are there for payment and delivery?
  • Is there a money-back guarantee?
  • How do I get in touch with Customer Support?

I often realize that the more I see myself as the buyer, the more questions I can think of.  Returning to my role as the promoter/seller, I try to answer all the questions based on my personal experience of using the product.  In some cases, I try to research the product over the Internet.  This is especially helpful when I have no means of contacting my client for any information other than what is written on the copywriting job description.  In particular, I look for blogs or forums where people may have written what they like or don’t like about the product.  This way, I’ll know how to highlight the product’s strengths.

Having good product knowledge is crucial in building a copywriter’s credibility and confidence.  However, without knowing how to connect to your target audience or market, product mastery will seem unimportant.

Before I can establish rapport with my market, I have to know who they are. In sales and marketing, demographics are important.  To come up with a good target market profile, your questions should include the following:

  • Who is the target market?
  • What age, gender, and income group are they?
  • Who will benefit most from it? Why and how?

From the profile created through answering these questions I can figure out how important the price factor is in closing a sale and how much time these people can possibly spare in reading copy.  Knowing your market means identifying their lifestyle needs, so you will know what approach to use.  Remember: people will hardly give you the time of day, unless you can tell them right away what’s in it for them.

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24 Responses to “Know Your Audience, Your Market, and Your Product”

  1. Earn Through Blogs Says:

    Nice article and it is very informative
    .-= Earn Through Blogs´s last blog ..Earn Money From Youtube =-.

    Reply

  2. Josh Says:

    Becoming a good sales person is the number one most important thing you can do in my opinion.
    .-= Josh´s last blog ..About V2interactive: =-.

    Reply

  3. acid gerd Says:

    it’s good to find out what really needs visitors, providing the best information, of course, which will benefit from the increasing popularity of your blog. give first and you will receive the following benefits. with a lot of visitors will surely increase sales. be prepared to get a flood of visitors from SE, especially google with all excess

    Reply

  4. Carlo Says:

    Those questions are really helpful buddy. Thanks for bringing them up. I need to be a good salesman! I just learned from you.

    Reply

  5. Niall Harbison Says:

    Something that we are all ery guilty of on the web is just making something that we think is going to be fantastic without testing it on the people who are actually going to buy it. What is highly effective and only takes a couple of minutes is to sit down and get somebody to physically try your websites or web app or product in fornt of your eyes and see how they use it. You’d be surprised how much time and money it could save you and what it might reveal!

    Reply

  6. Grinder Says:

    It’s best when your target market reaches all the age brackets. As if it’s a necessity. Something that works best for all.

    Reply

  7. Small Business Bible Says:

    Today’s customers are more fastidious than ever before. Not only are customers now more demanding, but they are also less forgiving as well, which means that a sales person has only one shot at making a good impression the first time around.

    Reply

    • Stoppit Says:

      True. From a customer’s perpective, I should be pleased asap. I don’t want to waste time with sales agents who don’t know what they are selling!

      Reply

  8. carol Says:

    I think it’s very ideal to have a product that targets all age brackets. I personally feel, that targeting the niche market is still the most profitable, as you could play with your price.

    Reply

    • Disney Says:

      Point well said. Targeting a certain niche will make sales boost more. It’s better to have a certain target rather than having it all.

      Reply

  9. Nurul Says:

    I like your idea and the questions that you present are very important. I agree with you that how would expect your customers know about the product you are selling if you have no clue what it is all about.

    One should put himself/herself in the customer’s place, would I buy that product myself. If I don’t like it then how do I expect my customers to do that.
    .-= Nurul´s last blog ..My Blogging Experience – Discovering the Online Wealth Part 1 =-.

    Reply

  10. Angel Says:

    Very informative indeed. I’m looking forward to reading your post in future. Nice site btw!

    Reply

  11. Foster Says:

    Having a specific niche works best. Know your target market and in that way, you’re more focused as to what to improve with your product.

    Reply

  12. Summer Says:

    A basic principle of consumerism and marketing is that in order to sell, you need to know your product-—and know it well.

    I must agree. I can’t handle salespersons who don’t even know what they’re talking about. Show some confidence dude.

    Reply

  13. Jennie Says:

    By knowing your audience, market, and product, surely it will give you a positive outcome. So long as your focued and determined, success will follow inevitably.

    Reply

    • Cold Says:

      Right on Jenny. Added to that, patience is also the key. Be more consistent and a little sacrife to giving much time will make a big difference.

      Reply

  14. Knowa Says:

    You nailed the questions right! Who is the target market? What age, gender, and income group are they? Who will benefit most from it? Why and how?

    These are the formula questions to attaining the word success. Ways to go!

    Reply

  15. Jenet Says:

    Knowing your product well is the key. No one should bother buying when the seller doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    Reply

  16. Choppy Says:

    So agree with you 100%! Knowing your target market plus their specific needs will help one’s business to grow biggie.

    Reply

  17. Carrie Says:

    Those lists that you came up with are helpful to me bud! I noted them and surely will be used for my future reference. Hats off ;)

    Reply

  18. Barney Says:

    Know Your Audience, Your Market, and Your Product. These words are the key to attaining success. No need to elaborate.

    Reply

  19. Mara Says:

    What makes it different from other products/brands? Right on here. It’s important that your product is unique and that way, it could sell it like pancakes.

    Reply

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