At Relevention, we use a simple message-development process that I first learned while marketing fabric softener at Procter & Gamble and gained a deeper understanding of from the book Jump Start Your Business Brain by Doug Hall.
When developing or evaluating copy for all your promotional activities, ask yourself these five questions as a way to follow the typical buying behaviour of the average consumer. We’ve included an example of the formula applied to a 30-second Tide detergent TV ad.
- NEED – What need does my target audience want fulfilled? Audience Need: 26- to 45-year-old mom wants her kids’ clothes to be clean (show kids getting grass stains).
- CLEAR BENEFIT – How does my product or service fulfill that need? Try to use only one significant, clear benefit. There will be supporting benefits, but choose the one that your audience cares about most and that you can deliver. Clear Benefit: Tide will get your clothes clean.
- REASON TO BELIEVE – Why should my target audience believe I can deliver? Communicate this through testimonials or proven results, by pointing out new technology or a product patent, etc. Reason to Believe: Tide has a patented formula that removes dirt from fabric (show close-up of the dirt lifting off the fabric).
- DRAMATIC DIFFERENCE – How is what I’m offering different and better than competitors or alternatives? Effective comparisons are especially important if you’re trying to get consumers to switch to your brand. Dramatic Difference: Compared to the other leading brands of detergent, Tide gets clothes cleaner (show side-by-side comparison).
- CALL TO ACTION – What do I want my audience to do? Call, email, sign up, go online, jump up and down? People are bombarded with countless advertisements throughout the day; it needs to be very clear what you want them to do and how they can get your product. Call to Action: Choose Tide today. (Tide is an established brand found at every store, so there’s no need to tie it back to a website, phone number or direct call to action.)