How do you begin when crafting a marketing strategy or writing copy?
For me, it’s become easy. I use a framework that I’ve refined in the past year that follows how people naturally think. Call it neuroscience if you want, but I think of it as merely aligning strategy and messaging with how the mind is naturally wired.
It’s a seven-step framework that follows how people naturally process information, think, and lead themselves to a place where they give themselves permission to inquire, buy or donate. It’s detailed in my new book, Crack the Customer Mind Code.
I used this framework every time an organization calls me in to discuss an underperforming direct mail and/or online marketing program. I walk through the framework, and we can quickly identify if there is a disconnect between the approach they are using, and what they should communicate instead. Usually, in an hour, a succinct “road map” process is created. It becomes apparent why certain marketing campaigns aren’t working, and in another we’re able to talk through implementation of a new strategy and next steps.
I use this framework when writing a letter, video script, and content—virtually any copy that requires getting my point across with story. With client input, we discuss and fill-in-the-blanks of the matrix. The result is a framework that enables faster copywriting and testing.
Here’s how it works: I create a matrix (you can access this one at Target Marketing Magazine). I ask questions, and fill in the answers. Here it is for you:
The “who” of the prospective customer. Some demographics may apply, but more important is what the individual emotionally feels.
2. Stimulate Emotion
What is the prospective customer’s FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt)? What is so emotionally powerful that your prospect stops thinking about everything except your message. Another powerful tool to stimulate emotion: FOMO, the Fear of Missing Out.
3. Calm the Mind
With the mind having stopped thinking from stimulating their emotion, what is the message of reassurance you can quickly convey so the prospect will pay attention and feel relief.
4. Position or Reposition
What is the unique selling proposition of your product or service? How are you different? At this juncture, you begin to differentiate yourself from competitors and create a new memory.
You capture attention more powerfully with a story or metaphor. Think about it: how many times have you sat in a boring presentation, only to have your ears perk up with the speaker starts to tell a story? Stories engage, and stories deepen new memory.
Ultimately you have to get into price, offer, guarantee and other nitty gritty details. This is when you take the prospect to the metaphorical left brain of logic. Weave in a golden thread that returns your prospective customer through the prior pathways.
7. Permission to Act
Close the sale by bringing your prospective customer back to emotion, or the metaphorical creative right brain. You can’t force a sale. But you can persuade. And you must lead your prospect to a place where they say to themselves, “this is good, this is smart, I give myself permission to buy.”
Fill in the blanks in the right column and your strategy will reveal itself. Then use the information to start writing copy, and your message practically writes itself.