Warning Signs Your Marketing (and Copy) Isn’t Right

“This time it will be different. You are a copywriting genius.” This is usually a warning sign that no matter how good the copy produced it will not turn into a result.

There is a lot involved in producing winning marketing – the copy is a big piece of it but it isn’t all of it.

Over time, working with clients you can get a bit of a sixth sense for when your client’s ideas about marketing and copy will lead to non-results.

There are three all too common signs that your marketing is not going to work.

1) Naivety of the Business Owner. This is the first sign that there will be marketing problems. Business Owners either are marketers or they aren’t.

You can turn yourself into a marketer over time but it takes work and commitment to education. And it is important to learn marketing – at least to the point where you can identify and retain talented people to oversee your marketing.

Otherwise you’ll just be a marketing victim.

But at any given time a business owner either is or isn’t a marketer and when they aren’t they are often deluded by business opportunity level sales pitches about how better ads will magically turn them into a millionaire – with dollar signs in their eyes they will fall for anything.

Conversely, when the business owner is intelligent gets what can and can’t be realistically done by with a marketing strategist or copywriter they are often not patient enough to keep working with them beyond that first project because it takes a couple of goes to get it right. They’ve exhausted that bright shiny object and are on to the next one.

2) Poor Market Selection. When I meet a potential client who tells me that their business is ‘anybody with a heartbeat’ or some variation of that, I despair. This ties into number 1 but it is so important it warrants its own section.

Without fail there is a sweet spot in the market that is more valuable to you and you are more valuable to them – where you can command and receive higher fees. It is worth searching for and finding these sweet spots.

I was talking to a potential client recently who was trying to market to everyone but was also secretly hoping that one or two industry segments responded because they were so valuable. I should have made him write me a check for what I said next but I asked him”

“Why don’t you just get a list of industry segments you want and customise your marketing for each of these?”

Light bulb goes on over the client’s head.

3) Over reliance of benefits and feature driven copy.Most good copywriters will tell you that selling is all about benefits but it isn’t. More accurately, it is all about the benefits being able to solve the problems your market has. For this reason the best copy actually is problem focused and story-driven about the solution to those problems.

The product’s features and benefits can almost be an afterthought. I wrote an advertorial where the product basically isn’t mentioned. It is all about the problems that the audience faces and the missed opportunities that arise from not addressing the problem – only in the final 10% of the advertorial is the specifics of the product mentioned.