Message & Media: Riddle Me This
Most of you reading this probably aren't copywriters. Instead you're the people who provide input to writers; the professionals tasked with creating marketing messages that generate clicks, calls or trips to a store or an event. So, while you're most likely not a writer, you play a major role in the writing process because of one or more of the following:
- You know the product best, inside and out.
- You understand customer motivators and buying objections.
- You have competitive intelligence.
- You can provide customer testimonials and product reviews, including complaints.
- You have access to the data needed to write successful copy.
More than five years ago, I wrote a column that included a checklist of what direct response writers want (and need) to know that only you, the marketer, can tell us. Based on recent rumblings from creative-types and clients alike, it's time for an update.
1. What's the business objective? What's the business reason for doing the project? Are sales down or leads dropping off? Is there a new competitor on the horizon? What's going on in the marketplace—or inside the company—that's fueling the initiative?
2. What's the marketing objective? Do you want to beat the control by X percent? Increase average order size? Increase website involvement? Test media or offers? Transform one-time triers into second-time buyers? Your writer needs to understand your marketing goals and how success will be measured.
3. What's the brand personality? Is the brand hip and innovative or classic and conservative? Is there a spokesperson? Is there an established copy voice, tone and vocabulary? Or will the copywriter be working with a new brand or total rebranding?
4. What's the audience profile? Customer or prospect? Multi-buyer or first-time trier? Decision-maker or decision influencer? The copywriter will need to know the average age, household income, educational background and past purchasing history of the targeted audience. This profile you provide helps your writer envision the individual to whom he or she is writing.