Today we rock over to the most important primary lesson in Direct Response Marketing. Previously, I’ve thoroughly convinced you why you need to use this type of direct response marketing magic for (at least) the first year or two of your small business. The market research and insights you glean from doing your due diligence will pay you handsomely.
Preferably, this will be a powerful multiplier for the life of your business; one that you choose to couple with other styles in the proper settings.
This is Part II in the Direct Response Marketing Series.
You are highly encouraged to read Part I, which lays the groundwork for today.
Right now, it’s time to get to the thing that will make or break your campaigns before they even start.
Time to dial in what’ll make your marketing messages sing like sweet honey, or bring the spiked sugar crash of a cheap donut.
It’s about laser-targeting your perfect prospect for maximum conversions.
You’ll learn to aim your marketing copy and offers at a specific market, who will then respond and take action with their wallets.
Most people think they know how to collect market research and insights fairly well, but I will tell you that the majority have it wrong. There are three major ways they fail miserably here…
Direct Response Marketing [Pt. II]
Market Research And Insights:
Why Psychographic & Demographic Segmentation Are Simply Not Enough to Reach Your Goals
Anyone who’s ever (on their own) sold something to another human being knows this process involves target audience definition. In other words, it requires clearly narrowing in on the type of person who’s a fit for your product or service.
Ergo, the first way most marketers get this wrong is they are far too vague. They get down to ‘demographic segmentation’, which is about as far as they go.
Sad. Pitiful, actually.
They understand who they’re targeting only in terms of where they live, how old they are, and what they do for a living, etc.
But what can these market research and insights really tell you? Where to place your ads, yes. When to use location-specific offers and local business discounts, yes.
But does it tell you who’s buying? For what reason? Or when their right time to look into solutions for their pressing needs is?
Nope. This type of geographic and demographic marketing is just weak and lazy.
And so, a slightly more developed level of marketer hits the second step; the second reason most fail is they stop here, at the Psychographic Segmentation section.
Psychographic Segmentation is a set of more developed, underlying reasons people buy.
Still not quite there yet, but getting warmer.
These include the emotional responses to your content and products, the color psychology, and even the unconscious triggers.
The third reason people fall on their face, is that they’ve never developed an even deeper degree of market research definition. Using just psychographic or demographic segmentation will not get your market defined and refined enough to make a significant impact.
My applicable market research and insights invention from necessity is called Evographics.
It’s a concept that leverages a bit of evolutionary psychology onto the desire-channeling of your product for your perfect prospect.
It’s very nuanced stuff. Not surprisingly, 99% of marketers completely gloss right over the market research and insights process.
In fact, Evographics is covered in depth in The Ultimate Copywriting Guide to Selling Anything Online [Volume I].
And actually, I lied to you. There is a secret fourth reason that people fail in targeting prospects who are most likely to convert to maximum sales.
Would you like to know what it is?
It goes hand-in-hand with the other three and is arguably more important, but it builds off of them all.
It is the ability to embody and empathize with this person completely.
If you can’t (successfully) do that, you are 100% screwed. This is an integral piece of the market research process. It’s necessary to getting the job done, and increasing your bank deposits.
No two ways about it. Today we will crack the code for what it takes to do both…
But First! Putting Two in the Dome of the “Customer Avatar” For Good…
I hate the term “ ideal customer avatar”. It is dumb.
So let’s pop two off in the melon of the “customer avatar” today.
* PAP! PAP! *
If you’re thinking “what a strange marketing article”, strap in, honey. It gets better.
Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s party.
Anyway, the term made me think of the movie Avatar, which was a very-well-done movie with its effects, storyline, and plot. Why ruin it with a dumb term like customer avatar?
‘Customer Avatar’ is fake; it’s make-believe. ‘Customer Profile’ is a realistic model.
With an ideal customer avatar, you’re basically making up a fake character, like you did on video games as a kid. With your ideal customer profile, you’re actually speaking to a real market and getting the low down with your online market research.
It’s real versus fake.
And if you’re confused and haven’t heard either of these terms, it might mean you’re new, or haven’t been learning from the big guys.
Either’s cool with me; having a clean slate here is going to help you that much more.
If you’re here rolling your eyes at the term coming up again, and glad there’s another person who shares your view, not to worry! We’ll use this better term from here on out.
Second reason I hate this term is because it’s so overplayed by, pretty much everybody. It treats your real human being customer, who has pains, fears, and doubts, like a picture on a wall. This is difficult when it comes to trying to write for them.
I know a lot of people like to pin up pictures and give the person a fake name. They try to reinvent this person’s reality, etc. This method promises to help you, but actually drives a hefty wedge between you and your customer.
But this is all using the left hemisphere, logical brain to try and tack down something so emotionally driven (humans).
** This is a figure of speech. Research has now debunked the myth of left brain/right brain. **
You’re better off doing it a different way and forgetting all about this popular terminology, being unique and stepping outside of groupthink.
The herd discredits personal experience.
Along my journey, in whatever discipline I’ve chosen to master, I’ve found that first using the fundamentals and later applying my own way is the most effective.
I pick up the rules while learning, then break them to form my own philosophy. Target audience definition is the perfect arena to work this out in.
Put Down The Pen! Ideal Target Market Research And Insights Come Way Before You Touch A Single Key to Write Your Sales Copy
I cannot stress this one enough.
It’s probably the primary reason why new copywriters suck at writing conversion pieces, and why the majority of them give up too early.
The sales copy you write is important. If you slack here, or can’t tell stories that move people emotionally to the end you’re leading to, you’re toast.
But dare I say that copy comes secondary to a proper marketing research process. This is because if you write the best message on the face of the planet for the wrong person, it falls on deaf ears.
** As we speak, I can envision my copywriting mentors of Christmas past punching me in my face right now. **
But honestly, they’d agree with me on this one. Market first, copy second.
Your empathetic message, your dead-on story, your positioning, hook, and angle could all be aligned… But if it’s for the wrong crowd, it simply does nothing.
Selling “feeling confident and empowered”, to accomplished CEOs, or selling relief of agonizing stress by fixing your dog’s heart worms to non-pet owners is silly.
It never works, obviously. So when you’re writing your messages, you need to be thinking of your specific person. Notice I never said picturing your pie-in-the-sky customer avatar.
When I write, I always write for just one person. It’s the only way to do it.
However, what I do is picture an average compilation of customers with their needs in this market, and I add in the unique needs of some outliers.
I retrieve these through intense sequences of market research and insights. All the information is out there, I’m just a master of collecting it for profit. I’ll show you part of the process later in this piece.
But what is market research without solid copy that capitalizes on it?
Therefore when writing, I picture my market and their overall needs (within my chosen psychographic and demographic segmentation).
I make sure to include all relevant needs of a separate market segmentation, but I never use them as the main focal point. It’s in this way that your copy converts, by:
– Staying specific and in your zone of targeting
– Never wandering off topic into vague no-man’s-land
– Including everyone’s needs in the marketing message
– Drilling home the main pain points, solutions, and benefits
– Not making your market count themselves out of the message due to irrelevance
So remember that even the best of the best copywriting tips and methods are secondary to proper targeting. No need to beat a dead horse, but this is an important deceased equine, dammit!
Okay, moving forward….
Studying, Empathizing With & Embodying the Human on the Other End of the Screen, So Your Direct Response Copywriting Can Do Its Job
Another reason that most conventional “customer profile templates” suck is because they’re make-believe so they make lots of assumptions.
They assume that all the market lives in basically the same place. Or how about the lie that they’ll all be around the same age range?
Now, besides everything ever, there’s nothing particularly wrong with making generalities.
It’s not like they completely cap your view and blindfold you to the realities of what your job is as a Direct Response Marketer in business.
Your job is to sell market segments solutions and value.
Ergo, the way you frame, think about, and what you believe about humans is crucial to getting the job done. It’s time to start thinking about the other end of your sales letter, advertisement, or computer screen as it really is.
It consists of a person.
Someone who’s failed.
Someone who’s fallen in love.
Gotten their heart broken, and enjoyed family situations.
They learned to ride a bike, they’ve been in dangerous situations, been lied to, had aspirations, and have held irrational fears in the back of their mind.
They’re limited, and yet potentially unlimited at the same time.
I want you to start thinking like this during all of your research time. It’s that crucial.
It’s not about Jill, who’s 45 with three kids, and lives in Austin, Texas working as an accountant, with a side business just floating above water.
Rather, it’s about Jill whose dad passed away as a little girl, by falling off a horse at her home ranch when she was three. She then grew up with the passion to build a product that would prevent faulty saddles from breaking and endangering riders.
With all her passion and force to make this a real thing, she got her idea patented legally. It’s more or less a back-up safety system that could take away virtually all danger of this problem in the future!
Now whatever you’re selling Jill will ring with personal examples, empathy, and the convincing possibilities lying on the other end of your opportunity. You’ll want the best for her, and you’ll want her to get ahead.
She’ll feel from your writing that you’re on her side and in her corner.
My example is very micro, but if you’re bright, you can pull macro applications out of a nuclear example.
Now, is the whole market going to be selling safety-saddle backup systems? Don’t make me laugh; of course not. But the point of this critical thinking is to help you keep it specific, yet slightly vague in the ways you deliver.
Stepping back one level from the actual product, your biz-opp course or consulting will sell her on the benefits of taking her idea to potential investors. Helping her get in front of the right ones, negotiate sales terms, etc.
That’s the reason we have Psychographic Segmentation, Demographic Segmentation, and my creation of Evographic Segmentation.
We hold in our hands the market research and insights that’ll turn her passions into money for our course, service, or business.
You’ll then show reams of examples of people who’ve done exactly that in the past, and explain to her how to solve the specific problems she’s already facing in this arena.
As an entrepreneur, the basics are solving problems for your market.
Your product will lead her to her perfect solution.
But it doesn’t happen, it can’t happen, when you frame her in the avatar light, as just a 40-something in Texas. Feel me? Okay, let’s keep rolling…
You’ve gotten into her mind, into her life, and embodied what she feels. You now know how she struggles, and what would be a fantastic hand-in-glove solution for her.
And that’s what I mean when I say you need to embody the customer.
How to Do Market Research & Customer Segmentation: Cracking the Code to An Ideal Customer Profile & The 5 Levels of Market Sophistication
Time for the good stuff; what you came here for.
The applicable strategies you can take and run with, boosting your monthly cash flow. You will use these to attract your perfect customer and offer them the solution they’re willing to pay anything for.
Price becomes irrelevant (evidenced by these brand positioning examples) when you learn how to conduct market research that hits the nail on the head. Find your tribe and change both of your lives simultaneously; it’s that simple.
That’s the magic sauce right? The perfect ability for any marketer?
To be able to position him/herself properly in the market, and solve problems for money using only the power of words.
That’s the dream, but it’s far removed from the realities of most marketers’ lives. The reasons are what we’ve stated and what I’m about to share with you.
If you truly want to make the sales come in on a frequent basis, from a fairly predictable stream, you need to master this one thing. (This thing, among others that’ll come in future parts in the Direct Response Marketing series).
That one thing is mastering target market research coupled with Market Sophistication.
Now, if that registered in your brain about as well as a Chinese sentence, we can unpack it in a minute. But for those who understood the meaning behind its importance, you’re in for something special.
The reason market research is so important is because of this concept. Lemme break the math down.
There are quite a few parts. Without each one, the system crumbles to shreds.
It goes like this…
+ a hungry target market
+ the right market sophistication stage
+ proper Demo-, Psycho-, and Evo-graphics
+ the right message
+ the right media
= ABSOLUTE BANK.
I kid you not; when those five points of market research and insights are dialed, the sound of ringing registers is inevitable.
I’ve been fortunate enough to see it hundreds of times, with countless people. I, my friends, my network and my mentors have all been able to line these up beautifully and make it rain.
My own analyses of every business model or project I’ve witnessed, from people I both know and do not know personally have all had each element in place.
… and if you take just one out?
As I’ve stated, the system is left in tatters.
I’ve written extensively on Market Sophistication here to conduct your market research and insights, so I won’t dive as deep today. For now, know that there are five main stages of awareness.
1 – Fresh & New – Brand new unaware market
2 – Slightly Aware – Must use next-level claims (and back ’em up with proof!)
3 – Moderately Aware – Must use a mechanism to sell
4 – Upper-Advanced – Must use advanced mechanism to sell
5 – Product, Solution, And Options Aware – Must Use Identification
… and each market requires different marketing angles, hooks, and selling points.
Don’t be caught dead trying to use the same copy in each stage or you’ll fall flat on your face.
The Way You Should Frame the Search For Your Perfect Clients and Customers – Hierarchies of Market Needs
There’s a hyper-specific market research and insights process, (along with a pack of powerful tools) that I use with my private clients to laser-target their markets for maximum profit.
But it wouldn’t be fair to them to share that with the public for free… However, I do want to instill the most important thing you need to keep in your mind at all times when doing this work.
It is the pressing and individual need(s) of your consumers.
Remember, we agreed that entrepreneurship is about solving problems and delivering value. So, what are they dealing with all day that they need a fix for?
What’s keeping them up at night?
What do they worry about, day in and day out?
These are the type of market research questions you need to be able to answer for your market. And do not get it twisted; every market is different.
When you dial this skillset in, you’ll realize on ever-deeper levels that Homo Sapiens have very similar needs, fears and desires. But where it differs is that each market carries its own priorities and hierarchy of market needs.
But when they bring these into the market, some of them get rearranged.
Usually nobody is going to put anything above their physiological needs like food, water, and sleep. Although it’s probable that highly ambitious people will prioritize esteem and achievement over sleep at times.
Also, some markets might re-organize the middle-tier needs. So…
Humans Are Not Primarily Logical; How We Re-Organize Our Pyramid of Needs in the Marketplace
Single people for example, who’ve been desperately looking for a partner for a long time might prioritize love and relationships over the comfort of a home.
It’s in this way that humans build the pyramid in whatever way they want.
Hey, whoever said humans were down to earth and logical?
Any marketer worth his salt knows that we decide and buy emotionally and then justify with logic.
Maslow mostly had his ducks in a row, but forgot one very crucial thing. The emotional drives of human beings, particularly in the marketplace.
Nobody said that we’d think logically when buying products we want.
If that were true, we wouldn’t load up the credit card with a $950 TV and 18% interest compounded annually.
We’d carefully weigh our decisions, instead of going into six figures of student loan debt for a degree that’s all but useless in fields that aren’t medicine, law or a technical trade.
But we don’t think. And we do do these things. So, that right there is proof that we will compromise big chunks of our future, financial destiny, and freedom.
And herein lies another key to making maximum sales from your market.
Know what to do when it comes to the balance of emotional stimulation and motivation, and logical justification if you’d like to wildly increase your conversions. Toe the line.
Conclusion to the Market Research and Insights Process: Helping The Most People With Your Product Or Service By Finding Your Perfect Customer Profile
* Phew. Wipes brow. *
We have covered a ton, and if you’ve taken a chunk out of your day to read all the way to here, then I congratulate you.
You’re one of the very few, and I do mean very few, who actually takes time to do due diligence. To actually find out who you’re targeting so you can knock it out of the park.
Know that you’re now in a class above 95% of your competitors who will not go this far to learn intently about:
– Demographic Segmentation,
– Psychographic Segmentation,
– Evographic Segmentation,
– The Ideal Customer Profile,
– Market Research Questions to Ask Yourself, and
– How to Conduct Market Research And Insights That Convert
Commit to just ten weekly minutes in the future to reviewing this article to brush up. If you do, your campaigns will undoubtedly improve.
It’s up to you how far you’d like to take this knowledge, but you’ve just leapfrogged about 10 steps ahead of the average business owner.
P.S. – Using Market Research and Insights to Fatten Your Wallet Predictably
We’ve covered a ton today. I’ve shown you exactly what you need when developing your market research and insights process for maximum sales.
However. This is what you need, and my new book shows you exactly how to do it.
Without this depth and detail, you’ll have a tough time putting it all together to increase your conversions. And if you’ve been an entrepreneur for a while, you know about the frustrating sticking points. They seem to clog up your progress and stress you out.
Although today’s message has been detailed and in-depth, you can see why hashing out the nuts and bolts philosophy would take much more time.
If you’re interested in leveraging these insanely powerful concepts, by targeting your ideal market who’ll be most profitable for you…
You’ve got to check out The Ultimate Copywriting Guide to Selling Anything Online [Vol. I] that I’ve just finished and revamped.
It contains the market research and insights you need to utilize Demographic marketing, Psychographic marketing, and my creation out of necessity, Evographics.
Together, you’ll get to the root of what makes people buy. And you’ll further have the power to inject that superpower into the veins of all your future marketing campaigns.
When you fill up with light, all you see is illumined.
Therefore, by using these advanced concepts of targeting, writing sequences, target audience vocabulary and more…
You decide the level of sales you’d like to make.
And when you make all the sales you’d like to? Well. The world bows to you as you control your freedom and purpose.
The feelings of confidence, clarity, and accomplishment are absolutely priceless because you’re the one in control of your lifestyle, and nobody can tell you nothin’.
It’s how I live. I want you to experience the same…