"Where are your customers?"
This, of course, triggered a phone call with a "what do you mean, where are my customers?"
Technically, there was nothing wrong with their copy. It was grammatically and factually correct. But, the copy was all about my client’s business. We were established in, we’ve got 4 offices in, our expertise is, our philosophy is, we believe…
You get the idea. We, us, our, we. But their customers were no where to be seen.
How do you feel about a person who just talks about themselves? Do you have a sense that they care about you? Do you want to hang out with them?
The same goes for marketing. Your copy needs to reach out and connect with the audience before you start talking about yourself. You want them to demonstrate that you understand who they are and what problems they are facing. After you’ve established that — then and only then can you begin talking about yourself.
How did I fix the client’s copy? I added four questions to the very beginning of their home page which asked:
Are you irritated when you…
Are you tired of having to pay for…
Does it grate on your nerves when….
What if it didn’t have to be that way?
And so on. You get the idea. I did some other tweaking of course…but started by adding the customer back into the copy.
You know what I am going to tell you to do next. If you’re brave enough, go check out your own brochures, websites, print ads, etc.
Is your customer there at all?
Update: Mark over at Really Practical Marketing has added to the conversation by offering some ideas on how you can make your copy more customer focused.