The Two Marketing Tactics Needed to Beat Your Competition

October 6, 2020 | Market Research, Copywriting


By Marilyn Heywood Paige

There are two tactics that mega companies use to hook potential customers. Brands like Starbucks and Nike use these tactics to create campaigns that ignite unrivaled passion for and loyalty to their brands. These tactics are available to anyone. In this blog, we reveal the tactics the big brands use that you can too.

I was at Starbucks recently and noticed this on my drink cup. 
“That first sip feeling.”Let us add a little joy to your day.Join Starbucks Rewards.
That first sentence conjured my best memories of the taste, smell, and feel—the first sip of the right cup of tea in almost visceral detail in my mind. (note: I’m not a coffee drinker.) Those first four words sparked an emotional response. “Aw, yeah, that is the best. I love that feeling.” The second sentence states, “Let us add a little joy to your day.” (This connected my emotion with their brand experience.) The third sentence is the call to action, “Join Starbucks Rewards.” (How do I keep this great feeling going? By joining the club.)


Great Ad Campaigns Are No AccidentAs a marketer, I know that first sentence is the result of tens of thousands in market research dollars, dozens of brainstorming sessions, and many hours of copywriting. That’s what it takes to connect on such a deep level with your customers.
It Starts With Market ResearchNo doubt, market researchers surveyed many coffee drinkers to arrive at this insight: the first sip is the most satisfying part of the coffee-drinking experience. Once they homed in on this finding, they handed this insight on to the creative team and copywriters—who then took that research to develop appealing ad copy that directly resonates with their target audience.
Copywriting Is the Heart of MarketingUsing market research to develop a concise and compelling message, sparking an emotional reaction, is the highly regarded skill of an experienced copywriter. Done well, great copywriting persuades you in such a subtle way that you may not even realize you’re being sold something. Or, better yet, you don’t mind the sales pitch because the connection is reading your mind. Slightly amused, you’re thinking, “They get me. They totally get me.


Seduce, Don’t SellOvert and intrusive sales tactics annoy us. Pop-up ads, robocalls and junk mail come to mind. Yet we’re delighted when a brand demonstrates the ability to make an emotional appeal that resonates with our thoughts and dreams. We gladly fork over $4 for a cup of flavored hot water when a brand makes us feel included, warm, and happy. So how can a brand without Nike’s $3.59 billion dollar annual ad budget or Starbucks $247 million ad budget create a similar emotional connection? It begins with market research and great copywriting.

What Separates Mediocre Marketing from Great MarketingIt doesn’t take millions to go from mediocre marketing to great marketing. The real difference between the two is quality market research and next-level copywriting. Think about it—anyone can slap together a combination of eye-catching imagery and decent wording to create their version of “brand messaging.” But it takes patience to comprehend the target market research that leads to irresistible messaging. If you don’t really know your customer, how do you expect to make a connection? If your sales results aren’t meeting projections, perhaps it’s time to review your target market.
Great Marketing Is Rare Because It Takes Real Work to SucceedOne of the most difficult classes I took in my master’s program was creative strategy and execution. It required us to comprehend research insights and translate them into creative work that aligned with brand campaign goals. I thought it would be fun and easy to concoct pithy taglines and vibrant visuals. [Narrator Voice: “…it was not fun and easy.”] In fact, it was extremely challenging to do it the right way.
Coming up with creative ideas is the easy part. But to align the idea to work within a specific framework to meet the desired outcome—that’s hard as hell. And if your marketing budget is tight, it takes skilled, trained professionals to create something great.
But Aren’t Great Ads Everywhere?I know what you must be thinking, “Wait a sec—it can’t be that hard. I see fantastic ads everywhere, all the time.” It may seem so because our consumer-based culture is bombarded daily by the messages of world-class brands. But the best and brightest minds in the world develop those campaigns. How does this skew your bias? Your constant exposure to exceptional advertising has made you much more judgmental. Without realizing it, you’ve become an advertising connoisseur. You’ve learned to tune out awful advertising because it doesn’t meet your new elevated standards of excellence. Flo from Progressive, anyone?
Your Brain Naturally Tunes Out the IrrelevantIf an ad isn’t pertinent to your wants and needs, it no longer registers with you. Call it self-protection mode. Your brain is sifting through hundreds (even thousands) of messages every day. It simply can’t focus on the majority of them, so only the ones that break through are the most relevant and compelling.


What Does This Mean For Your Business?Your audience is sophisticated in their ability to tune out bad marketing so let that acumen work for you. Let your audience tune out your competitor’s ho-hum ads while you serve up fantastic ones.
Leverage this well-kept secret. In the market space of companies under $100M in annual revenue, most businesses don’t allocate enough resources for the kind of market research that leads to great copywriting. As a result, they get what they pay for—mediocrity. Let me say that another way so it sinks in. The majority of $1M to $100M companies are competing with mediocre marketing. This creates a huge opportunity for any small business that wants to invest in the opposite—great marketing. Think about what you could do when your audience is drawn to your marketing and doesn’t even see your competition’s ads.
Invest NowPaige Black excels in market research and copywriting, producing exceptional collateral that delivers the emotional connection your target audience craves. From a lead gen perspective, great marketing beats mediocre marketing time and time again. And right now, while many companies have taken a wait-and-see approach in their business, there has never been a better time to invest in marketing to dominate in your field.
Let’s have a conversation.

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