It's All About You
I thought I'd end the week by reminding you how selfish you are.
All you really care about is yourself.
I don't mean this as a criticism; I'm just stating a fact. It's the cold, hard truth.
And if you're going to write great copy, you'd better deal with it – and fast.
You see, I'm the same way. We all are. The world is filled with people who care mostly about themselves.
It's certainly not a new revelation.
In fact, it's the conclusion Daniel Starch (1883 – 1973) came up with many years ago in his publication "Starch Advertising Readership Reports."
Starch is widely recognized as one of the pioneers of marketing and consumer research in the early 20th century.
Starch discovered early on that people don't care about the actual product. They care about what the product will do for them. How will it make their lives better and more fulfilled? How will it make them happier?
Now, of course, in today's day and age you'd think that this is pretty much standard stuff.
Or so muses Drew Eric Whitman in the first chapter of his book Cashvertising: How to Use More Than 100 Secrets of Ad-Agency Psychology to Make Big Money Selling Anything to Anyone.
But he says it would be foolish of us to think so.
To prove it's not the case, he says, all you have to do is look at some of the advertising that surrounds us.
Whitman says flatly that "Most (yes, most) advertisers still haven't learned the basic lesson: people don't care about you, they care first about themselves."
So what do we really want?
He reminds us of the eight key biologically programmed desires (that he calls "The Life-Force 8"). These are eight desires in life that we can't escape from. They are:
- Survival, enjoyment of life, life extension
- Enjoyment of food and beverages
- Freedom from fear, pain, and danger
- Sexual companionship
- Comfortable living conditions
- To be superior, winning, keeping up with the Joneses
- Care and protection of loved ones
- Social approval
Anyone who makes their living persuading people with their words, of course, needs to be keenly aware of their eight biological desires.
He adds there are also nine learned secondary human wants:
- To be informed
- Cleanliness of body and surroundings
- Expression of beauty and style
These 17 needs and desires make for a pretty good "persuasion checklist."
If you'd like to learn more about how Whitman recommends you can become a more successful marketer, check out an article I wrote about Whitman's 17 ways to get inside your reader's mind.
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