Are you getting newsletters from marketers about coronavirus? I am. They fall into three categories:
1) “What to do with all this free time…”
2) “What I’m doing to help…”
3) “How to exploit it…”
Categories 1 and 2 are examples of category 3. This is what marketers do.
The whole of marketing revolves around gaps in the market and exploiting them.
Where judgment is needed is just how far we want to go with our exploitation (this is the third pillar of philosophy – Ethics, or “how far are you prepared to go to get what you want” – search Ethics in this group, or read the Science of Copywriting Rule Book – free when you sign up for the Science of Copywriting Weekly Newsletter).
One broadcast I got (category 2) was from a major UK supermarket (Sainsbury’s). It was perfectly written and left me feeling good that I hadn’t gone and bought up every toilet roll and hand sanitizer I could find.
Their PR person understood the gap perfectly, they were able to write in a way that makes people feel good.
It’s proof you can use exploitation in an ethical way (even if it’s only by perception, which is after all, what everything is about).
Sainsbury’s message was clear and didn’t sway from it’s big idea: “If we all buy only what we need, there will be enough for everyone”. But it did it in a non-preachy way.
They took 280 words to say that though, so you can appreciate the effort that went into it.
PS. This post is also an example of exploitation. But perhaps exploitation is the wrong word.
PPS. If you were pitching for a 280 word article, what would you charge? (more on how to figure that out next time)