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Is the client always right?

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As copywriters or marketers, we often overlook a very important dynamic.

We are not only responsible for persuading potential customers…

…we have someone else to influence.

I’m talking about our clients (or stakeholders).

“Wait a second Chris”, you might say – “Do you mean you’re trying to screw your clients?”

Not at all.

First, your idea of persuasion might need revisiting… but that’s not it. It goes way deeper.

It’s about the course of knowledge.

It plagues many business owners. They know too much, or are too immersed in their own field and in their own product, that they forget what their customers need to know before buying.

This means that your clients and the people you might report to, need to be influenced too!

As I was going through “My life in advertising” by Claude Hopkins, I stumbled on a story that vividly reminded me of this.

When working for Goodyear tires, Hopkins was looking for a differentiator as most tires appeared to be the same exact product.

Then it hit him:

“Results are what men are after. They care not how you get them. That was a new idea to them. They were manufacturers, interested mainly in a type of construction. Being interested in manufacturing details, they naturally talked them to the public.”

He realized how the novel construction of one of their models could be presented to be an effective benefit for customers.

He goes on:

“There lies the chief reason why no manufacturer should ever conduct his own advertising. Few attempt it now. The advertiser is too close to his factory. His own interests tend to blind him to the interests of his customers. He fails to appreciate the consumer’s side.”

So important and the reason why as copywriters, we should always strike the balance between speaking for our clients and to our customers.

A lot of times this means we have to push back on decisions from the higher ups.

And that’s fine, as long as it’s all backed up by our knowledge of the audience.

Need help with finding out exactly what your people (both clients and audience) want? Get in touch.

Quote and reflection of the day:

“Acceptance has to do essentially with balance, proportion, and appropriateness. The individual at the level of Acceptance isn’t interested in determining right or wrong, but instead is dedicated to resolving issues and finding out what to do about problems. Tough jobs don’t cause discomfort or dismay. Long-term goals take precedence over short-term ones; self-discipline and mastery are prominent”

  • David R. Hawkins, Power vs. Force

When in doubt ask: what’s the most balanced, appropriate and proportionate decision? Acceptance is the starting point toward self-mastery.

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