This marketing framework is a game changer in many of the campaigns we have run for the past years

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This marketing framework is a game changer in many of the campaigns we have run for the past years

Author Terence Leong
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This marketing framework is a game changer in many of the campaigns we have run for the past years.

We have in the past run many campaigns in which we literally tried changing every single thing (ad creative, headlines, lander, sign-up processes), but it was still not pulling in the desired cost per lead.

It wasn’t until we came across this book by Eugene M. Schwartz “Breakthrough Advertising” that we had our real breakthrough.

“Breakthrough” means we were able to improve campaign performance by 50-100%, not a mere few % of a marginal difference.

It comes from understanding the 5 stages of market sophistication.

For example, let’s say in the wealth growth industry, as the audience becomes more knowledgeable of the industry over time, they typically progress from stages 1 to 5 like this:

Stage 1: At this stage, no one has heard of “retiring early” before. So when a solution on “how to retire early” was introduced, i.e. an annuity, the entire market rejoices since it’s very attractive to get 4-8% per annum with low risk.

Stage 2: There’s money to be made, competition soon creeps in and everyone in the space starts talking about the same thing. Consumers start to get tired of hearing about “retiring early”, and the same line is not effective anymore.

At this stage, one needs to be able to better define the benefits. Ie “retire x years earlier”. This “new” offer will then be the new darling.

Stage 3: The market then progresses to grow skeptical about the above claim. So next, you will need to prove that you can actually achieve it, ie “retire x years earlier with x framework”

Stage 4: Here, the market starts to grow tired of different kinds of frameworks, and this offer no longer works. You might start seeing campaigns offering double the benefits to stand out from others, ie “retire x years earlier with more than $x”

Stage 5: Finally, if your audience has reached this stage of sophistication, it means that they are already very educated on “retiring early” and everyone already knows about it. At this juncture, the market will only respond better to the “identity” type of advertising. For example, “your kid will thank you in the future for great financial planning”

Looking back, I see this all the time in many marketing campaigns.

I still remember passing by this road in Bali and seeing this huge cigarette ad: “Pro never quit”.

I don’t support the tobacco industry, but I understand now why this ad works. If your audience has already reached stage 5 of market sophistication, all claims that can be made have already been made by the marketers (everyone knows what’s a cigarette): 20000 filter traps, dual filter double the pleasure, smoke-free nicotine, etc, and now they have to resort to this “identity” type of advertising to capture attention.

Even in one of our viral content marketing campaigns, it was developed in such a manner:

Stage 1: Bali private villas

Stage 2: Bali private pool villas

Stage 3: Bali private pool villas under $xxx

Stage 4: Bali private pool villas under $xxx with a view

If you are running a market campaign and looking for a breakthrough, in my opinion, introducing something novel is necessary to stand out from the crowd.

And so it goes, industry after industry, same kind of challenge, same kind of life cycle.

If one doesn’t adapt to the existing level of market sophistication their audience is in, it can be tough to have a breakthrough offer.

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This marketing framework is a game changer in many of the campaigns we have run for the past years.