Advertising Lessons from Mad Men – The Voice of Customer Research

Advertising Lessons from Mad Men – Lesson #1: The Voice of Customer Research

So …

This is a new series of posts that I’m going to start and this one is the first post.

Unlike my detailed resources, these posts would be brief because videos will do the heavy lifting.

There would be a clip from my most favorite T.V. series Mad Men and I’d dig deep into it to find out relevant marketing/advertising/copywriting lessons for you folks.

This one is about the Voice of Customer Research.

So, what is the Voice of Customer Research?

There are detailed (and slightly boring) explanations of this major hack of advertising, but let us make it simple and easy.

As I’ve said it earlier, sometime, somewhere … buyers are more likely to trust the sincere voice of fellow buyers when compared to whatever cheesy BS vendor has to say about his product.

This art lies in digging deeper into the voice of your target clients, understanding the jargon and expressions they use, and then use the same ideas, expressions, and jargon in your copy … so as to steal authority, sound authentic and lure the readers into trusting you.

It’s like knowing the password that your target audience uses to open certain doors that you cannot cross being a vendor; when you use the same password you elicit trust from your target audience and you trick them into believing that you are one of them.

And where there is trust, there is a sale.

This idea, the Voice of customer research, can be traced back to the times of olden days of advertising. I can trace it back to the times of one of my favorite advertisers/copywriters: Gene Schwartz.

Gene said:

There is your audience. There is the language. There are the words that they use.

To understand how you should go about using the voice of customer research process, you should go through a few helpful resources that I found online:

Joel Klettke – the copywriter who wrote copy for big SaaS brands including HubSpot,

Joanna Weibe – the copywriter who is the owner of the best ever resource on modern copywriting: Copyhackers, and

Conversion XL – one of the best conversion-focused agencies and blogs online

And yes, “voice” is not the only important thing in the process of the voice of customer research; you have to go above and beyond that to dig deeper into your target market’s needs and deepest desires.

So, before I end this blog post here, let us take a look at a simple example of how the voice of customer research should be used.

We all know that the hero section’s headline is mostly, if not always, written around the major benefit of a product.

Let us assume that NAME is a SaaS tool that allows entrepreneurs and influencers to share content across all major social networking channels with one click.

Let us further assume that a user of NAME or that of a major competitor of NAME praised this feature in these words:

“I love how I can share the same pic/video and same text and hashtags on all my social media handles without having to separately go to each and every one of them.”

Now, you can extract two things from this review: expression/words and intent. We will use both of them and bang out a headline.

“NAME: The Ultimate One-Click Solution to Share Your Content Across All Social Media Handles in One Go”

You can see that not only I transformed the intent of that review into a headline, but I also used the same words such as “share”, “content” and “social media handles”.

This is why copywriters believe that they do not write the copy; the client provides the copy, copywriters only assemble it.

This is it for now; I’d be back soon with another lesson from Mad Men.

If you want to share any feedback, or you have any questions or suggestions, kindly let me know in the comment box below 🙂

About Bilal Ahmed

A direct response copywriter obsessed with persuasion techniques and hacks from great-grandpa Claude Hopkins's times till this date!


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