B Y   T O M   T O R T O R I C I   

If you live on planet earth, chances are you have been bombarded from all angles by weak, unsubstantiated marketing claims. The net effect has been the psychological shell that each of us has grown that I call ‘buyer’s armor.’

Put another way, our default response to any given marketing message is to ignore it. That response frees us from the mental effort of modifying our personal world view to accommodate your new game-changing product.

It also frees us from making the physical effort of looking into, and acting upon, even a potentially beneficial offer. Did I mention that all things considered, humans are a pretty lazy species?

For marketers, breaking through that armor and apathy, whether they realize it or not, is often a bigger obstacle than besting their pesky competition.

All of which is unfortunate for companies who send their marketing budgets streaming down the toilet, with a final exasperated conclusion that marketing just doesn’t work.

The problem, of course, is that they simply made a claim without actually making a case. And that made their content all the more easy to ignore.

What exactly am I talking about here? Some examples might help. The first phrase of each of the following pairs makes a vague claim, whereas the second one makes a more believable case.

“Veggie burgers that are better for you.”
“Veggie burgers with twice the protein and half the fat as a beef burger.”

“Shrubs that are easier to maintain.”
“Shrub varieties that grow slowly, so they don’t need to be trimmed as often.”

“A better janitorial service for your office.”
“Cleanliness Inspectors ensure that janitors make everything spotless.”

“Business tax accountants who save you money.”
“Enjoy four equipment-related tax deductions that most accountants miss.”

The point here is, the second phrase of each pair is harder to ignore than the first phrase.

And that, of course, is the job of smart marketers: coming up with a creative solution to a marketing problem that doesn’t let folks blow us off quite so easily.

As you can see from the examples, the cases work where the claims don’t because they are more specific. People (you included) are impacted by, and moved to action by, beneficial specifics, not vague promises.

You don’t have to get too technical to get your point across, at least not, say, on the web’s home page. You just need to get technical enough to give people a reason to believe, other than the vendor wanting them to believe.

It’s about planting a mental seed in the viewer’s scope of awareness, not in the second paragraph of copy, not in the first paragraph, but in the first thing they see on a website, or ad, or whatever. Why? Because of how often viewers only look at the headlines, in deciding whether or not to dig further.

What happens when a headline is easy to ignore because it’s all promise and no payoff? What do you think happens?

Do you remember the scene in the movie Fatal Attraction where a crazed, wild-eyed Glenn Close holds a knife over Michael Douglas and screams, “I. Will. Not. Be. IGNORED!!”

Good marketing is kind of like that, except of course without the knife and the blood and the corpse in the bathtub that comes back to life.

Concerned that your website or other marketing might be more ‘claim’ than ‘case’? The good news is, we can easily address that with a Website Review and Recommendations Report. Start here.


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Tom TortoriciAbout the Author:  Tom Tortorici is an Atlanta copywriter and web content writer who helps companies make a genuine connection with their audience. His classes and conference presentations have focused on how writing, strategy and design can work together to grab attention and interest even among readers with short attention spans. In addition to working directly with businesses, Tom regularly partners with web designers and marketing agencies.

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Tom Tortorici Inc. | Tom@TomTortorici.com | 770-934-7861 | 3101 Rockaway Rd | Atlanta GA 30341