Writing to Your Prospects’ State of Awareness

Copywriting tips - Social media benefitsAs a savvy marketer you know that it’s important to understand who you’re talking to before you hire a copywriter and ask them to write your next brochure, Web site or blog post. However, it’s also important to know more than demographics . . . even more than lifestyle information.

Do you know your target market’s state of awareness about your product or service? What is their present state of knowledge about it and the satisfaction that it performs?

Just like a promotion that speaks to single women 45-55 years of age most likely won’t catch the attention of a teenage girls, a headline that works to a market in one stage of awareness will not work to a market in another stage of awareness. With the help of my mentor, the late Eugene Schwartz, here are various awareness levels from his book Breakthrough Advertising:

1. Fully Aware (the easiest market to address) – they know about your product – what it does – and know that they want it. They just haven’t gotten around to buying it yet.

2. Not Completely Aware – they know about your product but aren’t completely aware of everything it does, or not convinced of how well it does it, or haven’t yet been told how much better it does it now. This, according to Mr. Schwartz, is “the great bulk of all advertising.” Some examples of here include: “Joy – the costliest perfume in the world” or “At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise in a Rolls Royce is the electric clock.”

3. Less aware – they either know or recognize immediately that they want what the product does; but don’t yet know that there is a product – your product – that will do it for them.

4. Completely unaware (most difficult market) – they are either not aware of their desire or need – or they won’t honestly admit it to themselves without being lead into it by your ad – or the need is their own secret that just can’t be verbalized yet.

How aware are you when it comes to understanding how aware your prospects are? Give this some thought as you’re putting together your marketing plan. Then, when you’re ready to sit down with your creative team, you’ll be equipped with the information you need to pass on to get a great job done.

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below because I’d love to hear from you. Thanks a million and here’s to your sweet success.

Need assistance in writing attention-getting content for your next brochure, blog post or Web site?  Head to The Write Direction. Feel free to give me a call at (303) 443-1942 or e-mail me for your complimentary quote today.

Debra Jason

Marketing & writing with heart, not hype at at The Write Direction
A recipient of the “Creative Person of the Year” award, Debra educates and empowers creative solopreneurs and enthusiastic business owners to create a lifestyle business that provides them with the flexibility, fun and freedom to do what they love. She also inspires you to communicate your marketing message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal, raving fans - even if you have been struggling with how to transform your ideas into words in the past.


  1. Great post, Debra!

    The difficulty, in my opinion, is that most companies that set up a demographic target profile for their advertising campaign will find themselves in a situation where they have multiple (or even all) states of awareness they need/want to reach.

    What I mean to say is; if a company has existed for some time and has a group of loyal customers, a group of occasional customers and a group of non-buyers, would they need different campaigns to target specific groups? In other words, would they have to shift their focus from time to time to another group? Or can you target multiple groups at once?

    All the best,


  2. Gerd,
    Thanks for taking time to read this post. It’s best to address the needs of each group individually. By doing so, you show your audience that you understand their specific needs/problems/challenges. And, can then offer them a solution that is beneficial.

    A loyal customer already has a relationship with you so you may address them differently than one who has never bought from you at all. If you target multiple groups all at once your copy may say something to one group that doesn’t apply to another. Then, you risk losing their attention, interest or desire to respond.
    Have a great day.

  3. In addition to cuing in on your target’s level of awareness, a little more research will reveal what their passion is towards the subject and what the current sentiment is in this area of interest, both of which can reap benefits in the area of reaching common ground and building trust. Slanting copy that connects with the audience by seeking common ground based on their point of view rather than from that of the pitchman’s is just the kind of paradigm shift that a savvy reader will embrace.
    Thanks for the common sense marketing advice.

  4. Ron,
    You’re welcome. Glad you joined in with your feedback. Always best to talk “to” your audience, not “at” them. Building trust is where it’s at.


  1. […] I love that Neil includes my mentor, Gene Schwartz’ States of Awareness which I shared here on my blog and are covered in Chapter 3 of my book Millionaire Marketing on a Shoestring […]

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