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What Are Human Advantages ?

Good Copywriting  Uses Real Customer Triggers

Would you be surprised to learn that the actual things people want today are the exact same things people wanted a decade or even a century ago?  Regardless of advancements in technology, basic human behaviors and triggers have not changed and are not likely to change. Look no further than the empty shelves and all the hoarding that was done for coronavirus lockdown. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is still relevant in 2021.

Whether we consume content on a screen made of glass, or paper, has little impact or effect on our basic needs and motivations. What people want, won’t ever change. Scientists have a term for this and its called Human Nature.  21st Century businesses that leverage human nature in their copywriting and stick with the basics have an advantage.

Advertising Principles

Sticking with time earned advertising principles and understanding what people want,  provides a greater ability to reach, and connect with customers. Improvements in technology give businesses and consumers the ability to make connections much faster and easier than ever before.

Never forget the objective of advertising is to drive sales, to change behavior, to increase awareness and engagement. Effective copywriting not only catches attention but also holds the mind and the eyes of our customers.

Capturing Vs. Holding Attention

Capturing ones attention and holding ones attention are two completely different things. Holding attention is much harder than capturing it.

Here are three common issues we come across with clients today.

1. Our website is strong in web visits but we have super high bounce rates (less than a minute on site).
2. We have lots of Facebook followers but we never sell anything.
3. Our email subscribers list is large. We send out emails all the time but nothing ever happens.

How do we fix these issues?

You have to know what your customers want. In each case, these businesses did well at gaining the prospects attention but not at keeping and holding their attention. The information they sent out afterward had little impact.  The messages were tailored to what the businesses wanted to hear not what their customers wanted to see.

Show Me – What will it do for me?

If you want to hold the customer you will need to show an advantage, something to get excited about. What will your message, your voice; what will it do for ME? Essential for success is to quickly determine what your proposition will do for the customer. Assuming your headline captures the attention and the layout looks good; then all you need to do is show people an advantage. And promote that advantage frequently.

Looking at popular culture, mass appeal and current trends of self service, instant gratification and possible excess, it may be fair to say that even today,  “People don’t give a damn until you have aroused desire”. – Eugene Schwartz

Here are some current trends that could impact what people want, and need to be taken into account when crafting your marketing.


2023 Popular Trends

Grand Dads Trends

Success      Instead of Integrity
Spending      Instead of Saving
Restlessness      Instead of Rest
Self Indulgence      Instead of Self Discipline
Desire For New     Instead of Affection for Old
Show     Instead of Solidity
Dependence     Instead of Self Reliance
Gregariousness     Instead of Solitude
Luxury     Instead of Simplicity
Ostentation     Instead of Restraint
Quick Impressions     Instead of Careful Thought


Kenneth M Goode wrote almost a century ago that “nothing of yours ever seems half so important to me, as it does to you.” Powerful stuff back then but just as relevant today considering how fragmented the consumption of media is and how many messages bombard customers today. In some aspects we have entered a period of lost utilization.

The fact remains significant ad dollars continue to be wasted to this day because: What your customer wants to hear, has nothing to do, with what you want to say. 

Understand Human Advantages

Knowing the real human advantages that people want to gain can help you develop a voice that will be listened too and acted upon. Most people have heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs it is essential to unlocking human advantages.. The key is how these defined, and predictable needs that your customers have, impact how you sell or promote your product.. To be clear these needs transcend race, income, sex, age or any real demographic trait or even time. Real Human Advantages are timeless. They endure.

You can capture the mind of the reader with either a positive or a negative approach.

Show people in words, pictures or both what they can save, gain or accomplish. How it will increase: their mental, physical, financial, social, emotional, or spiritual stimulation, satisfaction, self respect, well being, or security.

Show people in words or pictures or both what they can lose, what risks, worries, losses, mistakes, embarrassments, doubts, drudgery, or other undesirable conditions your proposition will help them avoid, lessen or eliminate. How it will decrease: their fear of poverty, illness, accident, discomfort, boredom, offense to others, and prevent any loss of business prestige, personal prestige, social prestige or advancement.

You need to tie-up, specific advantages of your product and service with what actually motivates people.

Did the woman buy the Cartier watch so she could always be on time? Could it be that a Cartier resonates financially, and socially, as the women gains respect and well being as well as punctuality.


Additional desires that motivate:

Added Comfort- Ease, Convenience, Speed, Self Indulgence, Luxury.
Greater Leisure- Play, Rest, for Travel, Self Development, Family, Hobbies.
More Money- For Spending, Saving, Investing or Giving.
Pride of Achievement- Overcoming Obstacles, and Competition. Doing things well, Winning.
Have Greater Popularity- Thru More Attractive Personality, Accomplishments or Appearance.
Improved Appearance- Better Physical Build, More Beauty, Style, Build, Cleanliness.
Security in Old Age- Independence. Financial Security. Provision for Age. or Adversity.
Business Advancement- Financial Independence. Better Job, Entrepreneurship Reward for Merit.
Increased Enjoyment- From Entertainment, Food, Drink, Experience, and other Physical Contact.
Social Advancement- Keep up with the Jones’es. Move in Better Circles, Social Acceptance.
Praise From Others- Being Intelligent. Good Judgement, Knowledge, Beauty, Philanthropy, Being Superior.
Better Health – People Want Greater Strength, Endurance, Vitality, Vigor, Longer Life, No Pain.


Copywriting Takeaways 

If you can tie up the advantages of your product, proposition or message with what people want to Gain, Be, Do and Save. You will force them to action. You will make them want to buy.

In a nutshell people want to :

Gain: Health, Time, Money, Popularity, Improved Appearance, Security in Old Age, Praise, Comfort, Leisure, Pride of Achievement, Self Respect, Advancement in Business and Social, Increase Enjoyment, Self Confidence, Prestige, Admiration of Peers.

Be: Creative, Efficient, First at things, Good Parents, Gregarious, An Influencer, Proud of Their Possessions , Sociable, Hospitable. Recognized as an Authority, Current.

Do: Improve Themselves, Acquire or Collect, Win Affection, Appreciate Beauty, Satisfy Curiosity, Keep Up with Joneses, Express Themselves, Be Unique, Resist Domination by Others.

Save: Time, Money, Risk, Work, Worry, Stress, Discomfort, Doubts, Personal Embarrassment, Health.

Copywriters will do well to remember this when crafting.

Summary – Only two surefire guaranteed motivators in life. Self Interest and Fear.

Schwab, V. O. (1962). How to write a good advertisement. New York, Harper [1962]

Victor Schwab. (1898 – 1980) started in advertising as the secretary of Maxwell Sackheim, who was employed by Rathrauff & Ryan. After improving Sackheim’s copy in a radical manner, he got promoted to copywriter. In this position, he became known as the very best direct mail-order copywriter in history. His excellent results were influenced by in-depth research and ample testing. He tested virtually every single aspect related to his copy, including layouts and calls to action. Schwab was also the genius who advanced the idea that first-hand copy should illustrate the promoted product in action, to allow the prospect to understand its benefits and crave for it.

Peerless Digital Marketing creates integrated web presence strategies. Multi-screen strategies that help businesses engage with potential customers at the right time and place in the online world.  Call Ryan Today 916-450-1335.
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