5 Stages Of Market Sophistication

In this episode, I walk you through the 5 stages of market sophistication. This is a copywriting principle and persuasion technique that VERY few people know about, and even fewer talk about. However it’s one of the most important factors in the failure or success of a campaign, and a must-know for every marketer on Earth!

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Hey what is going everybody, Jeremy Reeves here with another episode of the sales funnel mastery podcast.

Today, we are going to talk about something that very few people talk about and fewer people, actually no, I said that wrong, that very few people know about and even fewer people talk about right, and that is the 5 Stages Of Market Sophistication Market Awareness right.

So this is — this is actually from a book called breakthrough advertising by Eugene Schwartz right. It is kind of a classic copywriting book and it is something that — is kind of the you know the backbone of everything that really works you know.

When things work it is because you correctly identified where your market was at in their level of sophistication for whatever it is that you are selling and when things flopped it is because you did not quite hit the mark right.

I will kind of you know, walk you through everything and you can think about where your market is, okay.

So you know, back when Eugene Schwartz was you know, was alive and you know basically one of the best copywriters that ever lived.

Essentially, you know, he introduced this concept known as market sophistication and it is essentially, it explains why certain types of approaches work for different products in different markets, right.

As you know, different things are going to work for different products in different markets you know. I have written copy for oh my God, countless numbers of people and it is funny because will approach things differently even though it is going to a similar audience or a similar product, right.

So I am in the middle of writing a promotion right now for Agora, right, which is the biggest — I am pretty sure it is the biggest. I think they are around $300M, the biggest alternative health newsletter in the world right now right.

So this is you know, basically, it is one of those companies that if you are copywriting you kind of get the chance to work (inaudible 2:34.0) you are like considered like the you know elite of elite you know kind of thing.

So it is kind of cool you know going through the process of that and you know, it is funny because the process that we are (inaudible 2:47.0) and the hook — we just finalized the hook actually this morning which is totally, totally bad ass. I am really excited right about it.

It is funny because the whole process and the way that we are approaching this is actually different than I have done in a lot of other alternative health markets you know and even though, it is a very, very, very similar audience right and that is because of the levels of market sophistication, where they are advertising that kind of thing. They kind of (inaudible 3:16.1) marketing too and just what they found that works the best for them you know.

There is a lot of different factors that come into play, so you cannot just — that is why you know, templates are awesome you know. I have copy templates, they are one of my best selling products, but what I always tell people is you cannot just take the template and just reuse it exactly as it is. I mean you have to — it is good for starting point like if you are not a good copywriter, if you do not know how to write copy or whatever. They are very, very, very, very good starting point, but you know, once you get pass the starting point you kind of have to take them and customize them you know to your audience you know. It is because of this right.

So let me get into all these and so there are 5 levels of this. The first one is essentially you know, the interaction, right.

So in this stage, the product or service, I am just going to say product for all these, but it could be service too.

In this stage, the product is brand new. So think of the Ipod when it was first launched, right. It was totally in a class of its own, nothing else is like it on the market right.

So in this stage you do not need to write a 20-page sales letter about every little tiny details that is going into the product.

Your story here, the approach you are taking is the story right, about the innovation, not the details. You are convincing people that this is the newest and greatest thing because of how new and you know “cool” it is, right.

So let me give you an example.

When Steve Jobs came out with the Ipod, right, the headline that was used to sell the Ipod, it was not anything you know, insane. It was not I think grand or spectacular or anything like that. It simply said something along the lines of puts 1000 songs in your pocket, right. That is it. Puts 1000 songs in your pocket. That is very, very, very simple, but you know, no lengthy discussion was needed. The product was really innovative, it was the first of its kind and most people never would have thought it was even possible and it completely, as you know, it completely revolutionized the entire way that we listen to music, right.

So that is all that was needed. What a lot of people do not understand about copy ready is that you have to write only what is needed and nothing else right. That is why people are always like, oh, you know — I have actually had a lot of people come to me and they are like, hey, you know, I need long firm sales letter, I am like, hey, no you do not you know, because we can write this in a way that it does not take that long to make it you know, it is so new that the concept is so clear and so focused and there is not a lot of competition. All you have to do is just tell people it is there right, and make it a new thing. Put a story around it and sell it right.

So that is level 1, the introduction. That is if you are basically coming out with something that is never before seen. There is a lot of this going on right now, the technologies phase and you know, all you have to do is just tell people what are those thing, that is it you know, you do not have to go into this big huge complex thing.

Level 2, the competition craze, right.

So as people begin to know more and more about your product and similar products come on in the market, you can think of this you know, think of Garcinia Cambogia right or really any weight loss supplement.

When it was first brought to light which I think it was on Dr. Oz show, basically, everybody you know, it came out and it was just new thing you know, level 1 introduction. Oh my God, Garcinia Cambogia, it is going to help you lose weight, blah, blah, blah, blah, okay.

And then it went onto the Dr. Oz show and it got huge, right, it blew up everybody (7:07.1) started selling it and you know, it is this new hot you know, amazing new supplement, it is going to help you finally melt off the ugly fat you know, blah, blah, blah.

So when this first started happening, everybody was selling this and everything was very, very, very hyphy right. That is kind of like when you see things that are super, super, super hyphy that is kind of the level 2 thing right, because everybody has you know, there is a lot of competitors and they are all trying to outbid each other essentially with the results that you know, that is going to get people.

So you might have seen a headline such as you know, this was not you know, the actual headline, but it could have been something like this simple pill melts off 10 pounds in 7 days or less, guaranteed right. That is kind of like a level 2 headline is you are talking about the results and how amazing they are.

Another one might be a new 372 horsepower engine makes new Corvette the best bang for your buck, right. So it is like a new thing very hyphy, very bold, all about the results that you are going to get in a very dramatic kind of fashion right. The problem with this stage is that they only last for a little bit because then everybody starts saying the same thing right. Everybody starts saying, oh, it is going to help you lose 10 pounds, then this new competitor, oh, it is going to help you lose 12 pounds, oh now you can lose 12 pounds in 3 days you know.

So it gets to the point where it becomes unbelievable right, and that is when it starts moving into level 3 and that is the unique mechanism right.

Now I want you to pay close attention to this one and the next one because especially this one because this is where most markets are right now is level 3, the unique mechanism.

So I want you to kind of pay special close attention to this one.

So this is where good copywriting really comes into play. You kind of get away with level 1 and level 2. You kind of get away with you know, kind of shitty copy writing because it is still pretty new and really all you have to do is talk about the results whereas the unique mechanism is you know, this is where you really need to have good copywriting coming in because it is really where the best marketers are going to stand out and where we copycats are going to start to you know, they are going to start to disappear a little bit right.

It is also the stage where the best actual products themselves begin to really shine and get a lot of momentum behind them because it is where people start talking about it a lot more.

So in this stage, as you may have guess, you begin to talk about the unique mechanism which makes your product or service get such incredible results. So instead of, well I give you an example in a minute right, but so instead of just saying what they get, you are going to actually tell them how it does it, how it gets those results right.

You are not quite shouting from the rooftop quite as much. You are going to bring down the hype a little bit in this one, but what you are doing is focusing on the finer details of exactly how it works, how it get those results right.

So you are moving into the you know, into the phase of using more proof and research to back up your claims, but also digging into like the you know, the finer or inner mechanics of your product or service right.

So here are the couple of examples right, so simple pill melts out 10 pounds in 7 days and then here is the unique mechanism by neutralizing carbs right, guaranteed and then the other one going back to the automobile one would be something like, new air induction secret adds 50 horsepower in under 10 minutes right, so it adds 50 horsepower in under 10 minutes well how does he do that, the new air induction secret right.

For the simple pill, how does it melt off 10 pounds in 7 days because it neutralizes carbs right. It disintegrates carbs. It eats up carbs like pac-man you know. However you kind of want to describe it right.

This is where — this is where a lot of supplements are at this stage. We do tons of work in the alternative health space and this is where most of them are you know, it is kind of hard to find or sell a supplement where you are only talking about the results, right. You have to say why it get those results and talk about the ingredients, okay.

So again, you know, this stage it is all about what makes your product unique and again, if you have a service, what makes your service unique you know, it could be how fast you get the result or how easily or why you are able to sell it cheaper because of some new material you discovered you know, something like that. Think of graphene right, that is being used in cell phones more so that is going to be one of the big new kind of things coming out because it is bendable, alright, well this one is bendable, well how is it bendable, with graphene and blah, blah, blah use this much and you know, there is this crazy new glass and you know all that kind of stuff, right.

So then, the next level, is the feature frenzy, okay.

So this is where you start getting into bigger companies. Again, most companies that you know people listening to this are going to be in that, probably, like 2nd to 3rd level.

The 4th level is where you are starting to get into bigger companies you know. Think of like $10M plus or commodity type of products, things like that.

So by this stage, there are so many options for people that choices are starting to get harder. Think when you go to the grocery store and you are — I remember I was just, I was looking at M&Ms right. I went to get an M&Ms for, we are having a party, this is I do not know probably, 2 months ago.

We are having a party and we were making these little dessert, it was like a pretzel and then I do not know you do something with it, some kind of, like a sticky type of thing, like a peanut butter or something, you (inaudible 13:17.9) over it and then you put an M&M on top of it, so it is kind of like a chocolate peanut butter pretzel kind of thing, really good by the way.

So I went in to get M&Ms and I went into the you know the part of the store where they have all the candy and all that. There were, I forgot how many — they were like 11 different types of M&Ms. I actually could not find it. It took me like 5 minutes just to find just regular M&Ms and I actually never even ended up getting them. I ended up getting mini M&Ms, but you know, I was just trying to get normal M&Ms and I could not find them you know. Same thing with gold fish or crackers or you know, any kind of cookie you know, there is like 9 billion varieties. So this is what I am talking about in that kind of stage, right.

So in this stage, level 4, it is all about features, okay.

So you want your product to be faster, cheaper, more convenient, and have kind of a coolness factor that your competitors do not.

So think about if you create a comparison chart, you want your product to have several features that your competitors do not, right, that is you know, when you are doing comparison chart, it is kind of like if you imagine at the top, there is 3 or 4 different competitors, you are in the middle on the left, there is all the different features and you want the most you know, check marks in your column, right. That is kind of like what you are looking for here.

So here are the couple of examples.

Fusion ProShield Chill Razor with Flexball technology, right. So that is when I saw for shaving thing. So Fusion ProShield Chill Razor with Flexball technology, right. It is insane.

Here is another one that I got, I was getting waffle maker. I am actually excited. Me and my — well, I am making — one of our kind of staple dinners that we have here is chicken waffle so we do you know, Belgian waffles and then we get like a whole roasted chicken and put it in the crock pot all day and then put some gravy in it and put it over the waffles, oh, it is so good, oh my God, I love it. In fact, this is actually fairly healthy for you too in terms of you know, calories like macronutrients and then I like to eat a vegetable or two kind of with it, peas usually. I know it sounds weird, but it actually goes pretty good with it, but yeah, it is actually good.

Anyway, so T-fal EZ Clean Nonstick Sandwich and Waffle Maker with Removal Dishwasher Safe Plates, 2-Slice, Silver, right. So that was the headline on Amazon.

So you could see you know, T-fal EZ Clean Nonstick Sandwich and Waffle Maker with Removal Dishwasher Safe Plates, 2-Slice, Silver, okay. That is an example of the feature frenzy. They keep piling on these weird features most of which do not even do anything. Same thing like vacuums you know, most of technology anymore. Even the new phones, a lot of phones are in this stage you know, like smart phones you know, it is like, oh my God, you know it has whatever you can dunk in underwater or whatever, that one is actually pretty good, but you know, most of the features on these new phones anymore are totally useless, but it is a new selling point you know, they move the headphone jack or whatever, it is like you know, it is retarded but you know that is kind of the level where we at with smartphones right now.

So here is another one.

At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise in the new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock, right.

So that is kind of the feature and that is actually not even the best example, I could have got a better one for that. That is actually more of level 5 emotional, I think.

So you know, but the point is, in this stage, you want like a thousand different features, right.

So if your competitors — if you are in the stage again, probably not but you know, if you have a lot of competitors and you really cannot talk about results anymore and that is kind of getting outplayed then you start moving onto to the features okay.

The next level and the final level is the emotional play.

So the emotional play. Level 5 is all about emotions, okay.

So basically this point, you are selling a brand. You are selling your brand. You are selling an emotional appeal, right, and that is really what branding is. Is you know, your brand stands for something that appeals to people in emotional level, that is what that is.

If you think about Coke or if you think about you know, any of these big companies, they are selling emotions, right, and that is why they do not have long form sales pages anymore because they do not need them anymore, they already have the loyalty. All they are doing is just maintaining that brand you know, Coke, McDonalds, Wendy’s you know, whatever it is, KFC. They are promoting a brand. They want — you want, at this stage, you want your audience to be part of something. You want them to viscerally feel some type of emotion.

So think about buying a Ferrari versus a Rolls-Royce or a Bentley you know, they are roughly the same price, right, but think about what each of those brands how it appeals to different people you know. Think of how is going to buy a Ferrari versus something like a Rolls-Royce or a Bentley. You want them for very, very different reasons, okay.

The emotional appeal is very different between those 3 brands. Also, think about something like a Harley-Davidson, right. Harley-Davidson, I mean honestly, their bikes are not really the best on the market, they are good bikes, but anybody who has a Harley is a die-hard fan, kind of like Apple, right.

Apple computers I mean, honestly, you know, I am a Mac kind of myself, so I feel like I can say this and without you know, pissing too many people off, they are not that much better than PCs right They are really not you know. They maybe a little bit more reliable or whatever, but you know, when you really compare it, I mean, it is like you know, fraction of you know percent better than things you can get and honestly you are over paying for most of the stuff with Apple products. Most of the reason that people are such Apple fans is not because they are better quality, right. It is because of the branding that Apple does because people want to be different you know, they want to be unique and it is actually a little bit ironic anymore because Apple is so popular now that you are really not, you really do not standout when you have Apple products because everybody else does. So their whole branding thing, I think they have to start redoing it a little bit because you know, it is kind of getting a little bit outdated you know, they have been doing it since like the 80s or 90s or whatever it was and that was huge back then like standout from the crown you know, be different all that stuff. It made sense then, but I mean, when everybody is using it, really it does not matter anymore you know, and again, I am saying that as a you know, as an Apple fan. So I am fully suck into their marketing.

I want you to just think about all these right.

How do you put this into your business even though you know, none of us are going to be you know, doing any promotions based on this level 5 emotional you know, emotional awareness. You can still put it into your brand, right. You can still put it into your marketing by having community and having things that make people feel like they are part of something. I do it in my copy all the time, right.

One last example.

Think about the American Express Black Card right. So it is an “owner” to get one of these right, even though you have to pay something around $7500 to get it plus $2500 a year, plus you have to spend $250,000 a year on the card.

So why would you do that and their interest rate is probably are not anything special. I know there is a lot of perks to it, but I mean, common, it does not, you know, it does not make out for what you are paying for. You have to pay $7500 just to get it for the privilege to have a credit card, and then you have to pay $2500 a year and you have to have a minimum fee right of $250,000 a year. Why, because of the way it makes you feel that you have an American Express Black Card right because you are special, you are unique you know, very few people can get that. I think it is like a half of 1% of people even you know, qualified for or something like that right.

It is the same thing as a golf membership, right. There is a golf membership by our house. One of the nicer ones in the area and it is like, it is something like $15,000 to join, right, and then not only do you have to pay them $15,000, but you still have to pay every time you golf, you have to spend I do not know, $1,000 a quarter or something like that at the restaurant, at the country club, right.

Why do people do that, right. I have no interest in that. I was actually going to get a social membership. They have a cheaper social membership, I do not play enough golf to even come remotely close to justifying the $15,000. I like to play golf like a couple of times a year, but I was going to get a social membership, but then I realized, I mean we barely even go there anyway, so there is really no point, but you know, why are people join membership so much like golf membership, country club so much, it is not because you know, it is that good of a golf course or whatever, it is because they can tell people that they are a member there. That is why.

Same thing with cars. Same thing with giant houses you know. It is the same thing regardless of what you buy. If you are buying something that is way above you know, it is like the high-end of things. Any kind of high-end products or service, you are selling emotions right. I mean, really, you are selling emotions with anything you sell, but you know, especially when it is the high-end of you know, the price range. You are selling emotions and you cannot forget that in your marketing right.

So anyway, what do you with this, right. Because there is no point in understanding market sophistication if you do not anything with it, right.

So the first thing is you know, number 1, if you are looking for a copywriter, make sure they know this because it is really important and very, very, very few copywriters even know — they would not even be able to tell you, you know what these various stages are, and if they do not, do not hire them because the first thing that we do when we start a new project with the client is determine what level their market is at and then because what happens is let us say that they are level 2 about you know, the simple pill melts off 10 pounds in 7 days or less, guaranteed right. So let us say that they are there, but you are trying to sell you know, a feature frenzy you know, you are trying to sell them on all the features. That is not going to work because they are not at that level yet, okay. They are at a different level, okay.

Same thing with the buyer’s journey you know, I would not go into this. I will do a separate podcast on this, but you know, there is 3 levels of the buyer’s journey. There is problem awareness. There is a research phase and then there is a decision phase, okay.

If you are trying to sell them, just think of that one as warm or cold, right. So they are cold or brand new. They need to be educated, right.

If you are trying to give them the solution when they still need to be educated, you are not going to sell anything.

If you are trying to get them educated when they are ready to buy, did it ever have that happened to you when you are ready to buy something and somebody over sells you and tries to educate you too much, tells you (inaudible 25:53.8) things and then they say something, and it is like, Oh, well, I do not even need that. Did it ever have that happened to you, it happens to me all the time.

They are basically you know, like kind of under selling you or you know, false selling you or something like that, but you know, essentially, they do not understand your needs.

So you have to first understand — think about your market which you know, which one, what level are they at, right. What stage are they at and then you have to focus your copy around that stage, okay.

Understanding what level that they are at dictates everything that you do. It dictates every strategy that you come up. It dictates how your copy reads, you know.

So figure this out first and then if you are doing your own copy, figure it out and then make sure that your marketing message match up to the market sophistication level that your market is at, alright.

So that is it for today. Once again, you know, as always, if you are enjoying this episode, make sure that you are sharing it with your friends, colleagues, family you know, whoever you think would like it you know, twit it out, Facebook it you know, whatever you like on social media and make sure you leave us a review. Remember we are giving our Conversion Cheat Sheet. It is a course I used to sell for $77. I am giving you that for free when you leave a review. All you have to do is just email us at [email protected] after you do that and as always, if you want to get in touch about working with us, I have I think probably 80% plus of my clients actually listened to the podcast. A lot of you guys are reaching out to me to see how I can help you with your funnel.

So if that is you, then reach out and we will see you know see if it is a fit. Otherwise, I hope you have a fantastic week. I will talk to you soon and we will see you next time.

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