Creative & Copywriting: Copy and Design in the Face of a Struggling Economy
I read in the news that this past Black Friday revealed a new consumer: one who's cash-only and who arrives at the store with shopping lists in tow to keep their focus narrowed so they won't get distracted into spending more than they planned. Ouch!
This consumer behavior — while very wise, considering the state of the economy — increases retailers' challenge to sell direct. Consumers today are trying with all their might to resist the emotional buying habits they've fallen victim to before.
Of course, we've been talking about this struggling economy for so long, it seems like old news. Despite the rays of hope seen recently, retailers are a long way from the robust spending days they enjoyed for so long, I'm afraid to say.
Copywriters and designers must consider the mood of their audience to create attention-grabbing headlines and design. Creative teams should also understand how to sell to an audience that's more reluctant to part with their cash than they were two years ago.
Does this mean that your message has to be strictly about belt tightening, doom and gloom? No, not at all. That said, there's a careful balance that must be dealt with in today's marketing campaigns. Remember, this is sensitive territory.
Successfully selling in this difficult environment requires a keen understanding of the selling process. Every good creative person — i.e., copywriter or designer — should know these steps. Messaging must then be fine-tuned so that it's applicable to consumers in a strapped economy.
Use Creative as the Salesman
If you've ever read books written by experienced salespeople, you must be familiar with the process they use to make a sale:
1. Get prospects' attention with something they care about. Emails, catalog covers, homepages, outgoing envelopes, etc., must put your best foot forward in terms of in-demand products and clear messaging that teases or delights. Photography must sparkle. It's time to fine-tune your brand so it's appealing enough that consumers will look into it for possible purchases.