Copywriting is more of a science than an art. Copywriters deal with clearly defined variables and precise dynamics in the human psychology that ultimately help make a successful marketing campaign.
A study by the Harvard Business School found that 95% of our decisions are made on a subconscious level. This means that we form impressions and opinions without being aware of it or as to how we were influenced into thinking that way.
Have you ever liked someone without being able to know why? Did you wonder how that was the case without being able to quite put your finger on it?
Most of our decisions are so far removed from our awareness that we even subconsciously do things to affect others subconsciously without being aware of it. Don’t believe me? I invite you to consider why high heels for women are considered to be an indication of prestige, wealth and comfort. Or why red lipstick is universally considered to be an indicator of attraction. Or why a business suit is of more high status than a more comfortable and functional tracksuit.
Our brains are wired in specific ways that determined thought processes and dynamics that affect our decisions on a fundamental level. This is the result of billions of years of evolution that ended up structuring a basic mental architecture that allowed our ancestors to survive and thrive. For example, the cave men who subconsciously decided that fanged animals were dangerous got to survive and reproduce. The cave women who subconsciously decided to be attracted to cave men with power and influence got to reproduce and pass on their genes to us.
The world has changed a lot since them, but the dynamics are the still same. Today’s “powerful men” are not defined by a muscular body but by skill and monetary control. This is why women today are generally attracted to influential leaders, successful businessmen and popular sensations. This is what power is in modern societal structure.
But how do we subconsciously decide that someone is indeed powerful in today’s day and age? The answer is micro-indications of power. Such indications are subtle and often elude conscious awareness, which tends to be slow and avoids generalizations. One general indicator of power is uncomfortable high-class attire because it indicates to the subconscious mind that one is so powerful that they do not need to submit to manual labor. Yes, this is a subconscious line of reasoning, one of innumerable logical pathways that determine our decisions.
How does this relate to marketing and copywriting? Well, a good copywriter understands good consumer psychology. Before we write something, we profile our audience. Although this may require some generalizing, it is necessary, and results are based on approximations and maximal impact rather than one-size-fits-all solutions. Besides, isn’t that how most of pharmaceutical studies work too?
I use evolutionary psychology to profile audiences and predict how they will respond to a given product, service or business. When writing copy, I take into consideration the dynamics of subconscious impressions and decision making that still define our psyche today.
By leveraging evolutionary psychology, I identify the right emotional triggers and subconscious reasoning mechanisms that will help audiences better understand how a given product or service can benefit them and help solve some of their everyday predicaments. This is the aim of good copy after all.
It is not manipulating if done honestly and with the aim of helping audiences solve their problems. It is only manipulative an unethical writer aims to deceive and make a short-term impact. But audiences are quick to respond, especially today when anyone can post a review on Amazon or Twitter or anywhere.
Good copy is empathic and aims at helping audiences solve their everyday struggles. To make it work, do your homework, research and take into consideration the feelings of your audiences. You will then succeed in relating to them.