B2B Copywriters: Minding the 6 Ps of Marketing
I love this post from @briansolis, Exploring the Fifth and Sixth Ps of Marketing because it discusses what many B2B copywriters experience on a daily basis… a lack of direction relative to the “people” (5th “P”) for whom you’re writing and the “purpose” (the 6th “P”). B2B marketers might argue that the 5th “P” should stand for “persona” which describes the several unique buying influences along the B2B buying cycle.
While most B2B marketers carefully consider the traditional four Ps—product, price, promotion and placement—the 5th and 6th Ps are where some B2B copywriters find themselves scratching their heads. So for all my B2B copywriting colleagues, it’s not enough to ask for whom you’ll be writing the content; you’ll also need to learn for what purpose. I know this may sound a bit sophomoric, but in reality, the 5th and 6th Ps either don’t exist or the information may not have been provided to us, and we have to dig a little deeper to find it.
Why Are the 5th and 6th Ps Important to B2B Copywriters?
The “People” “P” may seem obvious, but it’s important to know for what person / persona in the B2B buying cycle you’re writing. An economic influencer in the latter phase of a buying cycle would require content that’s written around the economics of the purchasing decision such as total cost of ownership. Your content may contain more detailed financial information and aggressive language to convert the economic influencer to a buyer. Then, there’s the technical influencer. Your copywriting should address his or her interests. Typically, technical influencers are interested in specifications and what’s involved in deploying the product, or they may wish to know the extensibility of the product for future needs. This can be accomplished through original content or a client testimonial.
While we copywriters think of purpose as the purpose of a specific piece of content, such as an email written to elicit click throughs, we should also consider purpose from the broad perspective mentioned in Brian’s post. Purpose is an important element for an integrated marcom strategy because it drives the tone and approach of all content regardless of medium.
What is the vision of the company for which you’re writing? Does the language in your copy convey it? For example, is the company purpose aspirational and innovative? Or do they want to convey a hard core, “we’ll get the job done” kind of vision. In some copywriting assignments, the purpose isn’t obvious and takes a little research. You may need to review existing content to ascertain the purpose. I recently completed a B2B copywriting assignment where I was directed to focus on the client’s personalized service. It wasn’t until after I had reviewed a number of competitive sites and the client’s own content that I realized the client purpose was more than personalized service. They were also an elite thought leader. Knowing that helped me write copy that more clearly articulated the total value of my client’s services to its prospects.
- Mind the 5th and 6th Ps—”people” and “purpose,” and your copywriting will resonate well and produce good results.
- Purpose not only refers to the outcome of the piece that you’re writing, but also the overall value the company wishes to portray.
- Creative brief or not… ask questions and delve a little deeper to hone your copy so that it performs well for the 5th and 6th “P.”
What do you do to address the 5th and 6th Ps of marketing in your copywriting?
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