So this whole idea of market sophistication came from the book Breakthrough advertising by Eugene m Schwarts.
This is probably the best book on copywriting ever!
This is not an exaggeration. The book is pretty expensive. ( it broke my pocket at the time I bought it).
I am not recommending them to raise the price but even if the price was 10 times higher it would be still worth it.
And the 5 stages of market sophistication is one of the most important parts of that book.
So pay a little attention because this is million-dollar information.
So here is what I have learned from chapter 3 of the book breakthrough advertising.
So, what is market sophistication all about?
If you want to create great advertisements you first need to understand your market.
I know everyone knows this but I will say it anyway.
A market consists of all the buyers and all the sellers making transactions for the same thing.
And every market goes through 5 different stages.
And you will find your market going through one of them.
And the type of advertisement you would need to make would depend on the stage of sophistication your market is going through.
So to understand the stage of sophistication your market is going through, you first need to answer 3 questions.
- What is the mass desire that motivates your market?
- How much does your market know about your product?
- How many similar products have been there before you?
If you are the first in your market.
If there are not—if you are the first in your particular market, with your particular product—then you are dealing with prospects that have no sophistication about your product at all.
In other words, they have never received any information about such a product before.
Once you get them interested, they are likely to become much more enthusiastic, believe much more of what you have to say, and buy that much more readily. Remember, your story is brand-new to them.
If you are the first in your field, you can just simply claim what you can do for the people in your market. Like this:
“NOW! LOSE UGLY FAT!”
If you’re the second in your market.
If you’re second, and the direct claim is still working—then copy that successful claim—but enlarge on it. Drive it to the absolute limit. Outbid your competition.
‘LOSE UP TO 47 POUNDS IN 4 WEEKS OR RECEIVE $40 BACK!”
“I AM 61 POUNDS LIGHTER . . . NEVER A HUNGRY MINUTE.”
“PICK 25—50—100 ROSES FROM THIS ONE MAGNIFICENT PLANT!”
“SIX HUNDRED ROSES FROM A SINGLE BUSH!”
“WHO EVER HEARD OF 17,000 BLOOMS FROM A SINGLE PLANT?”
The Third Stage of Sophistication.
At this point, your prospects have heard all your claims. And he doesn’t believe them. He is unable to distinguish one product from another.
So the problem here is believability.
What we need to do is make the claim fresh and new.
And we can do that by showing how our product does what we claim.
So we need to introduce a mechanism.
Here are some examples:
“FLOATS FAT RIGHT OUT OF YOUR BODY!”
“FIRST WONDER DRUG FOR REDUCING!”
In both of these ads, the promise is connected to the mechanism which accomplishes the mechanism.
The fourth stage.
But you are still in a competitive market, and such ads give only a temporary advantage.
The ads that we have made in the third stage of the market created 2 things:
- First, we have presented a new promise.
- Second, we have created a new trend.
So because of that, we have now moved to the fourth stage of the market sophistication.
And like we did in the second stage, we now need to elaborate our mechanism.
“FIRST NO-DIET REDUCING WONDER DRUG!”
But eventually, no new mechanism will gain acceptance.
The market will have grown tired of your promises and the mechanisms by which they are accomplished. Y
our prospects will have been glutted by advertising.
You will have reached the Fifth Stage of Sophistication—the most difficult—where the field is said to be exhausted—where competitors are dropping out of the market.
So what do you do now?
The fifth stage. (retrieving a dead product).
In this Final Stage of Sophistication, your market no longer believes in your advertising, and therefore no longer wishes to be aware of your product.
Now the emphasis shifts from the promise and the mechanism which accomplishes it, to identification with the prospect himself.
You are dealing here with the problem of bringing your prospect into your ad—not through desire—but through the personality of your product.
If you want to know more about building a personality in your product.
Here is a good example;
“WHY MEN CRACK….
An authority of international standing recently wrote; “You have overeaten and plugged your organs with moderate stimulants, the worst of which are not only alcohol and tobacco but caffeine and sugar … ”
You know them. Strong men. vigorous men, robust men—men who have never had a sick day in their lives.
They drive. They drive themselves to the limit. They lash themselves over the limit with stimulants. They crack. Often, they crash. You have seen them afterward.
Pitiful shells. The zest is gone, the fire is gone.
Burnt-out furnaces of energy. “He was such a healthy-looking man ”
He was. His health was his undoing. His constitution absorbed punishment.
Otherwise, he might have been warned in time. “For every action, there is an equal and contrary reaction.”
You learned the law in physics. It applies to bodies.
For every ounce of energy gained by stimulation, by whipping the nerves to action, an ounce of reserve strength is drained …
But repeated withdrawals exhaust any reserve.
Physical bankruptcy. Then the crash …
It’s time to get back to normal, to close the drafts, to bank some of the fires… Avoid stimulants.
What is good for the boy is good for the man … Borrowed Energy Must Be Repaid!
Two million American families avoid caffeine by drinking Postum.
And two million American families are better off for it…”
Let’s Look at an Industry That Went Through All Five Stages of Sophistication.
But perhaps the classic example of an industry which encountered all five Stages of Sophistication—and overcame them— is the Cigarette Industry.
The history of cigarette advertising is a continuous battle against the competition, against physical and social taboos, even against the very success of its own current advertising; which saturates and exhausts the market by the weight of its combined industry expenditures, and constantly demands new approaches.
In the First Stage of Sophistication.
“I’D WALK A MILE FOR A CAMEL!”
“LIGHT UP A LUCKY, AND YOU WON’TMISS THE SWEETS THAT MAKE YOU FAT!”
“PALL MALL’S GREATER LENGTH FILTERS THE SMOKE FURTHER!”
“CAMELS—PROTECT YOUR T-ZONE!”
“PHILIP MORRIS—ALL THE HARSHNESS BAKED OUT!”
“CHESTERFIELD—REGULAR AND KING-SIZED TOO!”
“NINE OUT OF TEN DOCTORS PREFER LUCKIES!”
And finally, the fifth.
Nothing more needed to be said. A vast new market—opened up with four words.
Thanks for reading and stay safe.