Leif Kendall

18 May 2016

Why copywriters must be the customer’s champion

I’m a copywriter, but I’ve described myself as a translator before – in the sense that I translate the complexities of a business or a product so customers can be persuaded to buy.

But recently, after deleting hundreds of words of vague, circular jargon from a client’s copy, it occurred to me that copywriters have to be the champion of the consumer.

Clients love custom but sometimes forget the customer

Your clients are probably pushing for bigger sales figures, so one might assume that customers are at the forefront of their mind. But clients can get so wrapped up in their corporate strife that the end customer gets forgotten. As a copywriter, you can help re-focus your client on the end customer, making sure that the copy is aimed squarely at the customer’s self-interest.

Customers need defending from gibberish

Every time you write copy, you have a chance to save the world (from meaningless drivel). You can cut out wasteful words and save people precious time. You can help people make sense of the world around them.

Won’t someone think about the customers?

Clients can be so delighted with their latest innovation that they forget that nobody else cares. As a copywriter, you have a chance to remind the client that their customers might not really care about their management structure, or how they assemble their bearings, or how they develop their software. You can remind your clients that their customers are mostly interested in themselves, and their problems.

Question everything

Clients can become deluded about what makes an attractive deal. Again, you have the opportunity to shatter the clients’ illusions, and break the news that nobody will be motivated by a useless gewgaw like a free meerkat doll. As if!

Breaking the news…

It may be difficult to tell your client that they’re wrong. But you don’t have to. If you suspect the client has lost sight of their customer, you can gently question whether the proposed copy (or ad or marketing campaign) is really going to excite, interest or attract a typical customer. By using a sufficiently doubtful tone you can encourage the client to reassess their plans.

If you can encourage your clients to empathise with their customers, you can guide them towards better copy, which can only be good for business.


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