03 March 2007

UBPs and ad copy

Remember Andy Bounds? He is very good at reminding us that everything we do as sales and marketers has to be tested in a world populated by buyers who look at the world differently from us. He believes that the copy has to meet the buyers' unique buying points (UBPs) rather than our selling points.

So where does the buyer want to see the price in an ad? Different ad producers tackle the problem in different ways, some people:
  • put the price in the headline
  • set out the price in the opening paragraph
  • leave the price until the point they are asking for the sale
It's obviously important to get this right, so let's start to look at an ad from the Andy Bounds perspective. The price is not a benefit to a buyer so emphasing price in the headline could alienate some buyers before they find out how wonderful the product is. Of course, if the product is a staple where the price is well-known then a low price could make a compelling headline providing it detailed the saving rather than the price itself.

Putting the price in the headline makes a number of assumptions:
  • the buyer is aware of the normal price for the product
  • the buyer will find the discounted price attractive rather than suspicious
Using the UBP approach, it makes more sense to focus on the benefits that the buyer will enjoy from the purchase - what they are left with after the product or service is delivered.

If the benefits are really compelling then the price can be introduced after the buyer understands what the purchase will do for them. It's at that point that the buyer makes a decision based on their individual value proposition - are those benefits so attractive that they overcome the price that you have just disclosed? If they do, then there is a good chance that your buyer will close the sale.

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