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There are two core elements to acknowledge in order to deliver relevant and well-accepted marketing campaigns:

  1. Your Product
  2. Your Customers

By identifying these two core elements will you know how to approach your potential customers with the right marketing angle.

Most importantly, when the marketing campaign fails, it is not due to factors like competition, copywriting, nor the creatives - but it is due to the failure in seeing the bigger picture of how the product fits in the market, leaving a lack of vision.

To bridge the gap between brand's vision and marketing angles, back in 1966, Eugene Schwartz brilliantly introduced the ‘Market Sophistication’ concept in his book Breakthrough Advertising.

What is Market Sophistication?

Market Sophistication is a term that addresses the level of awareness of your marketplace. The level of awareness divided into 5 different stages.

Identifying level of your market sophistication began with this question:

How many similar products/services has your market been told about?

For example, if we were to sell consumer drones back when the technological aspects and market readiness were low, the market level of awareness would too be equally as low. However, if we were to do the same in 2017, a time where consumers have already began to understand what the consumer drone is all about, even seeing themselves as being able to fly their own drones! This proves that the market readiness is present. And as for marketers, we should be communicating differently as compared to 5 years ago.

According to Eugene Schwartz, there are 5 stages of Market Sophistication, what are they?

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1. HELLO, market!

You are the first, and the ocean is blue. You are introducing a newborn product that no one has ever seen. In this stage, you should be telling the world of your product’s capabilities and how it is able to ease the troubles of the market. Make sure the world realises that they are very much facing a problem that as of now, can only be solved by your product. The goal of this stage is to capture the market.

2. What is it?

The competition is warming up, with other brands offering the same solutions as yours. In this stage, you need to be better than your competitors. And how is it you convince the market of this you ask? Improve your product. Make it better, faster and stronger. Focus on the functional side of your product.

3. How does it work?

Now that the market has seen it all. The increase in competition is now crowding the market. So what should you do? Talk about features, not claims. Features that give the customers what they desire. This is referred to as the ‘New Mechanism’, in which you can highlight the unique methods used throughout the process behind the creation of your product, bringing favorable outcomes to potential customers. For example, in the making of their coffee, Starbucks gets their supply by paying a fair amount of money to the coffee bean farmers of FairTrade coffee beans. The result? Starbucks is now recognised as the more favorable option when considering the ethical concerns of coffee companies.

4. Exhaustive, Fierce Race

This is the stage where your competitors have caught up and everything is crowded, noisy and fierce. Switch up your marketing angles, and prepare to remind them that you are the best option for consumers. Do a side by side comparison with your products and the products of your competitors. You should also highlight the features your products have that your competitors may not, and push it.

5. New Experiences

The market is now saturated, and consumers already know so much about your industry. Sadly, nobody believes in advertising anymore, at least for your industry. Now it’s time to give them the fantasy that they desire. It’s time to give them emotions and meaning, with new experiences. This is where you focus on your consumers. What are their beliefs? Find a way to get in touch with their emotions through your brand, not your product.