Schwartz five stages of awareness in marketing

Eugene Schwartz (who is considered as one of the most influential advertising experts of all times) in his book ‘Breakthrough Advertising‘ introduced and explained the five stages of prospect’s awareness.

In order to create an offer/ad copy that resonates with your target audience, you must be aware of these different stages of awareness.

Failing to do so, you won’t understand how to effectively communicate with your target audience through your ad copy. Your cost per acquisition would remain high and your ads won’t generate optimum number of conversions.

The following are the five stages of your prospect’s awareness.

#1 Unaware – At this stage, your prospect doesn’t know he has a problem.

#2 Problem Aware –  At this stage, your prospect knows that he is a problem, but he doesn’t know that there are solutions available to solve his problem.

#3 Solution Aware – At this stage, your prospect knows about the solutions available to solve his problem, but he hasn’t chosen one and doesn’t know about your solution. Your solution can be your product or service.

#4 Product Aware – At this stage, your prospect knows about your solution but is not totally convinced that your solution is the best.

#5 Most Aware –  At this stage, your prospect knows a lot about your product and is very close to making a purchase. He is just waiting for your right offer.

The way you talk to your prospect (in your ad copy or marketing message) should depend upon his current stage of awareness.

A prospect who is not aware that he has a problem is not ready to buy any solution let alone buy your offer/product. So before you push for a sale you would need to make him problem aware.

You can make him problem aware by highlighting the problem he thought doesn’t have.

For example:

“Do you know obesity is the number 1 cause of heart attack? And here is why…..”

Now any person who considers himself obese but never considered his condition to be a major health problem should suddenly become problem aware.

Here is how you can take your prospect to the next stage i.e. solution aware:

“If you want to reduce your chances of getting a heart attack then you need to lose weight. 

If you’re thinking about losing weight, you are probably looking at doing exercise.

Did you know that exercise can only get you so far? Diet is actually the key to losing weight.”

Now you are telling your prospect that there are solutions available to solve his problem.

It’s only when your prospect is solution aware, you introduce your product as one of the best solutions.

Here is how you can do that:

“My XYZ diet plan can help you lose weight fast without giving up your favorite foods. Here is how….”

That’s how you make your prospect product aware.

Now in order to make your prospect most aware, you need to convince him why your product is the best solution to his problem:

“My XZY diet plan has the following benefits….Here is why it is better than other diets out there…..See how other people are benefiting from this diet”

Once your prospect is most aware, he is pretty close to buying from you. Now he is just waiting for the right offer.

“Get 20% discount, if you buy my XYZ diet plan today….…Hurry this offer is very limited.”

Now here is how the whole ad copy may look like:

“Do you know obesity is the number 1 cause of heart attack? And here is why…..”

“If you want to reduce your chances of getting a heart attack then you need to lose weight. 

If you’re thinking about losing weight, you are probably looking at doing exercise.

Did you know that exercise can only get you so far? Diet is actually the key to losing weight.”

“My XYZ diet plan can help you lose weight fast without giving up your favorite foods. Here is how….”

“My XZY diet plan has the following benefits….Here is why it is better than other diets out there……See how other people are benefiting from this diet”

“Get 20% discount, if you buy my XYZ diet plan today…Hurry this offer is very limited.”

As a marketer, it is your job to take your prospects through these five stages of awareness and that too as fast as possible.

You can mess it all up if you try to talk to your prospect in a way that doesn’t match with his current state of awareness.

For example, when you show the following ad to a prospect who is not problem aware:

“My XYZ diet plan can help you lose weight fast without giving up your favorite foods. Here is how….”

Why he would care about your XYZ diet plan when he doesn’t feel the need to lose weight?

Or if you show the following ad to a prospect who is not solution aware:

“My XZY diet plan has the following benefits….Here is why it is better than other diets out there……See how other people are benefiting from this diet”

Why he would care about the benefits of your XYZ diet plan when he is not even sure whether following a diet plan is the best way to lose weight.

Or if you show the following ad to a prospect who is not problem aware:

“Get 20% discount, if you buy my XYZ diet plan today…Hurry this offer is very limited.”

The key message here is that be aware of the current stage of awareness of your prospect and market accordingly.

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