Clarity is the thin membrane that separates disaster from success. That 5-degree difference in heading that separates the wayward cruise ship from a near-miss to “abandon ship” — that’s the importance of clarity. That time Pepsi had to buy a contest winner a harrier jet — that’s a lack of clarity. The feeling of confusion when you operate a new machine, and the manual just doesn’t tell you how to get the result you want — that’s is the cost of a lack of clarity.
am a fan of clarity. I see it as the cornerstone for strong communications for sales, marketing, and all communications. There is no more important job that a copywriter has than to provide clarity.
I know, this might seem like a controversial take — aren’t copywriters supposed to convince me to buy?
A good copywriter will take what the customer needs, and explain how the product fulfills that need in a way that brings clarity. No amount of marketing or copywriting will justify misguided purchases of a useless product to clueless customers — not in the long, sustainable run. And, if you’re not in business to solve problems long-term, then you’re not really in business.
So, a good copywriter figures out what the customer needs, first. The copywriter figures out what will solve a customer’s problem, what information and knowledge, but also what mood and attitude will help the customer feel damn good about their purchase.
The inspired, emotionally engaging copy comes from clarity. The persuasive landing pages and memorable ads come from clarity. A copywriter’s business is not to write, but to achieve clarity, and then capably document it in words appropriate for the audience and the medium. Clarity is the product of thought, the words on the page are the afterthought.