Why is Copywriting Like Spaghetti Sauce?

Large text that says B2B

No, this isn’t a riddle from Alice in Wonderland. It’s actually a surprising marketing secret discovered by a man named Howard Moskowitz.

Howard is a psychophysicist, which is a fancy way of saying he measures the sensations people experience after a physical event. He uses that research to help companies better understand their target audience.

One such company is spaghetti sauce maker, Prego.

Prego hired Howard to help them find the perfect spaghetti sauce — because at the time, they were losing business to Ragu.

So, Howard diligently spent months testing 45 different varieties of spaghetti sauce all across America. And do you know what he discovered?

There’s no such thing as the perfect spaghetti sauce.

That’s because different people prefer a variety of different sauces! Some like it spicy, some like plain, and some can’t get enough of the extra chunky stuff. No single sauce could please everyone.

With Howard’s help, Prego then went on to create a new variety of spaghetti sauce, chunky style, which turned into a $600 million bonanza. He also helped Tropicana create their new Grovestand orange juice. He’s also helped create 17 different kinds of olive oil and 32 different mustards.

Howard’s discovery is called Horizontal Segmentation.

Now, for those of you who may not know this term yet, by “segmentation,” Howard meant targeting a specific customer base.

And Horizontal Segmentation means that instead of focusing on only one type of product for one type of customer, you’re choosing to market a variety of products to a wide spectrum of buyers.

And thanks to Howard, we know that there is no single “perfect” product that can make every customer happy. It’s just not possible because most people want something different!

Which is also why, in the copywriting industry, there’s a wide variety of writing projects, styles, and techniques to meet the needs of a variety of clients.

For example, here’s a sample of the project types in just the Business-to-Business (B2B) market:

  • Blog Posts — Companies know the more often they post, the more they’ll attract search engine traffic and engage with potential clients.
  • Case Studies tell the story of how a real company used a product or service to solve a real problem. They’re short 1-2 page “before-and-after” stories.
  • Direct Mail sales letters are an ideal opportunity for a B2B company to build credibility, provide proof, and back up their claims, and showcase a successful track record. B2B sales letters are generally shorter than their consumer counterparts.
  • Emails have a very high Return on Investment for companies, making them a popular marketing method. In-demand B2B email types include lead generation, lead nurturing, e-newsletter, relationship building, and promotional.
  • Press Releases — Companies need a press release any time they launch a new product, open a new location, land a new client, hire a new executive …
  • Video Scripts — Online video is a fast-growing sector for B2B. Companies need explainer videos, training videos, how-to product videos, and much more.
  • White Papers are documents that educate and persuade. They identify a problem, offer a solution, and help key managers reach a decision about implementing a particular solution. Ideal for introducing new products and new technology innovations.

Now, that’s just a short list of the variety of B2B projects needed by marketers today!

There’s a different style of copy for every purpose a marketer can dream of … And a different kind of copywriter to write each one.

Now let me be clear — I’m not saying you should be like Prego and offer 45 different styles of writing in an effort to sell your services to every market … You’re not Prego, you’re the spaghetti sauce.

In fact, let’s call you spicy spaghetti sauce — and you’re the absolute BEST choice for clients who love that style.

You could drive yourself crazy trying to meet the needs of every single client (like Prego trying to create the perfect spaghetti sauce) …

OR you can embrace Howard’s lesson and choose to focus on fulfilling one specific need with your writing business. Focus and …

  • You’ll learn all the ins and outs of that specific market …
  • Every project you complete will build up your knowledge and expertise, which will make your work easier and easier over time …
  • You can be confident in communicating with your client and can anticipate their needs and expectations …
  • Plus, by NOT stretching yourself too thin over multiple markets, you’ll save immeasurable time and stress.

You can be the perfect choice for people who need the type of writing you like to do.

So, if you already know the type of projects you want to write, go find the clients who are craving them!

If you don’t know where you want to focus your efforts, check out our 2017 Copywriting Pricing Guide which includes details on over 75 different types of in-demand project types you could specialize in.

And, if you’re interested in focusing on copywriting projects for the B2B industry, you’ll find over 8 million companies who need help … Many of them are sure to need your kind of “sauce.” Learn about a career in the B2B market today.

What types of projects interest you? What information do you need to move forward? Let us know in the comments below so we can help.

B2B Copywriting Secrets

Secrets of Writing High Performance B2B Copy

Learn everything you need to know to succeed as a B2B copywriter from marketing your services to writing copy and everything in between. Learn More »


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Published: November 10, 2017

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