The Brain Audit : Why Customers Buy
(And Why They Don’t) by Sean D’Souza
Book Review rating – 5 Stars
The Brain Audit by Sean D’Souza is an excellent book about creating a compelling sales message that appeals to your buyers brains without resorting to sleazy tactics.
The Red Bags Metaphor
At the beginning of the book, Sean sets up his copywriting system with a powerful metaphor.
Imagine going to the airport with seven bags and checking them in. You get on the flight and land. After passport control you make your way to the luggage carousel or conveyor belt.
Sean’s question is…
“When do you walk away?”
The obvious answer is “when you’ve got all seven of your bags.”
The author says this is the same with buying.
A purchasing decision won’t be made until the brain has collected all seven bags.
Get five or six bags and you have a prospect who is making the right sounds of interest but who can’t make the commitment.
Because one or two bags are missing.
The Seven Bags Of The Brain Audit
The author tells the story of his experiences when speaking and he talks about the first three bags for 45 to 60 minutes. Someone always asks about the other four but he says that knowing their titles isn’t enough.
Therefore I hope he doesn’t mind if I share the seven bags with you.
- The problem
- The solution
- The target profile
- The objections
- The testimonials
- The risk reversal
- The uniqueness
He puts up a powerful argument for how the brain needs these seven things in the marketing communications to buy.
You’ll certainly see echoes coming from other great copywriting guides and from the recent discoveries in neuromarketing.
Personally I’d have liked to see some thoughts about delivering the message to the old brain, the emotional brain and the logical brain. After all the author’s business is called Psychotactics.
If you’re a reader who asks questions and challenges the author, you’re also left wondering whether 7 bags is everything. What if there is an eight?
I feel the book is light on the offer.
>>> How To Create Irresistible Offers by Bob Bly
It’s an area that I don’t think enough attention is given to in many marketing books but it lies at the core of all marketing.
First you need to make an offer. Without a call to action, you can’t expect results.
Second, a great offer can survive bad copywriting and presentation but copywriting can’t revive a bad offer.
Copywriter Robert Stover produced the Copywriting Master Formula in 2012 that reminded me of a more complicated and complete version of the book.
>>> Copywriting Master Formula
Overall Thoughts – 5 Stars
Many copywriting books and training programmes can leave us a little bit “icky”.
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.
Well copywriting can be manipulation. High on hype and potentially packed with lies.
The Brain Audit is different.
It feels clean, honourable.
It’s giving the brain what it needs to make the right decision but without hitting any the the scary hype that can cause a prospective customer’s old brain to trigger the flight reaction and get away.
The Audit angle is that when you know the seven steps that are needed you can review copy that isn’t working as well as you want and spot what’s missing.
If they are all present, you can look at each in turn to decide if there is a weak element.