COPYWRITING IN ACTION COURSE INSIGHT #30
Copywriting and the Ten Desires that Drive Us All.
What makes us tick?
Investigate with this question and you begin to dig deeper into the heart and mind of any person or group you’re writing to. With this investigative attitude, you come to see, feel, understand and appreciate a person like they were sitting across the table from you. Demographics are always a good starting point but, if you’re genuine about effective communication, it’s in the psychographics that you discover that precious grain of insight. Calibrate your communication accordingly and you have one of the essential know-hows of arresting attention and engaging that attention to the final full-stop.
In short, we’re talking empathy.
Further evidence of the importance of empathy is thanks to renowned social researcher and one of Australia’s great thinkers, Hugh Mackay. In his book, What Makes Us Tick? The Ten Desires That Drive Us, he lists and describes ten desires that influence our thoughts and feeling and, more often than not, influence us subconsciously.
Here’s a brief summary of the 10 desires:
1. The desire to be taken seriously (to be noticed and heard).
2. The desire to find one’s place in the world (otherwise we feel restless).
3. The desire to have something to believe in (to help us make sense of things).
4. The desire to connect with each other, ourselves, and nature.
5. The desire to be useful.
6. The desire to belong (we need to connect and belong to groups of other people, which he refers to as “herds” of 5 to 8 people).
7. The desire for more.
8. The desire for control.
9. The desire for something to happen (it makes life interesting).
10. The desire for love and to be loved (love gives us self-respect, increases our capacity for empathy with others and enhances personal serenity).
But you better be careful. Skipping the demographics and psychographics and launching straight into the 10 Desires risks stereotyping. Only after doing the demographics and psychographics do you proceed to the 10 Desires. This is a golden rule in all my Copywriting in Action® online courses. You need to be sufficiently informed before determining the key desire of any particular target audience. This information can only come from conducting due diligence in demographic and psychographic analysis. Algorithms help get you the demographics and psychographics. However, algorithms don’t match your own human experience for getting to the correct desire in any given context. And it’s all about context.
In this new edition, Hugh Mackay offers a postscript that delves into the many concerns that were raised by people around the country when he was first promoting What Makes Us Tick? They include: ‘Why do people become workaholics?’;
‘How can religious people hold such irrational beliefs?’; ‘Why are so many people hooked on social media?’; ‘What about gender and generational differences?’; ‘Shouldn’t our desire for security be on the list?’, as well as other issues that resonate with
the modern world. He also offers more thoughts on … the desire to be taken seriously; the desire for ‘my place’; the desire for something to believe in; the desire to connect; the desire to be useful. This is a book that will explain us to ourselves.
WARNING: DON'T DO THESE 10 DESIRES WITHOUT PROPER GUIDANCE!
These 10 desires are dynamic. In any given day, different desires will drive us as we move through different situations.
I recommend you begin with this post in which I expand in greater detail on the 10 desires. Then get the book for the full story on each; it’s a valuable reference for every copywriter and all other practitioners in the media and communications space.
Of course, the ultimate step is to do my Copywriting In Action® online course. In this professional masterclass series, you discover first hand the revelation that is Hugh Mackay’s What Makes Us Tick, and how it brings your reader into high-fidelity presence.
My online copywriting course’s latest timetable is up and ready to take your booking now: