Writing is a core competence in marketing. And copywriting an even higher-level competence. A most powerful one. (Albeit there’s no Pulitzer Prize awarded. Hee hee.) Yet, one of the flaws of copywriting — and it’s a big flaw — is writers are often not well-informed about the products under their care. They may know a handful of key selling points but have few, if any, backstories or history about the product. What results is nicely written prose but very little of substantive value.
It’s almost writing by numbers.
There’s an old axiom in advertising “If you don’t have something to say, sing it.” And that is what most copywriting is today. Sing songy assemblages of words that do little to convince. And they don’t convince because most ads aren’t built using a brand claim, or a cascade of proof to build a case for purchase. An ethnographer would say today copywriters live in copy bullpens, never setting foot in the product or consumer room.
Copywriters aren’t given enough time to adequately understand their products and services. They’re on the clock and unprepared. It’s not their fault they lack product training and understanding, that’s the fault of brand managers.
Creative writing is what they do. Without proper product understanding it can’t even be considered creative.
PS. There are a hundred of so brilliant copywriters out there, don’t get me wrong. But thousands and thousands of songsters.