Market Sophistication Levels are about selling differently based on competition level and the degree of public sophistication about your product and market. They are based on a book called Breakthrough Advertising by a copywriter named Eugene Schwartz. Vishen Lakhiani popularized it in his video (below).
Market Sophistication has 5 levels. To get people to buy or use your product, you need to get a gauge of what level of sophistication your market is at. You do this by looking at the messaging your competitors are using, like PPC ads, home pages, TV commercials, radio commercials, and landing pages.
Market Sophistication Level 1
You are just introducing a new thing to the world. There is no need to differentiate your solution. The public is unaware of anything close to your product because it is a radically new invention. You simply lead with the declaration that your product exists (ie. “The World’s First Car vs. A Mechanical Horse”)
Market Sophistication Level 2
Once you have competitors, your job is to outbid them by making outstanding claims about how your product or service is different and better. They are aware of several of your competitor’s products, then emphasize the most powerful benefits of your product (ie. “The Fastest, Safest Car Ever Created”)
Market Sophistication Level 3
They’ve seen many competitor products, then emphasize the mechanism that makes your product unique from the others (ie. “The New Engine That Makes X The Best Car In The World” Emphasize different sections of your marketing copy to best capture their interest and desire in your product or service.
Market Sophistication Level 4
Keep elaborating the features, not the product. Focus on the mechanism behind the product or service. They’ve already seen several competitor products that use your same mechanism, then emphasize the most powerful benefits of your mechanism (ie. “The Quietest Engine Luxury Can Buy”).
Market Sophistication Level 5
Finally everyone has a new feature and the audience becomes jaded of all of the advertising and are familiar with all of your competitors’ claims. Instead, emphasize identification with your prospect. (ie. “The Only Luxury Car Exclusively Driven By The World’s Best Business Leaders”).
Marketing Strategy for Great Marketing Plans
When you’re doing initial market research into how to market your product or business, it can pay to start off figuring out your market sophistication level before making your marketing strategy or marketing plans. But it’s not only about products or services – any page from a job posting to an About page to a Contact page can be optimized using market sophistication levels. “To sell is human“, and you should always be closing.