The Greatest Marketing Lesson I Ever Learned

As a serious student of the marketing and advertising game I’ve certainly come across my share of big lessons and “Aha!” moments.

But, there’s one lesson that stands out far above all the others in how it’s impacted my ability to create marketing that pulls like crazy. I can easily say this one lesson alone has been worth hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars to me personally.

I’m going to pass it on to you today.

Sound good?

Then let’s get to it…

The lesson comes from the late Eugene Schwartz.

If you’re not familiar with Mr. Schwartz… he is a legend in the world of advertising and copywriting and is often referred to as the “Greatest Copywriter Who Ever Lived!”

In his book Breakthrough Advertising (that regularly sold on ebay a couple of years ago for over $900.00) Mr. Schwartz outlines a concept I’ve never seen or heard anyone else talk about.

He calls it, “The 5 Sophistication Levels of Your Market”.

He explains that you must… MUST… market your product or service differently depending on what “stage of sophistication” your market is currently in.

(I recommend you read that sentence again before moving on)

The different “levels of sophistication” are determined by how many competitors there are in the marketplace, what claims they’ve made about their products or services, and how long prospects have been hearing about their products and claims.

For example, let’s take the weight loss supplement market.

Years ago, when the weight loss market was in its infancy, you could market a supplement by simply promising “Take This Pill And You’ll Lose Weight”.

But as the market matured, and saw that promise over and over, it quickly became an inadequate claim in your marketing if you were selling weight loss supplements.

In essence, the market progressed to a new “level of sophistication”.

So the marketing of those supplements had to evolve to the next level.

This required marketers to take those original claims and promises and enlarge them.

For instance, “Take This Pill And You’ll Lose Weight In 7 Days Or Less”.

But, just like before, as more and more marketers were enlarging their claims, the market became more sophisticated, moving on to the next level of sophistication.

Again, it was no longer adequate to simply make bigger, bolder promises.

Now that the marketplace was in the third level of sophistication, marketers had to make sure their marketing evolved as well, if they wanted to continue to generate sales.

At this… the third stage of sophistication… marketers had to now include what’s called a “UNIQUE MECHANISM” to their claims and promises in order to keep their marketing producing.

For instance, “Take This Pill… That Blocks The Absorption Of Fat In Your Intestines… And You’ll Lose Weight In 7 Days Or Less!”

Eventually, though, as the market accepted these new mechanism, it evolved to the next level, like all markets do, and the marketing lost it’s potency forcing marketers to shift once again.

According to Schwartz, in the final stage of sophistication, marketing must shift from bigger, bolder claims and a focus on the “unique mechanism” to being more prospect-centric.

Meaning: now, in the final stage of sophistication, marketing must focus and identify with prospects experiences if it’s going to resonate and be effective.

And this is HUGE!!!

You see… it’s not just a matter of throwing together some marketing that focuses on the benefits or claims of your product or service.

It’s FIRST about understanding the sophistication of your market and then making sure your marketing addresses the specific demands of that level.

If your marketing is at still at Level 1 or 2 and your market is at Level 3 or 4, your marketing is going to flop. Period.

Hopefully, you can see why this such a MASSIVE PIECE OF ADVICE and LESSON.

Masters and the legends of marketing like Eugene Schwartz are the guys who pioneered the most effective, most powerful, and most profitable marketing tactics and strategies of history!

If you haven’t studied… and re-studied… the classic marketing books and experts… you’re really, really missing out on experiencing a true breakthrough with your marketing.

But, if you’re not a reader or just don’t want to invest the money or time studying and analyzing the works of these masters… you’re in luck.

Because Rich Schefren has a brand new training called Lessons From The Marketing Legends: The Most Powerful, Proven, And Profitable Marketing Tactics Of The Last 100 Years!

And, right now, you can simply have Rich hand you all of THE gold nuggets and gems from the history books of all the top legends and masters of marketing.

In fact, regardless of what you’ve read or haven’t read, I highly recommend you get this training from Rich.

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  • Jeff Bode

    Hey Todd, This is truly great information, sometimes it’s hard to figure out what stage a market is in, but I believe looking at the top selling products should be a good indicator.

    As a market level increases it seems to expand allowing for more sub-niche markets to arise – cool stuff!

  • Luke Brown


    This is definitely information that will help the sharp marketers. People who know it but don’t apply it will still be average marketers. Those who take action will attract the customers. The simple advice is still the best. Thank you.


  • Troy Phillips

    Very informative . Just a quick question .

    What happens if you are using level five tactics in a level one market ?

  • Paulo Teller

    Hi Todd,
    This is the first time I can comment a post of yours.
    It’s a “photo” of this particular technique, more than anything else. Congratulations for the clarity!
    As a former graduate in advertisement and public relations, I would like to invite your readers to visit this blog “very often”. I’m able to identify value when I see it.
    With your enlightenments and the propper internet marketing software, they will be in a much higher level in no time at all!
    Best wishes,

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  • Chr

    Hi Todd,

    This post is just an amazing stuff for anybody without any amount of knowledge & experience they have.

    It’s a Cliche, but I like to say it when I really mean that it’s a “Great post”.

    P.S.: What’s the puzzle of sophistication level no. 5? Another question I wanna ask is what happens to market place after that?
    It’s a little late. But I would really appreciate an answer. Thanks

  • John Bowers

    Ha, was just reading that chapter of Breakthrough Advertising just a few weeks ago.

    As I was taking notes on it, I was thinking about putting together a class here locally to a group I teach on the notes & outlines I have of some of these classic books.


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  • Johnny A

    Nice post.

    This works great, especially when advertising with adwords or other PPC companies. People are less gullable now to stuff like “Take this pill and lose weight immediately”. You have to create an ad that pulls them in. A different ad that promises something different…


  • Tom Harvey (Alex Jeffreys Student)


    What a great post with some often unspoken and wise advice. People all too often talk about keyword research and hungry markets, yet do not go into detail about understanding that market and its sophistication.

    The stages is certainly an interesting concept and a good understanding of it will position a business to evolve with their market and ensure that they are not left behind.

    Thanks for another great post and see you in the FC.


  • Vance Sova

    Hi Todd,

    Thank you for sharing this massive piece of advice and lesson.

    The 5 sophistication levels of a particular market are indeed important to take into account before marketing strategy is put into place.

    Nowadays it seems that the market sophistication is quite high in most fields and most products and services need to be marketed at least with the focus on the “unique mechanism”.

    I like the way you give examples with weight loss.

    Pretty soon everyone will have to focus on the last stage and be prospect centric.

    I notice that many internet marketers are doing just that.

    They try to identify with the prospects experiences. Then they offer them their product or service that is supposed to deliver them from all problems.

    I wonder what stage will have to come when the prospects become jaded to this approach.


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