The E5 Method

The E5 Method

Understanding your prospect’s level of awareness

This page will discuss understanding the level of awareness your prospect has. This is crucial because it determines how we communicate with our prospect and the type of language and phraseology that we use.

This is how well they are aware of their problem and the solution they can offer. How aware are they about the options available to them and how aware of you.

The E5 Method
The E5 Method

The Prospect Awareness Pyramid is the tool we will use to determine the level of prospect awareness.

Eugene Schwartz was the original inventor of the Prospect Awareness Pyramid. He is one of the most influential advertising copywriters to ever live.

Eugene Schwartz spoke about the five levels of market structure.

First, I want to make it clear that your market consists of people at all five levels of this pyramid.

It is not about identifying the level of awareness your prospects are at. It is about understanding the five levels of awareness and deciding which one you will target with your marketing.

Let’s begin at the bottom and work our way up. Then, let us explain each level of awareness.

We are completely unaware of the situation at the bottom.

These people don’t know of any problem, frustration, or situation related to your product/service.

These people don’t recognize that they have problems and are not looking for solutions. They aren’t actively seeking a solution to their problem. They aren’t actively searching for a solution.

Then we’ve got problem aware.

These people are aware they have a problem but don’t know the solutions or options available.

They aren’t choosing a specific type or category of solution. They aren’t committing to a particular vendor. They don’t look at price points. They are only aware that they have a problem.

We’re now aware of the solution.

These people are aware they have a problem and they know the solutions. They are now comparing different solutions.


These people are trying to narrow down the options and find the solution that suits them best. These people have narrowed down their options to the solution they are looking for.


We then make the product aware.


They have identified the product or service they are looking for. They are now trying to decide which of these products is best for them.


Then we are most aware.


These are people who are well-aware of all these things. They’re also aware of your product or service, the value you provide, and so forth.


First, this is in a pyramid. This is because I wanted to show you that the universe shrinks as you target more people.


The number of people working in the most informed segment is smaller than the total volume. This is your largest market.


Because there are so many people here, this gives you the best chance for scaling. This should be obvious if you consider the most knowledgeable people being aware all these things as well as being aware about your product and reputation.


This is the smallest portion of the market. This is a majority of customers. This segment could also include non-customers but many of your customers are part of it.


This opportunity may be larger here than it is up there, but the universe shrinks and so does the scalability.


Converting becomes easier as we climb up the pyramid. It becomes harder to convert these people into buyers as we move down the pyramid. It becomes easier as we move up the pyramid.


Another thing to remember is that the higher you are on the pyramid, typically, the more complicated and long-lasting the marketing campaign is. The longer the message.


You can think of it this way: If a prospect is completely unaware of the problem and the solutions available, they aren’t even considering a problem or trying to find a solution. What we need to do is to make sure that they understand that there is a problem. We will need to discuss the various solutions and determine which ones are best. It will be necessary to narrow down the choices to determine which product is best.


Then, finally, we’ll get to the offer. You will get closer to your offer the higher you reach in marketing.


Let me show you how your messaging should change depending on which segment you are targeting.


Your market is comprised of people in each of the five stages. It is not about identifying the stage in which your market is at. It is a matter of understanding the universe size, ease, length of your campaign, and so forth.


Let’s suppose we were a chiropractor and were trying to market our services. We decided to create a headline that spoke about back pain relief for our ad.


Imagine that, the headline we chose was “Back pain relief.” This is not appropriate for people in the unaware or completely unaware segments.


Why? They don’t feel back pain. They don’t know there is a problem. They don’t want to deal with back pain. This would be acceptable for people at the problem awareness level.


Let me now explain what I mean. When you create a campaign for one level, it is appropriate for all levels above it. But not below it.


A campaign that promoted back pain relief would be appropriate for those who are aware of the problem, but not for those who are completely unaware.


Let’s suppose that we came up with something like “Best chiropractor West Palm Beach, Florida”.


That’s the best option for someone who has decided to see a chiropractor.


Problem-aware people haven’t narrowed down their choices. They aren’t sure if they want to see a chiropractor. They aren’t sure what their options might be. They don’t know what their options are.


They aren’t yet certain that they want to see a chiropractor. This message is not appropriate for them. They might be trying to decide between chiropractic, massage therapy, or physical therapy.


This message is appropriate for people who are product-aware and have made the decision to see a chiropractor.


This campaign is appropriate for product-aware people and above, but not for those below.


It would be more appropriate to say that our message included “Free Xrays with Visit” for those who are most alert.


It would not be appropriate for someone who is completely unaware of the problem, or for obvious reasons.


These people are still trying to decide if they want physical therapy, massage, or chiropractic. These people are still trying find the right chiropractor.


This offer is best suited for the most knowledgeable.


It would not work at any other level.


This being said, targeting the completely ignorant, although it is the most difficult and longest type of campaign, would mean that a campaign designed for them would be effective for everyone else. Campaigns designed for the unaware can bring in as many new customers as possible.


Agora Financial, my client, can bring in thousands of new customers every day. This is because they target a segment that is completely unknown.


It’s big enough. Not only is it the universe of completely ignorant people, but also when they create a campaign for those completely unaware. It works for all levels, or it can be useful at any level above that.


There is a tradeoff.


It’s much easier to convert if you design a campaign that targets product-aware levels and higher. It is easier to sell. Although it is easier to attract customers, the number of customers you can acquire is much lower than a campaign designed for the unaware.


This is because their awareness will also determine how direct your marketing messages can be.


What are your abilities to be direct in relation to the offer?


Direct refers to making a promise or offering something. Direct is more possible the higher you climb up the pyramid. It is possible to get right to the core of it. You can get to the heart of it with a “buy one, get 1” offer. This type of offer is very popular and may leak into product awareness.


We can’t appeal to these people if we are completely unaware that they have a problem or need for a solution.


Your offer can be direct or indirect.


In later chapters you’ll learn about indirect models and how to implement them. But for now, I want to remind you that the higher you are on the pyramid, the more indirect your approach must be.


This is where we typically use an intrigue or story lead. We are not making any promises or offers. It is necessary to approach prospects in a more indirect manner. You can become more direct as you move up.


There is always a give and take. For a shorter campaign or a simpler campaign to create, you’re giving up size. Or would you prefer to choose the larger universe, which offers more opportunity. However, a longer campaign will be harder as you must be more indirect.


These are the trade-offs you need to be aware.


You need to understand the five levels that you are targeting in order to understand their knowledge, awareness, and lack thereof.


Who are you speaking to? Are you speaking to people who are only aware of their problem? Are you speaking to people who are looking for a solution?


Do you know people who have narrowed down what type of solution they are looking for? They are aware that they need a consultant and they are now searching for the right consultant. Are you still talking to people who are still debating whether they need a consultant or a piece of software.


Are you talking to people who aren’t aware of the problem and don’t know there are software consultants available?


Are you speaking to people who don’t know anything about any problem?


Are you talking to customers, or people who are extremely aware? This will or should have an impact on how you communicate with them.