The crucial strategic question

Strategic Key Question: If I were my [sister/16-year old neighbour/cleaning lady] – why the heck would I want to buy this?

During my years as an employed copywriter, I have encountered a variety of formats to write communication strategies, and I've learnt a great deal from them.

Whatever the specific approach maybe, however, the result should pass my personal countercheck. If it doesn’t, I prefer to go over the strategy again, as it’s likely that we have overlooked something along the way. The crucial question is:

“If I were [my sister-in-law / my neighbour’s 16-year old son / Uncle Paul / my cleaning lady] – why on earth would I want to buy this product?”

This approach has proven extremely successful for me, because the question produces an answer not in the form of a spread sheet table or in the language of marketing but in that of the target group. Once you have it, write it down. Period.