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Use marketing to turn any product into a painkiller

Use marketing to turn any product into a painkiller

Fab Giovanetti
  • The meaning of the “sell-painkillers-no-vitamins” phraseThe psychology of customers' purchasing behavioursHow to use the PSA framework
vitamins marketing painkiller

The “sell-painkillers-no-vitamins” phrase is an investor colloquialism for what motivates people to buy. Whether we like it or not, a great idea and marketing tactics may not be enough when it comes to crating incredible products and services.

Potential customers will delay purchasing “vitamins” to another day or allocate their spending to other things. They can’t and won’t delay purchases of things that get rid of an actual pain point.

In this short class, headteacher Fab will share how a simple copywriting framework can help you better relate to your audience’s needs.

There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas. What’s missing is the will to execute them. – Seth Godin.

What would you do if you had an headache?

Let’s say one day you wake up with a terrible headache. Sadly, you have a long day ahead. You need to work, open your emails, interact with people, and get the proverbial wheel spinning. 

Right now, you are at a crossroads: what does 99% per cent of the population with access to a pharmacy do?

Head to your local pharmacy. When you are there, you are most likely to get a painkiller. Would you head to the pharmacy and get a multivitamin for your headache? 

You probably won’t, you can’t just wait it out. You want it gone, and you want it gone fast. Where does this analogy come from? 

Like people are much more likely to take an aspirin for a headache than a vitamin to improve their health, customers are much more likely to buy something that solves a painful problem than something that’s a nice improvement. That’s where learning how to marketing painkiller comes from.

Painkiller marketing explained

Now, you’d imagine that since this saying is pretty old and well-known, most people know about this. However, most products out there are marketed as vitamins.

Potential customers will delay purchasing “vitamins” to another day or allocate their spending to other things. They can’t and won’t delay purchases of things that get rid of a valid pain point.

When asked how can we cut to the chase and get people hooked, key pain points tend to be the following:

  • Money
  • Time
  • Health

You’ll find products that promise more money, more time, and better health are the ones that people quickly buy into.

Let’s take a digital product as an example:

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  • First example: it focuses on features or functionalities of the product on hand.
  • Second example: helps customers materially drive more revenue or lower current costs (including loss of time).

Use PAS to turn any product into a painkiller

If you look to turn your product into a painkiller, copywriting and messaging will be your friends. 

The acronym “PAS” stands for Problem, Agitate, Solve and is a copywriting framework used to create a marketing copy relatable to the clients by using a problem-solving approach to creating the copy.

  • Problem: describe the issue that your product/service aims to solve. Let the reader be aware of the presence of the problem.
  • Agitate: reiterate how the situation isn’t what it should be. And what will happen if they don’t solve this problem. Even if the problem has already been presented, the Agitate step will validate the issue by describing the additional effects the problem may cause.
  • Solve: introduce your product, and describe how it will help solve the problem.

Presenting your product in this way will encourage your viewers to follow through with your call to action.

Marketing painkillers in a few steps

Can you turn your product into a painkiller using marketing?

  • Understand the most significant pain points your potential customers are looking to overcome
  • Create a relatable connection between your customers and your product
  • Create a compelling story that allows them to see the difference in their journey

The difference between a vitamin and a painkiller comes down to semantics and clear messaging. Dig deeper into the needs of your audience to create a deeper need for what you have to offer.


If you are looking for more support creating powerful stories that can check out our positive impact marketing fundamentals course