Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

P-A-S-O: How does this formula help you fulfill customers’ unmet needs and communicate holistically with them? [Tuesdays: Return Driven Strategy]

May 17, 2022

Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more. 

A Note from Miles Everson

Welcome to today’s edition of “Return Driven Strategy (RDS)!” 

Every Tuesday, we write about business case studies, tips, strategies, and insights related to RDS to help business owners, builders, leaders, and other professionals in the field to boost their organizational and individual performances. 

In this article, we’ll focus on a four-letter copywriting formula that can help marketers and copywriters connect with their target market. 

Would you like to know more about this technique? 

Continue reading below to find out. 

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Return Driven Strategy 

Writing captivating and awesome content is not as easy as it seems. 

Think about this: Some writers spend lots of hours writing what they think people would want to read… 

They’re hoping for that high open rate and email click-through… 

They edit, proofread, Zeigarnik, have their colleagues or peers do PP2P, and more before they press “Send/Publish”… 

How do you think they would feel if they invested so much of their time writing only to have readers click, “Unsubscribe” or discontinue reading the article? 

They’d probably feel bad that their efforts have been wasted. 


Zig Ziglar, an author, sales consultant, businessman, and motivational speaker, once said: 

“You can have everything you want in life if you help enough people get what they want.” 

Ziglar’s statement makes sense in the context of copywriting too. Remember when we talked about communication being a two-way street

As a writer, you shouldn’t just do all the writing. You should also learn to listen to your target market or readers because: 

  • You’re not writing for yourself; you’re writing for your readers. 
  • Writing great copy is not about successfully making yourself sound smart; it is about effectively getting your message across. 
  • A great copywriter always strives to make sure his or her copy is useful and interesting, and offers fun information that benefits readers. 

Simply said, great copywriting fulfills otherwise unmet customer needs and communicates a message holistically

Copywriting and Return Driven Strategy’s Tenets 2 and 11 

Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo created the Return Driven Strategy (RDS) framework after conducting extensive research on business planning. 

They analyzed over 40,000 companies to determine which firms had the highest levels of earning power and identify the strategies that led to losses and gains. They discussed these in their book, “Driven.” 

… and what did they find out after this extensive research? 

Companies achieve high earning power levels when they fulfill otherwise unmet customer needs (Tenet 2) and communicate holistically with their constituents (Tenet 11)

Let’s now apply these tenets in the copywriting aspect… 

As a business owner, marketer, or copywriter, you should know that great marketing campaigns and content effectively address the needs and wants of your target market. 

The aim is to elicit some joy or happiness in customers or readers, and help them get what they want or hope to achieve. 

How can you achieve that through copywriting? 

One way is by using the PASO Formula

Explained by copywriting guru Joanna Wiebe in her CopyHackers video series, this formula is one of the most effective strategies known to man. This works for all kinds of marketing—ads, landing pages, email content, etc. 

Let’s take a look at what PASO means: 

  1. P – Problem/Pain

This is the part of your copy where you state the problem you’re addressing for your readers. Here, you have to show them the value of your content and why they shouldn’t ignore your message. 

  1. A – Agitation

Simply stating your target market’s problem isn’t enough. Through your own words, you also have to “agitate” the situation and make readers feel the pain if their problem isn’t solved. Tell them where and how it hurts as this will let them know you can relate with them. 

  1. S – Solution

This is where you tell your readers how they can solve their problem. Introduce your product or service as the solution to their pain points and explain how beneficial your offerings would be to them. 

  1. O – Outcome

Including the outcome of availing your product or service serves as the support to the solution you presented. Here, you explain what readers can expect to feel, get, or become once the problem is solved. You may pack more punch in this part by adding testimonials or reviews from clients and other customers. 

By using this formula properly in your copies, you’ll address that unmet customer need and convince your target market to act on your call-to-action (buy, subscribe, avail, follow, etc.) through a holistic communication strategy. 


At Valens, we make sure to do whatever we can to keep every single one of our subscribers and avoid unsubscribes. 

How do we do that? 

We apply the PASO formula in our marketing collaterals and content to stay valuable to our readers! 

We do our best to show them that we can help solve their problems and give them what they need and want. 

… and in giving what readers need and want, we make them satisfied and happy. In return, they continue reading our publications. This makes us happy too! 

So, if you’re a business owner or marketer and a HUGE part of what you do is content marketing, give the PASO formula a try! 

This will help you fulfill your target market’s unmet needs through an effective and holistic written communication strategy. 

We hope you learned a lot from today’s topic! 

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.) 

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Tuesdays: Return Driven Strategy”

In the book, “Driven,” authors Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo said that the goal of every long-term successful business strategy should incorporate the combined necessity of “making the world a better place” and “getting wealthy.” 

That is why they created Return Driven Strategy and Career Driven Strategy―frameworks that were built to help leaders and professionals plan and evaluate businesses so they can also help others achieve their organizational goals and career goals. 

The frameworks describe the plans and actions that drive returns for anyone in an organization such as independent contractors, marketers, brand managers, communicators, and other people in any field. These actions lead to the creation of wealth and value for customers, employees, shareholders, and the society. 

Every Tuesday, we’ll highlight case studies, business strategies, tips, and insights related to Return Driven Strategy and Career Driven Strategy. 

In planning, building, or managing brands and businesses, these strategies, case studies, and guidelines will help you choose what specific actions to take and when to take them. 

Hope you found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s “Return Driven Strategy!”


Kyle Yu 
Head of Marketing 
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities 
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