You’ve been pulled over for a traffic violation and you’re scrambling to persuade that policeman to not write you a ticket this time. You use logic to explain that the traffic light was still on yellow when you looked, or maybe you try appealing to the officer’s emotions because you’ve been having a really bad day already. When you were a kid, the new medieval-themed Lego set just came out and you HAD to have it because your best friend has it and says it’s awesome. You beg your mom to get it for you because you’ll be so happy once you finally have it, you won’t ask for another toy ever again!
We all use (or try to use, at least) persuasive techniques in our everyday lives—sometimes they’re exercised on us and we may not even realize it. In the business world, we call these persuasive techniques “marketing.” These marketing techniques can be separated into three categories: emotional, logical and social. Each one appeals to a different aspect of a person’s decision-making process, and depending on the product or service you are advertising, one can be more effective than the other. In some cases, it’s beneficial to combine two or more techniques to attract a wider range of people.
Let’s break these techniques down so we can analyze how best to employ them in a marketing strategy.
If you want to play off the feelings of your target audience, you will need to emotionally tie your product and services to them. For example, Dos Equis capitalizes on their mascot, “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” to make people think drinking this specific brand of beer will make them more interesting as well. There are many different emotions you can employ, such as: excitement, humor, fear, disgust, pleasure or any emotion that gets a strong reaction. However, you need to make sure you always know your audience and know your industry—the emotion you use must make sense in the context of both.
Does it make sense to buy this? Most logical decisions are based upon facts instead of emotions. It’s all about proving your product or services are better than your competitor’s (better features, pricing, etc.). This angle is often used as a business to business selling point rather than a business to consumer selling point. It’s not that it wouldn’t work for certain consumer audiences, but it’s just not usually glamorous making it more effective for businesses, who often consider logic to be a priority.
A recent study shows that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as neighbor, friend or family member reviews. You have to understand that the online world didn’t exist 20 years ago, and now the internet is an extremely prominent influence on consumer and business decision-making, and therefore, marketing strategies. People can quickly search for reviews on a product or service and even compare them, so it’s important for your brand’s products and services to amass positive ratings and opinions on the web. To further promote your brand, make sure to include any positive reviews from sites like YouTube, Amazon or Yelp. This allows the customer to do the talking for you—it’s a huge part of influencer marketing!
It’s common for industries to specialize in one of these avenues, but you can use elements from all of these avenues to make a sound marketing campaign for your products or services. Look at what your competitors are doing and do it better!