The Psychology of Persuasion and How it is Used by Advertising Agencies
An average person is exposed to advertising and marketing communication throughout the day. From binge-watching content, scrolling through social media to being bombarded with billboards on the road, none of us can escape the web of advertisements.
Most of the ads that we see today are brought to us by digital platforms. Such ads collect data from the viewer, which marketers use to review the customer profile. Though advertising trends continue to change, what remains constant is the use of age-old persuasion techniques. Top advertising agencies use these methods while building a campaign to improve conversion rates. Some of the most common persuasion styles are outlined by Dr Robert Cialdini in his book ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion’.
The six principles of persuasion are:
Reading between the lines will help you understand the underlying message in any advertisement. Let's dive deeper into the seven principles of persuasion!
We very often see children learning new behaviours by imitating adult behaviour and replicating what gets rewarded. And so, 'Reciprocating the desired action leads to rewards’ is the basic idea behind this persuasion technique. Often you will find this used for different offers in the following way:
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This is also known as the commitment technique. It supports the idea of people preferring consistency. Once someone commits, it takes an effort to switch from that choice and often leads to consistency. Once you post about being at a restaurant on social media, for instance, it is less likely for you to leave that place.
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III. Social Proof
Humans are influenced by others' actions. Social proof or social influence is where we seek validation from others, thereby creating a sense of safety. Reviews, testimonials, and rating systems are examples of social proof.
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We tend to respect authority and learn to do so from a very young age. Authoritative figures are considered knowledgeable, trustworthy and credible. Brands use this to leverage their business.
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We appreciate friendliness over short and cold replies. The company of a warm, likeable person is enjoyable, and brands optimise this by being approachable. For example, customers react well to compliments, and so -
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Demand rises during scarcity. When the availability of a product or service is not guaranteed, one is persuaded to take prompt action. This is what the principle of scarcity does.
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Once you start understanding how each statement of communication revolves around these principles of persuasion, choosing the right message for your brand becomes easy. In addition, this knowledge will allow you to be thorough with your target audience and their preferences. You can incorporate this knowledge into your customer relationship management practices to improve client retention.