Understanding Persuasion and Its Influence in Marketing


Customers are essential to the success of businesses in any industry.  It is imperative that businesses remain competitive and create value by putting more emphasis on customers to build their brand equity, maximize profits, and drive growth.  A focus on customers at all stages of the marketing process helps businesses achieve long-term growth (customer lifetime value), customer satisfaction, and repeated purchases.

One of the most important goals in any marketing strategy is identifying and meeting the needs of customers.  Marketers are challenged with persuading their current and potential customers to think and act in ways that benefit them and the business as well as motivating the customers to invest in their company’s products or services.  They use persuasion to influence a customer’s actions, attitudes, beliefs, mindsets, thought process, and behavior to convince them about a product or service. 

Marketers use persuasion to communicate the value of a product or service to their target audience.  They use various persuasive skills and strategies to convince their audience that their products or services meet their customer needs or desires.  Some examples of persuasive skills and strategies marketers might use include:

  • Offering their customers something first and exclusive to make them feel a sense of indebtedness and special.
  • Compelling their customers to commit to a small action and rewarding them for investing their time and effort in the product or brand (i.e. provide loyalty rewards, incentives for making referrals, completing surveys, etc.).
  • Developing their customer’s trust in the product or service (i.e. utilize social influences such as celebrities and endorsements, experts, peers, current or past users’ testimonials, etc. to show their product or brand is popular and favorable).
  • Creating credibility with their customers and associating their products or brands with the same values that they want to convey to their target audience.
  • Triggering their customer’s sense of urgency to desire their product or brand and to make a purchase (i.e. create limited time offers, quantities, and specials for the product or brand).
  • Learn how to master persuasive skills from expert Robert Cialdini, known as the “Godfather of Influence.”

Marketers use persuasion in various marketing processes to communicate the value of their company’s goods and services to their intended customers.  They use persuasion to instill a recognition in their customers that they have a desire for the product or brand and that the product or brand offered to them is beneficial because it meets their needs and desires.  The marketing processes or steps where marketers use persuasion to get their intended results include:

  • Building Brand Awareness:

Marketers not only create awareness or desire for the brand, they build the desire for the product itself in the minds of their target audience.  They persuade their target audience to believe that the product or brand’s values are representative of them and that the brand’s benefits meet their needs.

  • The Purchase Decision Process:

After customers recognize that they have a need or desire they want fulfilled, they conduct information searches and make evaluations about different goods or services that are available to satisfy those needs before making a purchase or exchange. 

During this process, marketers engage with their customers, give them insight about their product or service, and persuade them to make decisions toward buying the product or service they’re offering. Marketers present their product or brand in a way that looks more appealing than their competitor to sway their customer’s decision. 

Furthermore, they provide information to their customer that helps promote their product or brand versus their competitor to convince the customer to choose their product or brand instead.

Persuasion is one of the most creative and effective methods used in marketing to communicate, positively influence, and engage with the target audience.  It is a valuable tool that helps businesses connect with their consumers, drive growth, increase revenue, and achieve long-term growth and greater customer satisfaction.  Persuasion is a powerful creative voice – symbolic, deliberate; an influencer of change. 

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