Getting large groups of people to do what you want them to do, doesn’t always need to involve the heavy hand of the law! In fact, behind every successful marketing campaign, there are several persuasive marketing techniques hard at work (and not a policeman in sight). You may never have stopped to actively consider this before (and neither had i until i completed a recent course on the subject), but give yourself a few minutes now to delve into the psychology behind what drives us as human beings to make the decisions we do. Then sleep on it and hopefully your new found understanding will help to give your marketing campaigns even more of a pop! Here goes…

  1. Availability. If something seems less available to us, then we are inclined to want it more. This is human nature, pure and simple. So, how can you make your products/services seem more exclusive to the end user? It’s also worth noting that this theory applies in all areas of life, not just marketing. Where do you think the phrase ‘playing hard to get came from?’
  1. Inherent Survival Instinct. When we are in a new situation, we find comfort in following the actions of those similar to us. The logic behind this is that if the person who we identify with has taken a certain action and they’ve survived, then the chances are we will too. This is a basic evolutionary instinct that dates back to the birth of mankind. In the modern digital world however, a great example of this coming into play can be seen when we are faced with a new product online. We don’t know if it’s good or terrible, so we look to online reviews from people similar to us to guide us. Are your current brand reviews relatable enough or does this area of your business need some work?
  1. Respect for Authority. If someone authoritative (or whom we trust, respect or look up too) shares their opinion on something, then we are more likely to buy into it. In marketing you often see this taking place in examples that involve the inherent survival instinct (discussed above). For example, if someone with a high level of authority within a certain industry, writes a review of a product, then it will be far more impactful than a review written by someone who holds no authority in that area. Unsurprisingly, this is because authority instils consumer confidence. So, how and where do you think you could add additional authority to your marketing materials?
  1. We Are All Pleasure Seekers. When a brand aims to delight its consumers with fun, thoughtful or overtly helpful experiences, their random act of kindness will stick in consumers’ minds and they will naturally form a positive association with that brand. With this persuasive marketing tactic everyone’s a winner! The consumer is left smiling about the experience and so it the marketer.
  1. Finders Keepers. The need to avoid losing things is stronger than the need to obtain new things. When we own something we put a greater value on that item, than the value we put on it before we owned it. If you can get people to buy into your brand in just a small way initially, it will significantly help to increase your sales conversion rate in the long tun. This is because they’ve invested a little bit of themselves into your brand already and therefore value it more highly.
  1. Completer Finisher Mentality. The closer we get to finishing something, the more we want to finish it. This is hardwired into us all and it’s the reason why implementing a completion bar in your website will help to increase the number of completed transactions you obtain. As people get closer to completing the steps involved in the purchase, the less likely they are to abandon the cart, but only if they can see the progress they are making.
  1. Choice Paralysis. We can only handle a certain amount of choice in our lives. When faced with too much choice we are more likely to turn away and avoid having to make the decision at all, than if we simply had fewer options available in the first place. When you are next presenting a range of products/services to your consumers/clients, think about the choices you are presenting them with. Is it likely to give them choice paralysis? If so, cut back on your offering and observe the outcome.
  1. ‘I Am Whoever I Say I Am’. We all hold a set of beliefs and values that we live by. We try and make decisions that are in line with those beliefs in order to present a constant image of ourselves. If you can align your brand with your potential customer’s beliefs and get them to take small actions/ brand engagements that are in line with this, then your consumers will be more likely to carry out a bigger action/brand engagement later on. This is driven by the desire to remain consistent with who the consumer says they are. How could this knowledge of basic consumer psychology help your brand, whilst also helping your consumers image?
  1. For Every Action, There’s a Reaction. The laws of positivity state that positive actions being thrown out into the universe, lead to positive reactions being returned. It’s the old adage of – ‘if you scratch my back, then I’ll scratch yours’ and it works! Consider this technique when you are next putting together a partnership program, I assure you, the results will speak for themselves.

Now that you are aware of these 9 powerful persuasive techniques, go forth and implement them. However on a more serious note, please do keep in mind that this can be pretty potent stuff. These techniques should always be used to the highest ethical and moral standards. If you find yourself questioning this, then ask yourself if you would be happy for your gran to be on the receiving end of your marketing. If the answer is yes then you are good to go. If not, then perhaps rethink your approach! Remember that ‘with much power, comes much responsibility!’

(Please note: These 9 persuasive techniques were presented to me on a recent course which was run by Allister Frost, the founder of Wild Orange Media Ltd.)