Thursday, March 17, 2011

Unlocking the Art of Persuasion

Another great pieces by our Marketing Coordinator Katlyn Kugler. 

Et tu Brute? Unlocking the Art of Persuasion

With the Ides of March approaching it might not be a bad idea to brush up on some basic persuasion skills. Had Roman Emperor Julius Caesar executed the art of persuasion better than the Roman Senate and supposed close friend Marcus Brutus, he might have had a livelier fate. The elements of persuasion have not differed over these many centuries, but the ability to decipher them has. Advertising is often the platform which will persuade consumers to purchase or avoid a service or product, so the need for persuasive advertising is crucial.

The first step in persuasion is deciding what kind of strategy to use for the given product. Reference the Foote, Cone & Belding Grid (Richard Vaughn) to determine if the product is high involvement or low involvement and whether it is rational or emotional. Where the product falls on the grid influences what creative techniques should be administered in the ads.

FCB Grid

Along with determining where the product falls on the FCB grid, the customer's motivation and ability to process an ad should be assessed. The Elaboration Likelihood Model (R.E. Petty & J.T. Cacioppo) can be referenced to determine the customer's situation. Motivation to process an ad is decided by factors such as the customer's interest in the product being pitched. People are more motivated to process ads of products they are passionate about. Ability to process an ad is dependent upon issues like external distractions, location, and timing.


By considering product category and the customer's circumstances, a more effective advertisement can be produced. More effective ads will cut through market clutter, resonate with the audience, and inspire purchase. Take one from the history books and avoid Caesar's fatal mistake; by knowing your product and customer you can preserve good standing in the market simply by being more persuasive than the competition.  

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