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The Art of Persuasion: How to Influence Consumer Choice?

Adamou Boubacar Amadou

Table of Contents

Introduction

Persuasive marketing is an essential skill to master for you to succeed as a marketer.

Yet, many marketers get overwhelmed by the allure of clever ads and flashy websites.

In reality, these tactics only go so far; modern consumers have become savvy, and they know when they're being sold to without permission

Persuasion is about much more than just making a sale or convincing someone to buy your product—it's about understanding what motivates people to make decisions and then using that knowledge to persuade them into taking action that benefits both parties.

Difference between Manipulation and Persuasive Marketing

One can argue that persuasive marketing and manipulation are quite similar since they have the same goal; to convince a person to do something they would otherwise not do.

A marketer has to learn how to persuade rather than manipulate!

The difference lies in the intention—persuasion serves the customer while manipulation serves the seller. In persuasive marketing, the marketer has to ensure that they convince the buyer to buy a good or service that is beneficial

to them.

To differentiate these concepts, the marketer has to answer the question; will the buyer thank me after buying this product?

If you manipulate your customers, they are likely not to trust you in future. As such, ensure that you can differentiate between persuasion and manipulation. You can do this by understanding consumer behavior and what motivates different consumers.

What is Consumer Behavior?

Consumer behavior is the study of human behavior in the marketplace.

It is a multi-disciplinary field that draws from fields such as economics, sociology, psychology, anthropology and marketing.

Consumer behavior is about understanding what drives consumer decision-making and why people choose one product or service over another.

Psychological Factors

Psychological factors include:

  • Theories of motivation. These theories explain what motivates us to action and how our motives can be influenced by others.
  • Theories of learning. This type of theory describes how we learn through experience and exposure, often based on the reinforcement principle that says rewards or punishments can be used to shape behavior.
  • Theories of perception describe how we see, hear and feel things in the world around us; this includes how we process information from our senses (e.g., sight) before it becomes meaningful for us as individuals.
  • Personality theories attempt to explain why people think and behave differently from one another by looking at their personality traits - their characteristics such as introversion/extroversion, agreeableness/disagreeableness etc., which influence their expectations about other people's behavior towards them (and vice versa). People with similar personalities tend also have similar reactions when faced with situations involving risk or uncertainty - e.g., they might be more inclined than others would be towards investing because they feel confident about its success; or they may avoid taking such risks altogether because they don't feel comfortable doing so under normal circumstances."

Personal Factors

There are two types of personal factors that influence consumer choice. The first is a person's personality, which includes their beliefs, attitudes and values.

These are hard to change because they often represent a person's core values and worldview.

This means that even when someone learns new information about an issue, they may not be able to change their beliefs related to it.

The second type of personal factor is lifestyle – how people live their lives on a day-to-day basis.

This can include things like where they live or what hobbies they enjoy doing in their spare time.

Social factors

The social factor is a term used to describe the influence of others on an individual's behavior.

It includes family, friends and colleagues. Social factors can be positive or negative depending on how they influence consumers' choices.

They can also be direct or indirect in their impact on consumer behavior.

For example, if a family member buys a new car model that you are thinking about buying, it will probably have an impact on your decision-making process because you will have seen that this vehicle was popular among your social circle.

Social factors affect our decisions at times when we do not even realize it —for example, if people around us are smoking cigarettes, then we may start smoking too, even though we do not like it ourselves!

As another example of how social influences work, teenagers often feel pressure from their peers to wear certain clothes or use specific products which may not necessarily suit them personally but instead reflect what others think is cool at the time.

How Can Marketing Affect Consumer Behavior and Decisions

Marketing is one of the most powerful tools for businesses to influence consumer behavior and decisions.

Marketers can use psychological theories, social media, personalization and creative language to persuade consumers to buy their products.

People react emotionally to content. They don't think about the product and its features but rather associate it with their perception of what the brand stands for.

  • Word association: What words come to mind when you hear "Nike"? Are they positive or negative? If you're Nike's marketer,]then people associate your company with positive feelings like "adventure" and "excellence."
  • Nostalgia: You can use nostalgia to trigger memories of your brand in customers' minds. This could be as simple as using an old logo on new t-shirts or selling limited edition sneakers that only existed back in 1987. The key is to make sure that those who remember will want to buy them again!
  • Fear: Fear is an effective way of persuading someone into ]purchasing because they'll want to avoid whatever it is they're afraid of happening (i.e., losing money). For example, if I told you there was a sale on underwear but only until midnight tomorrow at 11 pm PST—wouldn't it make sense for you to buy some now?

Imagery and word associations

Imagery and word associations create a lasting impression on consumers. The way your brand is perceived through imagery and word associations can influence consumer choice.

The right imagery is essential to getting the right message across. Using the right images will help you to convey your message by triggering emotions in consumers, who then associate those feelings with your brand.

Nostalgia, fear, and other emotions

Fear appeals are used to encourage customers to buy your product.

For example, if your company sells anti-virus software for computers and laptops, then imagine that there was some sort of virus that was spreading on the internet and people were getting hacked and losing their money because of it.

You could craft an effective marketing campaign by using a message similar to: “Protect yourself with our antivirus software today before it's too late!"

This would encourage potential customers who have been exposed or might be exposed soon enough through word-of-mouth referrals from friends/family members affected by this virus situation.

Reciprocity

Reciprocity is a social norm that dictates that we should repay people in kind for what they do for us.

It's an important force because it can be used to influence consumer behaviour and make consumers feel more positively towards a brand.

Commitment

Commitment is a psychological concept that refers to the degree to which a person's self-image or self-esteem is at stake in a decision.

The greater the level of commitment, the more difficult it will be for them to change their mind.

Commitment can be either positive or negative; positive commitment arises when you feel responsible for something happening in your life (e.g., "I'm going to exercise three times per week!"), and negative commitment occurs when you feel responsible for preventing something from happening (e.g., "I won't eat any sweets today!").

Pack Mentality

Marketers use the concept of "pack mentality" to influence consumer choice.

The idea behind the pack mentality is that consumers want to fit in with others, so they will choose products and brands that are popular or well-known.

When you walk into a store and see all your friends wearing Nike shoes, it's hard not to feel like you should be wearing them too.

This is an example of how marketers use the pack mentality to sell their goods: by showing consumers images of other people who already have those goods or services, they make us feel like we need the same thing as our peers (even if we don't).

Authority, Liking and Scarcity

Let's start with authority. This is the power given to a person or group of people.

You see this used a lot in advertising; for example, if you see an ad for a new drug that says "directions from your doctor" or something similar, then you know that this product has been approved by an authority figure.

The more trusted the source of information (the doctor) appears, the more likely he/she will be able to persuade people to buy the product.

Liking refers to how much we like another person, and it makes sense that we would expect someone we like more than others would be better able to persuade us than someone we don't like so much!

Finally, there's scarcity; the extent to which something is in short supply means that there aren't many things left for sale so therefore, whoever gets there first gets all of them before anyone else does!

The Use of Theories in psychology To Influence consumers' Behavior.

Consumer behavior is a complex field of study, and marketers have been using psychological theories for decades to understand how to influence consumer choice.

Psychological theories are used by marketers to guide their strategy, develop messages and campaigns, create advertisements and other promotional tools, choose the right media channels for targeting customers and select product packaging design.

Many different psychological factors affect consumer behavior. Some of them include:

  • Personal attitude
  • Social influences from family members or friends
  • Cultural background
  • Lifestyle and personality
  • Financial situation Time and place of purchase

Conclusion

The field of consumer behavior is a broad one, and it's easy to get lost in the details.

But if you keep these core theories in mind—and especially the ones that relate most closely to your products or services—you'll be able to apply them effectively in your work.

For example, if you're marketing a new line of clothing, then you'll want to play up the scarcity effect (because who doesn't want a limited-edition item?) or use authority figures like celebrities as spokespeople to convince shoppers they should make their purchase now instead of waiting until next month.

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Adamou Boubacar Amadou Twitter

Growth Specialist and Content Creator. I write content at the intersection of business and technology to help you learn while I do the same. Helping SaaS Startups Scale With Digital Marketing.