Much of marketing is about persuasion. Note that I do not say “manipulation.” That’s the kind of marketing we all hate.
Dictionary.com defines the verb “to persuade” like this:
1. to prevail on (a person) to do something, as by advising or urging: We could not persuade him to wait.
2. to induce to believe by appealing to reason or understanding; convince: to persuade the judge of the prisoner’s innocence.
So persuasion, especially in marketing, means:
- encouraging someone to take action (call me to talk about your needs, sign up for my program, buy my book, etc.)
- convincing someone by helping them to understand information, ideas and/or benefits.
CNN/Fortune Magazine posted a interview with Kurt Mortensen, entitled How Persuasive Are You? The article referred to a quiz (self-assessment) which helps you to understand your own first reactions to a series of events, to see how much you use persuasion in your marketing and sales efforts. Go ahead, take the self-assessment! It’s an eye-opener!
When you’re finished with the self-assessment, he will email you the questions you got right and wrong, so you can begin to understand the psychology of marketing.
I’m absolutely fascinated by the psychology of marketing: what makes people pay attention to a marketing piece, and more importantly, what persuades them to take action and buy. I’m reading several books on the topic right now, and as soon as I compile my notes, I’ll write more about the topic in this blog.
For instance, my blog post How Customers Make Buying Choices walks you through how decisions are really made during your clients’ buying process.
I think the psychology of marketing will make all the difference in the world to your success. I’ll keep you posted.