Persuasion: Connecting with customers through marketing

How can you get customers to say yes?

In both the B2B and B2C world, persuasion plays a huge role in securing sales - and this is where marketing departments are expected to come to the fore by creating highly-engaging campaigns.

Whether it is connecting emotionally or rationally, marketers will be looking to convince people and organisations of the need for a particular product or service. Everreach has looked into the science of persuasion in an effort to find out what guides decision-making, and highlighted some key factors in the process.

Supply and demand

People want to get their hands on something they think is scarce. This underlines the need to position a product or service as unique - setting yourself apart from the competition is a great way to generate positive sentiment and encourage action among your target audience. By making it clear what people stand to lose, you can develop an enticing proposition. For example, sales of the iPod Classic rocketed after it was announced the model would be discontinued.

*Authority and expertise *

Being credible and knowledgeable about your industry is a massive selling point, so make sure customers are aware of this. The reason brands such as Pepsi and Coca-Cola continue to be so successful is they have established themselves as market leaders and continue to build on this position. If people buy into your credentials, it is much easier to influence and push them further down the sales journey.

Peer influence

People are often influenced by the actions of their peers. For example, hotels put signs in their rooms encouraging guests to reuse towels based on the environmental benefits - a strategy that leads to a 30 per cent compliance rate. By tailoring this message to include data about how many guests actually do reuse towels, even more people can be convinced. The bottom line is that if individuals see that their peers are already engaged in a certain activity, they're more likely to follow suit.


People and organisations want to use brands that are likeable and seem to share values with them. A study by two business schools found that when MBA students were told to exchange personal information and find common ground before negotiations, 90 per cent were able to strike agreements. This compares favourably with only 55 per cent for another group instructed to start negotiating immediately. This highlights the need to find areas of similarity before trying to secure deals and build up business relationships.

Social conscience

Brands showing a commitment to doing good will resonate well with customers. Roughly four in ten (41 per cent) consider whether a brand is socially/environmentally conscious to be somewhat important to the purchasing decision, according to research by Effective Measure. Companies such as Unilever are keen to stress their social conscience - targets on sustainability are at the heart of its business plan - and this dedication to making a difference, as well as turning a profit, can give brands the edge in a crowded marketplace.

Marketers looking to start 2015 with a bang should consider these five issues when developing their new brand message. Persuasion clearly works, so it's a case of finding the right balance between strategies in order to connect with your target audience. By demonstrating authority and being likeable, companies can emphasise just how great a proposition they have.