Persuasion

Persuasive advertisements create a positive shift in disposition towards the brand, usually accompanied amongst non-users by increased intention to use, and increased behavioural loyalty amongst users.

Persuasion is akin to what Brown referred to as “immediate impact”. Consumers are persuaded by advertising if it says something new that is relevant and credible. Immediate impact is self-evident — over the years, many remarkable products (e.g. Volkswagen Beetle, Walkman, Pert Plus, iPad, Tesla) that were novel, relevant and credible when launched, experienced immediate sales gains through advertising.

By attracting new users, persuasive advertising has a long term impact on sales. However, these ads become less effective over time, as consumers receptive to the message are persuaded quickly, while those who are not receptive are unlikely to be won over by repeated viewings of the same commercial. To increase their customer base via persuasive advertising, marketers often need to produce a series of advertisements, emphasizing different benefits of the product.

Consider, for example, a government’s effort to persuade young couples to have more babies. Officials started by advertising financial support in the form of tax incentives. Some couples were persuaded by these incentives. Those who were not swayed were unlikely to change their minds should the government continue to reiterate the same offer. A new argument was put forward suggesting that it is one’s duty (a national service) to country and society to have babies. In their third attempt, the government pursued a programme that tapped people’s emotions and feeling, and communicated the enormous joy, fulfilment and unconditional love that children bring to our lives.

Persuasion is the preferred mechanism to appeal to consumers to try new products. It is also the mechanism of choice for impulse products, where it acts as the trigger to tempt people to purchase.

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