- Mon, January 30 2012
- Filed under: Marketing essentials
One of the best books I have ever read to strengthen my marketing skills was Influence, by Robert Cialdini. If you’ve never read this book, you really should. In the book, Cialdini covers six principles of persuasion:
1. Reciprocity - People tend to return a favor, thus all those annoying address labels charities send out as a fundraising ploy.
2. Liking - People are easily persuaded by other people whom they like. That’s why you want your champions spreading the word about your cause among their friends and family.
3. Scarcity - Perceived scarcity fuels demand. “Only four memberships are left” prompts action!
4. Authority - People will tend to obey authority figures. Just check out the well-dressed man in a suit jay-walking in the below video. Everyone on the street corner follows. When he wears a sweatshirt, no one follows. That’s the principle of authority at work.
5. Social Proof - People will do what other people are doing. That’s why it’s great to show who is taking action for your cause - others are likely to conform.
6. Commitment and Consistency - If people commit to an idea or goal, they are more likely to follow through. I’ve covered that several times on the blog lately. It’s why pledging is a great option for people who aren’t ready to take action.
If you don’t have time to read the book, watch this wonderful 30 minute interview with Cialdini from Swedish television (don’t worry, it’s in English). He walks through each principle, with vivid examples of these ideas being used for social good, for manipulation and for propaganda. It’s well worth your time.