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Oh, you mean I need to include a call to action?

Amazingly one of the things we often forget in marketing and marketing communications is that in the end we have to persuade someone to do something. We develop good products, use effective sales and distribution channels, understand what media reaches our target most effectively, write witty headlines and use imaginative images to catch their attention.

But we forget to persuade them.

Robert Cialdini’s Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion will make that much harder for you to do. Based upon literally hundreds of research studies, the book organizes persuasion into what Cialdini describes as six weapons of influence, though I’ve always preferred to think of them as tools.

The Weapon/Tool My shorthand way of remembering
Reciprocity When I take a free sample at Costco, I feel an something of an obligation to buy the four pound package of the stuff—even if I have no idea how and when I will consume that much.
Commitment
and consistency
My Mother told me to always keep my word (be consistent) and that’s what I’m going to do. Besides if I’m not true to my favorite brand, how will I ever choose among the 100s of drink options at the convenience store. Huge time saver.
Social Proof Some of you figured this out in high school, some of us didn’t. If everyone else is doing it, it is the right,or at least the safest,thing to do—particularly if we don’t want to be a social outcast.
Liking This one works both ways. We evaluate the message based on whether we like the messenger, rather than whether we believe the content. Also, if someone likes us, that shows their good judgment and makes them an obviously credible source—in other words, “Flattery will get you somewhere.”
Authority They didn’t call the show Father Knows Best for nothing.
Scarcity We always want what we can’t have. Make information seem privileged or items seem rare and that watch the perceived value increase.

After you read the book you will notice that effective ads and marketing communication vehicles have something in common. Nearly every one will incorporate one or more of these tools. You will also notice something about the ones that aren’t effective. They don’t use any of these tools. Read your organization’s sales materials, look at your ads, watch your videos. Are you using the tools?  – Barrett Sydnor

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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  1. Tweets that mention Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D. | Strategy Consulting and Strategic Planning -- Topsy.com - September 29, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by TalentCulture, JKeithDunbar. JKeithDunbar said: RT @TalentCulture: New from @Brainzooming Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D. http://is.gd/fzAjD #ideas … […]