Everyone uses persuasion tactics. Even those of us who don’t realize we’re doing it use the tactics from time to time. That’s because persuasion is something we learn as we grow up by figuring out how people respond to different things. Some people actually study persuasion and make a science out of it. No one does this more, however, than advertisers. They favor several techniques in getting you to buy their goods and services.
Advertisers demonstrate value
One of the tactics advertisers use most is demonstrating value. Sometimes they do this by coming right out and telling people how much of a deal they are getting. Other times they throw in extras for “free” to make people jump to the conclusion of value on their own. A common technique that’s used these days is comparison. Advertisers demonstrate value by saying what their product comes with, and what the competitor’s product does not.
The advertising world is big on social proof
Social proof is a common term in the world of persuasion tactics. Salespeople use it, advertisers use it and even pickup artists use it. The idea is that people are easily persuaded when they see other people are doing something as well. It’s the old adage of “If he jumped off a bridge…” Advertisers love showing real people, or seemingly real people, experiencing great things as a result of using a product or service. To make this even more effective, they use big names to endorse a product. After all, if that celebrity uses it, it must be good, and if that big corporation uses it, why shouldn’t the rest of us?
They take time to breed familiarity
Why do you suppose companies are willing to spend so much money to stick their names on buildings? Or, why do they have commercials that don’t actually discuss the benefits of their products? It’s because they just want you to see their product’s name a lot. The more you see and hear the name, the more it becomes familiar to you. The more that happens, the more trusting you will become of it. At that point, persuading you to buy something is simple.
Advertisers create a need
There are a lot of products out there that you wouldn’t dream of using. Or there are features a product has that never crossed your mind before. To convince you to buy it, advertisers use the tactic of creating a need. They demonstrate how, though you’ve never missed it before, you really do need an air pocket in your sneakers. Once you’ve been convinced that need exists, you certainly won’t want a sneaker without an air pocket.
It’s not necessarily bad that advertisers use tactics like this. It isn’t even always underhanded. What is important is that you become aware of it so you can make informed decisions. If nothing else, remember to take a figurative step backwards after seeing a persuasive ad. Then, ask yourself why you were convinced, and see if you really believe you should have been convinced.