The 7 Principles of Persuasion to Live by in Marketing

Today, we live in a world where advertising and social media noise is everywhere. It is becoming harder and harder to try to engage with your customer base when you have so much noise coming at them at once. Companies are going to battle with each other trying to attain attention and commitment from customers.


Dr. Robert B. Cialdini has created 7 principles of persuasion to help you persuade your audience and ensure that your customer base stays loyal to your company. I will run down the 7 principles, but if you want a more in-depth analysis, his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion is a must-read.

Your goal as a company when it comes to communicating with your customers should be:

  • Inform

  • Remind

  • Persuade 

  • Connect

I will go over the 7 principles of persuasion and how you can increase your company’s persuasion. Keeping this in your back pocket will ensure in keeping your customer base intact.


Principle 1: Reciprocity 


In a nutshell: Give, and you will receive

Reciprocity recognizes that by nature, people feel obligated to give back to those who have given to them. Most people hate to feel indebted to someone.

Increase Reciprocity: To influence customers, you want to give value to your products and services. You want to create free information (YouTube videos) or give out free samples. This will ensure that your customers are given a positive experience with your product or service. So they can, in turn, be more compelled to buy your product or service in return.

Principle 2: Scarcity  


In a nutshell: Fear of Missing Out  

Scarcity recognizes that people want what they don’t have or what they feel they can’t have. When something is in short supply, people want it more.  

Increase Scarcity: To influence customers, claim that your products are in limited supply, or that they are only going to be available for a short period. Most people do not want to miss out on opportunities. So even saying, “Back by popular demand” can also give the notation that it will be gone soon.

Principle 3: Authority 


In a nutshell: All the Bells and Whistles

Authority recognizes that people will respect and admire other people in authoritative positions. People who dress nice, drive beautiful cars or hold high-level positions always attracts a following.

Increase Authority: To influence customers, give them the impression of authority, show them your talent, skill ability, and wisdom. You can become an “authority” by not only building expertise in your services and products, but also by ensuring that the perception of your expertise matches the reality.

Principle 4: Commitment 


In a nutshell: The go all-out for consistency

Commitment recognizes that most people have an inclination to be consistent. Once a customer is loyal to something or someone, they are more likely to follow through on that loyalty.

Increase Commitment: To influence customers, you can show them other customers just like them. Who may have had great experiences using your product or service. Testimonials on your website is a great way to do that.


Principle 5: Liking


In a nutshell: Flattery and Praise

Liking recognizes that people are more likely to follow people and purchase brands that they like.  

Increase Liking: To influence customers they want to see the behind-the-scene process, they want to see the people that are building the product. Share a personal anecdote of yourself. Then show your customer base how similar you are to them.

Principle 6: Consensus 


In a nutshell: I’ll have what she’s having  

Consensus recognizes that people tend to do what other people are doing. People tend to buy products and services based on what other people recommend or promote.

Increase Consensus: To influence customers, you can give out samples to influencers online to promote your product or service. Show people using your services and how happy they are doing so.

Principle 7: Unity 


In a nutshell: Sharing Identity  

Unity recognizes that people need a sense of belonging. (You all remember Maslow hierarchy of needs) People want to feel like they are a part of a group or community.

Increase Unity: To influence customers, form bonds with them. Build a community based on your products. Apple has done an excellent job at building unity in their brand. Special events only for your customer base that have bought your product or service.

These 7 principles of persuasion you can use to hone in on your customers and keep them away from competitive noise. I will leave you with this, always stay true to your words as a company, and prove to your customers that you are reliable and will always have their best interest at heart. 


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