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Don’t Make This Social Proof Mistake

Every marketer knows that social proof – showing that other people use your product, support your cause, etc. – is a powerful persuasion tool. It’s one of influence expert Robert Cialdini’s six main principles, and may be the best-known and most-used of them all. But not all uses of social proof are equally effective. […]

By |October 18th, 2013|

The Persuasion Slide: An Introduction

The Persuasion Slide is a deceptively simple new model for the process of persuasion that accommodates both traditional conscious factors as well as the often more significant and powerful non-conscious factors.

By |September 24th, 2013|

Latest Brainy Marketing at Forbes

It’s been a while since I recapped my Forbes Brainy Marketing activity here, so here’s what you may have missed. And, be sure to add a comment if you visit. I can “call out” quality comments, and site admins sometimes expose these in different parts of the site. […]

By |October 26th, 2012|

How to Turn a NO into a YES!

Can an initial rejection actually help you get the “yes” you really want? Surprisingly, if you create the right first and second requests, it can. Persuasion expert Robert Cialdini conducted a classic experiment that demonstrates the technique by soliciting volunteers to work with troubled kids. […]

By |September 26th, 2012|

If Your Customers Have to Wait…

In years of running a direct marketing firm that included a small call center, my objective was to eliminate, or at least minimize, waiting time for phone customers. We knew (from those times when we didn’t have enough staff in place) that the longer callers waited to speak to a representative, the higher the probability was that they would abandon the call. And, if they hung up, they might never call back.

Zappos, legendary for customer service, strives to answer 80% of its calls within 20 seconds.

While one can’t argue with delivering great service and minimizing customer frustration, there’s a way that short waits can be used to good advantage. What do your customers hear if they have to wait for a representative? Elevator music? Recorded ads? Mindless statements telling the customer how important her call is? (Important, no doubt, but not important enough to answer right away!) Instead of those common and boring solutions, try something a little different: building in “social proof” messaging might actually keep callers on the line and, when the call is answered, boost conversion rates. […]

By |April 11th, 2011|

What Don Corleone Could Learn from Guy Kawasaki

When someone thanks you for doing them a favor, there are any number of stock ways to respond. “No problem.” “It was nothing.” And, of course, “You’re welcome.” For some situations, though, there’s a phrase that […]

By |March 28th, 2011|

Smiley Power: Green Marketing That Works

Could a simple smiley face on your power bill change your consumption? Utilities in various states, tired of unsuccessful attempts to encourage energy-saving strategies by their customers, are resorting to an approach based on sound neuromarketing principals: social pressure. As I noted in my post, Green Marketing Doesn’t Work, traditional appeals to “Save the Planet” aren’t effective, while pitches showing that other people are behaving as desired DO perform better.

One simple approach employed by a California utility is to use smiley (but not frowny!) faces to highlight how an individual household compares in its energy usage with its neighbors. […]

By |February 17th, 2009|

Personalization: Post-Its and Beyond

Have you ever received a printed invitation to, say, a charity fundraiser, and found that someone you know on the organizing committee had hand-written a short note encouraging you to attend? (Or sat in a room with other people actually scribbling such notes, periodically asking questions like, “Who knows Elmer and Dolly Pennington?”) It turns out that this activity has some good research underpinnings, and may point the way to boost success rates in a variety of marketing endeavors. […]

By |December 1st, 2008|

Product Contagion in Action

I’ve been traveling quite a bit recently (which explains the lower rate of Neuromarketing posts), and at a recent stay at a Jameson Inn in Indiana, I encountered the above product arrangement on the shelf of their little convenience shop next to the check-in desk. While most of the studies have looked at the effect of juxtaposing products, say, in a shopping cart, this is an unusual example of product contagion right on the shelf. (If you didn’t catch my previous post, “product contagion” refers to the demonstrated ability of a product likely to arouse disgust in a consumers mind to “contaminate” nearby products, as in a shopper’s cart. Put your cookies next to a bag of kitty litter and the cookies become less appealing.) I’ve got to wonder how Instant Lunch sales at this particular hotel compare to sales at other Jameson locations…

And that product positioning wasn’t the only neuromarketing gaffe I found during that stay. Clearly, the central office didn’t read Green Marketing Doesn’t Work (or Cialdini’s book Yes! ) when they wrote the copy for this card: […]

By |October 13th, 2008|

Reflecting on the Mirror

Here’s a prediction: in the coming years, we’ll see mirrors popping up in the entryways of churches and other places of worship. And the reason won’t be to let those entering fix their hair. As we’ll see, the mirror has a rather magical effect on us.

For years, motivation experts have told their audiences to “look in the mirror” as they formulated their goals or imagined the future they wanted. As it turns out, this advice wasn’t all motivational hokum. When we look in a mirror, our behavior is actually altered – at least for a short period of time. […]

By |October 6th, 2008|