It’s been 40 YEARS. Yes, 40, since the book Influence by Robert Cialdini came out. And yes it is still timeless.

For anyone getting into Marketing, it’s the first book I recommend them read. 

SIDE NOTE: (Robert and his team are celebrating 40 years of Influence in Arizona on May 10-11th. If you’re looking for a marketing event to attend, I recommend. I’ll be there, please say hi.) 

But let’s get back into Influence…

The book focuses on Robert Cialdini’s 6 principles of persuasion, AKA ways of getting more YESES and conversations about your Marketing. 2 things no Marketer wants to pass up LOL.

Principle #1: Reciprocity

The Boomerang Effect: Give a little, get a little. When you toss out a favor, people naturally want to throw something back your way. You know that feeling when someone gives you a birthday gift and you feel like now you have to get them one.

That’s the boomerang effect live in action.

But how can you use this in your Marketing today? I’m glad you asked. 😉

1️⃣. Give tons of value through great content Marketing:  Hubspot is the standard for this. They give all of us tons of free tools, guides, and events.

2️⃣. Free samples: When companies offer free samples, they’re not just giving away a piece of their product; they’re building a relationship and setting the stage for future transactions. From Whole Foods to freemium SaaS products, there are a ton of brands who lean into this strategy.

3️⃣. Customer centricity: Make it evident to your customers that you go above and beyond for them and they will do everything in their power to go above and beyond for you.

Principle #2: Commitment

The Ride or Die Rule: Once people say they’re gonna do something, they usually stick to it…because nobody wants to look like a flake. Get your customers to commit early and they’re more likely to follow through. Consistency in your messaging leading up to the event, campaign, or launch is key for success here!

How to use this in your Marketing today: 

1️⃣. Small Commitments First: Get your audience to make small commitments like signing up for a newsletter, attend a virtual event, or follow you on socials. Then hit them with the big ask. A little homage to sir Gary Vee (jab, jab, jab, right hook).

2️⃣. Free Trials: Try before you buy. Once they’ve invested time and effort into learning and using your product, consumers are more likely to continue using it to remain consistent with their initial commitment. Plus if your product ACTUALLY works, then why would they want to live without it after they realize how awesome it is?

3️⃣. Consistent Brand Voice and Values: People like consistency and how brands show up. Consumers have an expectation for your brand, fall short of that and good luck getting any commitment from them.

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Principle #3: Social Proof

The ‘Everyone’s Doing It’ Doctrine: This one’s simple. If everyone else is jumping on the bandwagon, you feel like you need to as well. Like how you and I are Marketing Besties, and your friends are jealous and want to be Marketing Besties as well ;).

Let’s see how you can use this principle today.

1️⃣. Getting experts/creators to endorse you or partnering with them: If industry experts or thought leaders endorse your products or services, feature their statements prominently. Their approval can be a strong influence on potential customers. This also plays strongly into the matchup hypothesis (the effectiveness of a celebrity endorsement in advertising is dependent on the match between the endorser and the product or brand being promoted)!

2️⃣. Reviews and Testimonials: But this doesn’t mean ONLY featuring your 5-star reviews. Customers appreciate honesty over trying to appear perfect. 

3️⃣. Showing Customer logos: Showing customers who you work with adds credibility to your brand. Check out how we did it on our site.

4️⃣. User generated content (UGC): Encourage customers to share their product experiences, photos, or videos on social media and your website. You can even leverage this content for ads that won’t feel like ads (which we LOVE).

Principle #4: Authority

The ‘Because I Said So’ Commandment: Consumers respect authority, it’s how we’re wired. Show off your expertise and align your brand with the experts who endorse your product. You know, the good ‘ol fancy title effect. 

How to use this in your Marketing today… 

1️⃣. Thought Leadership: Show off your expertise through your company content, your founders, or marketing leader’s content (LinkedIn is THE BEST for this). I’m leaning all into this, and I built my own personal branding agency, Authority for that reason. 

2️⃣. Work with Thought Leaders: B2B creators are on the rise because people trust experts who understand them. And remember, people want to follow people, NOT brands.

3️⃣. Storytelling: This can be a superpower if used correctly. Tell the ethos of the company, why it was started, and the original problem that the founders set out to solve and how that has evolved over time. 

Principle #5: Liking

Buddy-Buddy: We say YES more easily to people we like. Be friendly, and find commonality. It’s all about making that personal connection.

But how can you use that in your Marketing? 

1️⃣. Building relatable brand voice and personality: Shape your brand’s personality to resonate with your target audience’s values and interests. Add a flare of human-touch on your socials, in your website copy, and in your ads. A relatable and likable brand personality can create a stronger emotional connection with your audience.

2️⃣. Use Humor: Humor shortens the pathway to connection for consumers and increases brand recall!

3️⃣. Be active in the community on social: It’s called social media for a reason, you need to be social. Reply to relevant comments and DMs, spur conversation with evergreen content.

Principle #6: Scarcity

The FOMO Factor: Limited time only! Act now! You know how it goes. When something’s scarce, we want it more. That fear of missing out on an opportunity runs DEEP into all of our souls.

1️⃣. Invitation-only Access: Providing exclusive access to new products, beta releases, or services.

2️⃣. Exclusive Membership or Club: Create a members-only club or tiered membership levels with limited spots available. Letting your top customers know they’re VIPs.

3️⃣. Limited-Time Offers: Promote products or services as available for a limited time only, urge consumers that if they don’t jump on your offer now then AHH they’ll miss out.

4️⃣. Seasonal or Event-driven Promotions: Aligning offers with specific industry events, seasonal peaks, or business cycles can create natural scarcity.

Daniel Murray
Daniel Murray
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