Social media posts, mainstream media and emails continue to overwhelm us with news, entertainment, information and ocassionally education. It’s enough to make you avoid your apps and inbox.
But for marketers, it is important to understand that this situation is creating a new decision process in which customers take short cuts to comply, agree or buy based on a single piece of information or triggers, according to Influence by accomplished social psychologist Robert B. Cialdini.
Cialdini has discovered that the most reliable and the most popular triggers for our decision making include these six triggers:
- Reciprocity – we are obligated to the future repayment of favors. Brands like Spotify, Amazon and Airbnb are leaders in reciprocity marketing. Traditional brands like Amway exemplify this by offering prospects a product sample bag for a week trial to affect purchases.
- Commitment and consistency — when a person commits, he or she will be consistent to that commitment. “Get it in writing” shows this principle that car dealers use to successfully sell their cars.
- Social proof — the greater the number of people who find any idea correct, the more an individual will perceive the idea as correct. This is reflected in the claims of the “nation’s leading or top-selling” product or service. Here are six great examples of social proof from expert to heavy user to wisdom of the crowd.
- Liking – people buy from friends and someone they like. This principle is manifested today in what people share online and who they trust for shareworthy information.
- Authority — we follow a leader, especially one with a genuine or perceived expertise. Every diet treatment or exercise plan uses this trigger in its infomercials. And this is the heart and soul of today’s influencer marketing strategies.
- Scarcity — people assign more value to opportunities when they are less available. Think iPod or other products available on a limited time offer like Starbucks, Nintendo or Girlfriend Collective.
So, how is your business affected by these six triggers and how can you use them to your advantage in your marketing and communications strategies?
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