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With Great Strength Comes Great Responsibility…

Moxie League

The Power of Persuasion

Hey Leaguers!

As marketers, it’s our job to influence. We have the power to impact perceptions, thoughts, and desires. It’s actually one of the things I love about this profession.

But too often, this tremendous power, or I dare say “superpower,” can be used for duplicitous means. That’s when you, as a marketer, lose the trust and respect of those who you should prize above all: your target audience.

It’s really easy to go down the path of the dark side and use your powers of persuasion not to influence but to manipulate.

How many times have you seem an ad online where you just know it’s too good to be true? How many times have you been fooled?

I can count on my two hands the number of times I got a Facebook ad for some type of beauty product and/or clothing that made a promise that I knew logically couldn’t be true but I also couldn’t resist. Most of the time, I’m sold because of influencers who have targeted my very specific pain point, whether it’s great eyebrows or a new chic dress guaranteed to flatter my shape; they have all the tools from images to testimonials, and I take the plunge only to be disappointed in the end.

Admit it, we’ve all been there. I’ve been in marketing for over a quarter of a century, and I still get duped by those who are using their powers for manipulation. But I digress.

Having moxie for me also means doing no harm. Superman and/or Wonder Woman could use their power to dominate mankind, but they don’t, and neither should we. And yes, I know these are fictional characters, but their ideals are very real to me.

I didn’t really understand how persuasion worked until I was in grad school and I was studying persuasion theory (I promise not to bore you with all the technical stuff). I was reading this book by Vance Packard called Hidden Needs (I have a link to the book if you want to read for yourself).

All I can say is, after reading, this is how I felt: mind blown.

I started asking myself, is this really true? Are there only 8 hidden needs we all possess, and if you want to, you can use these needs to persuade your target audience with your marketing messages? And how can I use these in my career and make sure that I do no harm?

I’ve spent the past two decades utilizing this skill for the greater good (and winning awards while doing it).

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You will see me write over and over again that marketing anything is not about the fonts, images, or cool new tactics. At the core of what we do is communication, and at the heart of that is the message.
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What are these hidden needs you ask?

Well, before I was born, back In 1957, The Hidden Persuaders was written by Vance Packard’s, and it received national recognition.

In fact, it was, at least 14 years ago (yes, I’m dating myself), being taught in colleges and universities across the country. And even now, Packard’s publication is still available and relevant today, though some of the content examples are outdated.

In this book, Packard contends that there are 8 desires that are so strong that people are compelled to buy products to satisfy them. I put together this cool infographic outlining all 8 hidden needs for you to see.

I’m not done yet. I have a mission for you if you choose to accept it.

Ask yourself, when creating your next campaign and you are thinking about that offer and/or product, what need does it fill?

Whew! I know that was a lot to go over in such a short time.

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I will be taking a deeper dive into each hidden need in future
issues so that you can see how these are still being utilized
in the new digital/social age.
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Whew! I know that was a lot to go over in such a short time.

Stay tuned for the next installment where I’ll be talking about what it takes to become a master persuader through persuasive communication.

Until next time, stay moxie my friends!


The Marketing Moxie League is the official blog of Marketing Moxie, LLC., where we dare to be daring! We love to hear from you.  Please comment, like, and share below.

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