How do you communicate persuasively? Insights from a marketing agency


Jovina Ang

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How do you communicate persuasively? Just doing a quick search for this on the Internet will yield countless websites and articles that try to summarize the basic skills required to do so. While some points might come across as slightly generic, Paul Hourihane highlights the true essence of persuasive communication in a single word – “insights”. If you can deliver your insights in a creative and engaging way, you are well on your way to powerful communication.

Start –4:30 minutes: Connecting on an emotional level using the laddering technique

4:30 – 16:00 minutes: What are the 4 Ps of powerful insights?

16:00 – 24:56 minutes: Leveraging the internet for marketing communications. What are the rewards and risks?

Connecting on an emotional level

Paul Hourihane, founder of Go Direct, introduces a technique called “laddering”, which allows you to deliver effective commercial communication. He continues to describe laddering as a way of interrogating the consumer’s decision making process, as a way of revealing the customer’s intent of purchase. You start with a product that provides consumers with a benefit, which in turn, yields them a physical consequence. The satisfaction derived from the physical consequence triggers a deeper emotional consequence. Hourihane emphasizes that most effective communication takes place on an emotional level, where you tie the product’s benefits to the consumer’s values or self-image.

The 4Ps of powerful insights

Powerful insights drive great communication. These insights can be on:

  • People
  • Promises
  • Problems
  • Position

People insights involve understanding and expressing the beliefs and values that tie people together as groups. To reshape the way people see the world, you need to understand people insights – What are the motivational factors? etc.

Promise insights, also known as benefits insights, convey the capabilities of the product or brand to its consumers. For example, The Economist, a brand-leading business magazine, succeeded by marketing itself as an authority on giving readers the right facts.

Problem insights are required when you encounter a new market entrant or a change in market nature. Depending on the situation, you may need to face the problem head-on or seek an alternative solution.

Lastly, Position insights reignite interest in the brand. It allows you to alter the brand proposition to make it more appealing to consumers.

The Internet – a double-edged sword

While the Internet offers tremendous opportunities for marketers, it also carries a certain amount of risk. To successfully market on the web, you need a large amount of resources. More importantly, you need truth and integrity as a brand. In the Internet age, your business practices are subject to exposure so it is imperative to be ethical in your dealings. Netizens have the ability to launch powerful attacks on your business that could possibly go viral. But the Internet has its rewards: consumers have the power to promote your brand, intentionally and inadvertently. To sum up, persuasive communication requires thoughtful and creative insights. Push the right emotional buttons in your consumers to make your messages work!


Business | Business and Corporate Communications

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