Persuasion versus Manipulation

Ethical marketing: Persuasion versus manipulation

Add value to your customer, before and after sales

What’s the difference between persuasion and manipulation? One way of looking at it is marketing involves getting someone to buy something – something that they’ll be glad to have bought later on. It should improve their life. Obviously this depends on what type of product you’re selling or service you’re offering.

Manipulation involves a company using behavioral insights to promote their own corporate interests ahead of the customer’s actual needs. But, building customer relationships on misrepresentation and deception (which go hand-in-hand with manipulation) doesn’t go a long way.

Example of manipulation

Early last year, Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal was revealed. The political scandal showed how the Cambridge Analytica had harvested the personal data of millions of people’s Facebook profiles without their consent and used it for political advertising purposes. They used the data from 50 million Facebook users to create highly targeted and manipulative messaging in support of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

This caused quite an up-stir, especially because, these days, the public expects transparency and ethical behaviour from companies.

Why you should use persuasion instead of manipulation

Both persuasive and manipulative marketing aim to influence people. But the two methods are still vastly different.

Persuasion involves tactically aligning your objectives with your audience’s objectives. You can do so by creating a seamless buyer journey centered around customer needs. Behavioural insights can help you create a better and better experience for your customers. But, this can be done without exploiting your customer’s emotional and psychological weaknesses.

What you want to create for both you and your customers is a WIN-WIN situation! Here’s how you can use persuasive tactics in digital marketing to win over potential customers:

Make decisions simple

Making the pre-purchase decision easy for your customers can have a powerful impact on your sales. This includes the processes of building trust, aiding navigation and making it easier for customers to weigh their options.

Easy website navigation

Have you ever landed on a website and had absolutely no clue how to get the information you want or make a purchase? I bet you just left the website as soon as it became confusing.

If you want your customers to convert, you need to make your website easy to navigate so that they can find what they’re looking for quickly. In other words, you need to: reduce the number of information sources consumers must go through while moving towards making a purchase.

Providing tools, such as Live Chat, can enable you to guide your customers through your sales process or answer any queries they may have in real time.

For more information read:

> eCommerce website tips

> How to make customers trust your online store

Use simple language

Don’t try to sound too smart on any of your marketing platforms. Customers want to know:

  1. What you’re selling
  2. If your product or services can help them
  3. If you’re a legitimate company
  4. Process of buying

Messages that are easy to process are more persuasive – because it’s easy for consumers to make a decision.

Change your website up a bit

If people see the same thing over and over, they become desensitized to it. Freshening up your website and marketing campaigns. You can do so with:

  • Product updates
  • Structure and layout changers and
  • User experience updates

You can even make awesome offers and competitions on your social media pages to keep consumers engaged with your brand.

Don’t go to the dark side

Data can be used to create compelling marketing campaigns and an excellent online experience with your brand. You can use it to get the right message to the right people at the right time. That should be your ultimate goal. But, with great power comes great responsibility.

Make sure your marketing persuades your customers.

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