Robert Cialdini’s, Influence – the psychology of persuasion is one of the all time classic books on marketing psychology. Although originally written in the 1980s, digital marketing gurus refer to it today as a digital marketing mantra. It really is an amazing book. One that can change your  perspective on the world around us, as well as boost your marketing skills enormously. Amongst other things, Cialdini reveals how brain washing American Soldiers occurs and most interestingly, Cialdini makes a plea at the end of the book to boycott TV programmes with false laughter (as we are being manipulated!). Anyways, here’s Cialdini’s 6 rules of persuasion distilled onto one page. Essential stuff in our quest to answer customer question number 2 (‘Why do they buy/not buy or visit /not visit) from the big 3 customer questions which form a large part of the Situation Analysis in any plan. 

Situation Analysis Customer Analysis Has 3 Key Questions. Here’s the first:

1. Why do your customers buy/not buy?  

Here’s Cialdini’s  6 Rules of Persuasion – they help to answer this big question (particularly when applied online).

Two arms outstretched with fingers almost touching

The art of persuasion has many diimensions








 1.     Reciprocity‘if I do something for you, you will probably do something for me’   e.g. free samples 
 2.   Liking – People are easily persuaded by other people they like e.g. ‘like’ my page (hence physical attractive staff in a store)  
 3.    Social proofing – People will do things what they see others do e.g. product  ratings on a web site; Linkedin Endorsements & Recommendations, Customer Comments
 4.   Scarcity – the products that are almost out of stock are the most attractive ones e.g. only 3 rooms left; 2 seats left on plane
 5.   Commitment – If people commit, orally or in writing, to an idea or goal, they  are more likely to honor that commitment  e.g. Amazon’s wish list 
 6.   Authority – People do what authorities or experts (will) do e.g. Expert Recommendations; Awards; Qualifications; Trade Body Memberships

Cialdini, R (1984, 2007) Influence – the psychology of persuasion, Collins


See SOSTAC® Guide To Your Perfect Digital Marketing Plan, (PR Smith 2015) for the other two big customer questions which you need to answer to boost results with better marketing, or to see how to write a digital marketing strategy and/or the perfect structure for a digital marketing plan, a marketing plan or even a business plan in 3 minutes.


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