"It's much easier to persuade someone if they're already convinced, if they already know the facts. But it's impossible to change someone's mind merely by convincing them of your point." Seth Godin
This marketing doctrine is based on the perennial philosophy "At the end of reasons comes persuasion." The Art of Persuasion is an age old idea that has been vigorously scrutinized since the days of Aristotle. The road to persuasion as traveled by Aristotle is constructed of 3 elements: Ethos, Pathos and Logos.
Ethos (Greek for 'character') refers to the credibility of the writer or speaker or in our case the exhibit marketer. Ethos is affected by the person's reputation as it exists independently from the message - his or her expertise in the field, his or her previous record or integrity, and so forth. The impact of ethos is often called the argument's 'ethical appeal' or the 'appeal from credibility.' Hint: As an individual marketer start creating a buzz about your individual credibility using social media channels.
Pathos (Greek for 'experience' ) is often connected to emotional appeal. Paint a visual picture to 'appeal to the audience's imagination.' A plea to pathos causes your audience not just to respond emotionally but to identify with your point of view–to feel what you feel. The power of Pathos propels your audience into action. Hint: Don't just claim the features of your products. Use vivid emotional language to paint the features that will benefit your audience coupled with sensory details of your exhibit design. "Remember facts and figures do not make an emotional impact but stories and vivid language do."
Logos (Greek for 'word') refers to the clarity of the claim, the logic behind the reason, and compelling clause of its supporting evidence. The impact of logos on an audience is sometimes called the argument's logical appeal. Hint: This is where perennial marketing comes into play. Keep the pipe of education flowing. Keep your target audience informed with technical details such as e-books and white paper. Use facts and figures to support your argument.
Source: Ramage, John D. and John C. Bean. Writing Arguments.
The landscape of digital communication has given us marvelous opportunities to harness our concepts of ethos and logos. However, pathos scores high in the events that involve face-to-face-marketing such as trade shows. Trade shows are ideal venues where you get to test the different flavors of Persuasion. You get to test the levels of persistence, logic and exuberance that is needed to drive an idea to a close. Professor Jay A. Conger, author of Winning 'Em Over states that Persuasion is a process of give-and-take. To persuade effectively, we must not only listen to others but also incorporate their perspectives into our own. Above all, Persuasion involves testing a position, developing a new position that reflects input from your target audience, more testing, incorporating compromises, and then trying again.
Persuasion can be a force for gigantic good and trade shows are fertile grounds to foster it. Persuasion pulls people together, drives new ideas, stimulates change and hammers out constructive solutions."To do all that people must understand persuasion for what it is–not convincing and selling but learning and negotiating."
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"An emotion occurs when there are certain biological, certain experiential, and certain cognitive states which all occur simultaneously." John D. Mayer: From EQ Today, Spring 1999
Emotional intelligence plays a dominant role in our daily lives. It goes on an over-drive in an experiential setting such as events and trade shows where we are subjected to massive sensory overdose. In such a setting if you are an exhibitor or a presenter you have to maintain a state of steady self-awareness. You have to perceive your emotions in real-time and use this awareness to stay flexible and act positively to direct your behavior, sometimes under challenging circumstances. This skill to sustain and direct your own feeling will enhance your ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and understand what is really going on. You will be able to monitor others' mood and temperaments and enlist this knowledge in predicting their future behavior and decision making, giving you an edge in the negotiating lounge. After all, that is all face-to face marketing is. Isn't it?
Perception, Reason, Understanding and Management are the 4 keys to unlock emotional intelligence as modeled by Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer. It is also interesting to note that there are 4 different personality types. Like 4 seasons, human personality broadly fall under 4 quadrants. Different psychologist have labeled them under different names. The one that resonates with me is the science of D.I.S.C. Published in 1928 by psychologist William Moulton Marston and the original behaviorist like Walter V. Clarke and others, the science of D.I.S.C is used across the horizon to study human behavior in any given environments.
D: DOMINANCE, I: INFLUENCE, S: STEADINESS, C: COMPLIANCE
"This is the element of an individual’s personality that indicates competitiveness, drive and a desire to win. Highly dominant people tend become angry more often than lower dominant types. Dominance is a task oriented trait so once a highly dominant person takes on a task, they become determined to see it through to the end.
These people often appear to be stern and severe. Once they have had an angry outburst, they forget the source of their anger quickly and move on to other things. Highly dominant people will often be seen as intimidating by others."
"This is the element of an individual’s personality that indicates optimism, trust, and a sense of humor. Highly influencing people tend to joke around a lot, talk a lot, and use other people to get what they want out of life. Almost completely people-oriented, they need to be in the company of other human beings as often as possible.
Highly influencing people like .... virtually anything they can show off. They are optimistic to a fault and trust almost everyone a little too much. Highly influencing people will often be seen as the life of the party by others."
"This is the element of an individual’s personality that regulates the pace at which they do things. Highly steady people tend to hold off on decision making until they believe the decision is the right one. They like to do research and get the approval of others before they do almost anything.
They are people-oriented and will usually be very sociable with everyone they meet. Highly steady people will take longer to do their work, but because they are very thorough, the work they do is generally of very high quality.
"This is the element of an individual’s personality that creates a need for rules and regulations in their lives. Highly compliant people tend to approach every challenge or project with caution and concern. Because they are task oriented, they tend not to fall for a sales pitch that is not accompanied by facts and figures.
Of course, we are a blend of the above, just the proportions vary. However, the key to remember is that there are certain experiences that exalts us while others irritates us. One thing is for certain. The unique blend of the head and the heart will give you an edge in the competence of social marketing.
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Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly. Franz Kafka