The Work Required to Have an Opinion: Incorporating "Pre-Suasion" Strategies in Your Marketing

Alessio Frateily

Hatched by Alessio Frateily

Sep 27, 2023

4 min read


The Work Required to Have an Opinion: Incorporating "Pre-Suasion" Strategies in Your Marketing

Having an opinion seems like a simple task. We all hold opinions on various matters, but how many of us actually put in the work required to have a well-informed opinion? According to Charlie Munger, doing the work is essential. He never allows himself to have an opinion on something unless he knows the other side's argument better than they do. This means doing the necessary reading, talking to competent people, understanding their arguments, considering different perspectives, and even challenging our own beliefs. It's about becoming our most intelligent critic and having the intellectual honesty to kill some of our best-loved ideas.

Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, also known as Maimonides, once said, "Teach thy tongue to say I do not know, and thou shalt progress." This quote emphasizes the importance of doing the work required to hold an opinion. It means being able to argue against ourselves better than others can. It means seeking out information that challenges our beliefs, rather than just confirming what we already think we know.

In a similar vein, Robert Cialdini's book "Pre-Suasion" explores the concept of arranging for recipients to be receptive to a message before they encounter it. This strategic guidance of preliminary attention can greatly enhance the effectiveness of any marketing strategy. Cialdini uses a farming analogy to explain this concept. Just like planting a seed in fertile soil yields a better crop, preparing the audience for your marketing campaign can lead to better results.

Cialdini provides 30 principles of pre-suasion, including establishing trust, directing attention, creating word associations, using metaphors, and leveraging social proof. These principles can be applied throughout the customer acquisition, sales, and service delivery process. By emphasizing specific aspects of your message, highlighting commonalities, and focusing on the audience's interests, you can make your marketing more persuasive and engaging.

One key aspect of pre-suasion is directing attention. The better you focus your audience's attention on the core elements you want them to focus on, the better the results you're likely to see. This involves being intentional about every element of your message, from the words you use to the images you include. Avoid distractions and make sure every aspect of your marketing supports your goals.

Another important principle is establishing trust. Before you ask for anything, it's crucial that your audience trusts you. This can be achieved by conveying information in a way that appears to be in their best interest, rather than just promoting your business. Sharing testimonials, case studies, and success stories can help establish trust and create positive associations with your product or service.

Additionally, leveraging the power of metaphors can be highly effective in pre-suasion. Metaphors help convey a message in a memorable and relatable way, building trust and understanding. They can be used in webinars, live demos, and other audible presentations to make your message more engaging and impactful.

Ultimately, incorporating pre-suasion strategies into your marketing requires careful consideration of your audience, their interests, and their values. By speaking directly to their needs and desires, you can influence them to perceive your product or service as a solution even before your pitch. This can lead to a higher level of engagement and ultimately, more successful conversions.

Before concluding, here are three actionable pieces of advice to consider:

  • 1. Challenge your own beliefs: Take the time to do the necessary research and consider different perspectives. Don't be afraid to question your own opinions and be open to changing your mind if new information arises.
  • 2. Establish trust with your audience: Focus on conveying information in a way that seems genuinely beneficial to your audience. Use testimonials, case studies, and success stories to establish trust and create positive associations with your product or service.
  • 3. Direct attention effectively: Be intentional about every aspect of your message, from the words you use to the images you include. Remove distractions and focus on the core elements you want your audience to take away.

In conclusion, having an opinion requires work. It means doing the necessary research, challenging our own beliefs, and being open to different perspectives. Incorporating pre-suasion strategies in your marketing can enhance the effectiveness of your campaigns by preparing your audience to be receptive to your message. By establishing trust, directing attention, and leveraging the power of metaphors, you can create a more persuasive and engaging marketing experience. So, put in the work, and watch your opinions and marketing efforts thrive.

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