There was some lively debate at an E-consultancy Persuasion Marketing roundtable last month about whether this topic constitutes a separate discipline which should have its own processes and budget.

Persuasion marketing is a hot topic at the moment, with the likes of BJ Fogg and Bryan Eisenberg continuing to speak a lot of good sense about how the right approach and site architecture can significantly boost conversion rates.

Richard Sedley, head of cScape's customer engagement unit, gave an excellent introduction to this topic which is summarised in our free roundtable write-up and also available via his Loopstatic blog.

Should marketers budget for this area separately or is it something which falls into usability and user experience?

The point was made that marketers may feel dubious about another standalone discipline which requires 'another specialist to manage another agency'.

It is true that usability, when done properly, should address aspects of persuasion marketing. However, there is a danger that this subject may only be given lip-service unless it is treated as a separate entity.

To make sure it is taken seriously and not lost in the rush to complete a project, this may mean getting clearly defined processes in place, such as a 'persuasion audit'.

Further reading:
Persuasion Marketing Roundtable Briefing 2007

Linus Gregoriadis

Published 8 November, 2007 by Linus Gregoriadis

Linus Gregoriadis is Research Director at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn or Google+.

139 more posts from this author

You might be interested in

Comments (1)


Kurt Haug

"Should Persuasion Marketing have its own budget?"

In my opinion, that's not a question exclusively for the MARKETING department, but for the CFO. I know that the author is not explicitly addressing the issue of adding Persuasion Marketing to the top level corporate budgets the same way tradeshows or advertising may warrant their own line items, but having recently been dealing with marketing groups that STILL think marketing is little more than "corporate sponsored art" with no relationship to the viability of the business, it's a sore spot for me.

As a professional marketer and confirmed adherent of the "persuasion architecture" model, I believe that anyone who does NOT build on a persuasive foundation is too busy cutting down trees to look at the forest.  As a financial executive-- especially in times like this-- there is NO WAY I'm going to add another line item to already overstretched marketing budgets.  If THAT'S what you mean by "persuasion marketing having its own budget,"-- FUGETTABOUTIT.  And frankly, for a marketing exec to ASK for a separate high level budget item for persuasion marketing reinforces an unfortunate and unnecessary stereotype that marketing folks are all sizzle and no steak, and don't get "that we're trying to run a business here, not your own personal experiment with the trendy, flavor of the month, marketing pixie dust voodoo!"<g>

Sure, you'll make the (very legitimate) argument that persuasion architecture CAN indeed produce measurable and significant improvements in revenue and profitability.  It's all about the METRICS-- yeah, I get that.  But just like I'm telling the Engineering VP that he can't hire a new team of FLEX programmers, and the Sales Director can't open that satellite office in Atlanta (even though "it'll pay for itself within 6 months!"), YOU, Marketing Department, can't have a whole new budget for persuasion marketing.

What you CAN do-- and what I EXPECT you to do-- is figure out how to use what you've got more effectively.  And if persuasion marketing is REALLY that great, find a way to pay for it out of existing budget.  Stop going to low ROI tradeshows.  Cut some of the ad budget.  Get a second source print vendor to cut production costs.  You know-- MANAGE YOUR BUDGET.

Absolutely feel free to reallocate your resources as you see fit within those parameters.  In fact, the Persuasion Marketer side of me says you'd be FOOLISH not to deliberately plan on spending more resources than you currently do on persuasion-- and track the results.  ABSOLUTELY build persuasion audits, etc. into your process.  But don't ask the CFO/Controller to cut you a new "budget" at a time like this.  Believe me, if you don't already know, you soon will, that he/she's looking for whole chunks to take OUT not put in.  That's just the reality of any responsibly run organization.

That said, as a financial executive I would LOVE for you to present me with a ROI analysis of various programs and approaches and as long as it's not a cashflow issue ("I don't care HOW good a deal you can get on that Ferrari, we DON'T HAVE THE MONEY!"<g>), I'm willing to consider shifting funding your way if I am convinced of the payoff.  Show me direct improvement in actual revenue, profits.  Specific declines in costs due to customer service, recurring revenue and customer retention, etc.  

Marketers need to stop "drinking their own bathwater" and notice that they're sharing the bathroom with more and more people who are not impressed with the "ring around the tub."  Clean up after yourselves, and learn the "Executalk" of your finance executives to earn their trust rather than expecting them to learn the "Marketspeak" about your initiatives.

almost 9 years ago

Save or Cancel

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Digital Pulse newsletter. You will receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.