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Persuasion Point 1: Prospects Perceive a Need or Desire

Sarah Jamieson - Friday, March 21, 2014

This  blog is adapted from a series of articles I wrote with my colleague James Atkinson entitled: SEO Strategy: Buyer Persuasion Points


When does a prospect perceive a need that eventually results in a purchase of products?

The desire must of its nature occur in the prospect’s MIND – so influences on the mind must have both external (environmental) and internal (psychological) factors.

The initial perception may not immediately translate to the desire for a product. In the beginning, it’s simply a desire, need, or problem that has to be solved.

Humans being humans – the prospect, upon perceiving a need or problem, immediately sets out to SOLVE the problem or perceived need. It’s in our very nature to do so.

Knowing the prospects’ internal and external influences is important because you must persuade buyers at the psychological level before they’ll ever buy anything.

External Influences on The Buyers Mind

I outline these external influences on the buyers mind because I believe it’s important to initially analyse your online market from the broadest perspective.

Clearly in any market, external influences play an important part in how a buyer thinks and feels about products and about buying in general:


The image shows how external influences surround the buyer. I explain each element below.

The Overarching Environment

 This is the environment within which online buyers work & live and within which ALL internet players interact. For example, if you are marketing a financial product you certainly need to be mindful of the current global financial crisis which would exert a powerful influence upon a buyer’s mind.

Online Communities

 These are the online social communities which buyers join. The urge for people to belong & participate in "like minded" communities is strong.

Online Stakeholders

 There are many stakeholders who compete for the buyer's mental "space": These include: your competition, service providers, search engines, PPC engines, directories, internet access & broadband providers, affiliates, keyword service providers, article directories, ad providers, list marketers, and so on; and of course

Your eBusiness

Of course you own eBusiness and your various strategies to engage your market to buy particular products should be an important influence on buyers in your market.

Broadly then, it’s your job to show the prospect that your product/s SOLVE the searcher's problem or need. And to do so, you need to be aware of the various influences that occupy your buyer’s mental space.

Together with these external factors there are of course a number of internal, or psychological, factors that influence the online buyer.

Psychological Influences on the Buyer’s Mind

 These internal influences are generated in the buyer’s OWN mind and include personal thoughts and feelings. Of course there are many factors that influence a person’s mind and my colleague  James Atkinson illustrates a few in The Buyer's Mind.

In other words, the analysis of your market should take into account buyers’ emotions, attitudes, their perception of where they FIT into a market (segmentation), and their self-concept.

To assess the buyer’s emotions and the buyer’s attitude please refer to the above image - see: Buyer Emotions and Attitude.

And in relation to perception and the buyer’s perceptions in the market and self-concept see: Buyer Perception and Self Concept.

Please refer to Why Buyer’s Buy to assess how you can use the three images for your marketing creative.

One of the most important psychological inputs you’ll encounter as a marketer is the prospect’s SELF-CONCEPT. Buyers buy products because they want to feel good about themselves in a particular way.

This is the prospect’s way of solving a perceived problem or need. The product CONTRIBUTES to a prospect's positive sense of self-esteem or self-concept.

After the prospect perceives a need or desire he or she begins to search for a solution. The solution may be found online, offline, in a magazine ad, an article, in a newspaper – anywhere really.

As an internet business of course you place your solutions for the prospect to find online. My colleague explains the importance of self-concept in The Goal of All Marketing.

How then do you find out the buyer mindset?

To find out you must survey your market, conduct keyword research, and market research.

In the next blog I move to the next Persuasion Point 2: Prospects Start Researching a Solution.


Phillis B commented on 24-Oct-2014 02:27 AM
You should take part in a contest for one of the most useful websites online. I am going to highly recommend this blog!

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