Ancient Greek philosophers characterize persuasion as displaying three primary qualities. The first quality is that of trust. This is typified by an earned reputation based on past experience and performance. A modern analogy is that you would prefer a heart surgeon who has completed hundreds of operations much more than you would trust a heart surgeon that is highly regarded and fresh out of medical school. As marketers, we can translate this into the need for having quality products or services. The products that we are marketing have to provide credible value to the marketplace for a marketer to earn trust. Trust is amplified when quality is applied over time.…

The second quality is that of ‘independent thinking’

It requires that a marketer find and original voice for their brand that stands out from the other noise in the marketplace. This is a voice that is free of external influences or group thinking. A marketer can think of this as being original and having the interests of the customers at the center of this spirit of independent thinking. While this may sound obvious, originality in marketing is a rare commodity.

Lastly persuasive marketing is characterized by having a ‘common appeal’

Seth Godin coined the phrase “tribes” when describing how communities of interest will relate to the values of a brand. It means that your marketing ideas and brand positioning must be accessible to people that are formed into communities of interest. The great brands all have identifiable qualities around which people identify with as representative of their values.

When you bring the three characteristics of persuasion, as described by the ancient Greeks together, the end result is the basic formula for persuasive marketing.