The true goal of influence: Persuasion


We talk a lot about influence, but what is the true goal of influencing? Persuading.

While I was far afield in South America for the past few weeks, Tom’s wife Tamsen sat in for me in this episode of The Marketing Companion. Tom and Tamsen talk about the relationship between influence and persuasion, and what it really takes to not only make an impact, but to change behavior.

Persuasion has a number of elements, and you can’t truly persuade without understanding your audience — not just the story you want to tell them, but the information they want and need to hear or read to achieve their own goals.  Ultimately, any successful marketing initiative takes time, and has to incorporate a “mosaic” approach to branding — some persuasion happens in the moment, some over time.

Tom and Tamsen dissect persuasion from both a speaking and writing standpoint, and offer advice for marketers that is more than 2,000 years old, but still holds true. The key to changing behavior is balancing the appeal to reason, the appeal to emotion, and the appeal from credibility. Most content marketing misses including all three, which creates a gap between what the marketer wants to communicate and what they actually do communicate.

Along the way, Tom and Tamsen also discuss a number of marketing concepts, including:

  • The role of word-of-mouth and reviews
  • The difference between how we buy and how we DECIDE to buy
  • The problem with the “marketing funnel” and why customer journey models oversimplify consumer behavior
  • Why marketing is just pattern recognition
  • The fourth component to persuasion that technology has enabled
  • The problem with modern sales emails

Also, Tom and Tamsen wax poetically about the Ronco Bass-o-matic, and they present the first edition of the Cirque du Companion, an audio feast for the senses, including the talents of:

Ready for more? Here we goooooooooo …

If you can’t access the edition above, click on this link to listen to Episode 88

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Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here:,

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Illustration courtesy of Flickr CC an Brett Jordan

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