To be a persuasive communicator and an effective marketer, it is important to adopt a know your audience position. In our discussion throughout this article, we have already focused on a number of receiver factors that affect the persuasiveness of communications. For example, we have noted that the effectiveness of fear and humor appeals depends on characteristics of audience members. This section briefly deals with three additional general receiver characteristics that deserve mention. These are the receiver’s personality traits, mood, and belief types.
Behavioral research has shed light o the relationship between personality traits and persuasive ability. Among these traits are (1) self esteem and (2) rich angry.
Self esteem refers to a person’s feelings of adequacy and self worth. In general, research has suggested that people who have low self esteem tend to be more perusable than those with high self esteem. This generalization appears to be particularly true in situations in which people are motivated by social approval. Researchers believe that people who feel inadequate are more perusable because they lack confidence in their judgments ad therefore tend to rely upon the opinions of others.
People who are high in rich imagery, or who live out much of their lives through dream worlds and fantasy are more perusable than those who are not high in rich imagery. With this information companies such as Nissan have developed successful advertising themes, which stressed a number of situations that audience members could fantasize about. The brand is then associated with these situations.
Another factor that can influence consumers is their mood state. Mood may be defined as temporary and mild positive or negative feeling that is generalized and not tied to any particular circumstance. Moods should be distinguished from emotions which are usually more intense tied to specific circumstances and often conscious (moods may not reach awareness). In one sense the effect of a consumer’ mood can be thought of in much the same way as can our reactions to the behavior of our friends – when our friends are happy and up that tends to rub off on us, but when they are down that can have a negative impact on us. Similarly consumers operating under a given (positive or negative) mood state tend to react to stimuli in a direction consistent with that mood state. Thus, for example we should expect to see consumers in a positive mood state evaluate products in more of favorable manner than they would when not in such a state. In addition mood states appear capable of enhancing consumers’ memory.
Moods appear to be readily influenced by marketers’ actions. For example, the tempo, pitch and volume of music have been shown to influence behavior such as the amount of time spent in supermarkets or intentions to purchase products. In addition, advertising an influence consumer moods which in urn, are capable of influencing consumers’ reactions to produce. For example as we mentioned earlier when we discussed peripheral routes to attitude change, marketers sometimes design ads for the main purpose of evoking positive feelings among consumers under the expectation that these positive feelings will then be associated with the product being advertised.
There is also another way that moods can influence consumers and their reactions to advertisements That is, consumers may just happens to be in a particular mood that was not influenced by any advertisements but that mood will now influence how on advertisement is able to influence their attitudes toward the brand being advertised. For example, consumers who are in a positive mood when seeing an advertisement for Sony television are likely o react more favorably to advertising information about the brand and this should lead to more positive attitudes toward it. One explanation for this occurrence is that positive mood reduces the likelihood of negative cognitive responses such as counter argumentation.