Marketing communication is designed around an effect, or the thoughts that come into the mind of the person experiencing the ad. Marketers identify factors and relationships between variables and coordinate them to produce a desired reaction or association in the mind of the consumer. This is known as a cognitive response.

The cognitive response affects consumer attitudes towards brands and the advertisement itself. When the ad message resonates with buyers, the results can be spectacular.

Some of the ingredients for the effect are comparisons, feelings about the brand or product, and social attitudes. An enjoyable or funny commercial creates a favourable attitude toward the product even if it’s not part of the ad. For example, an insurance company might generate a favourable attitude with a commercial about a family picnic, even if the activity has nothing to do with choosing a brokerage.

This type of subtle advertising is a peripheral route to helping a consumer make a choice. If a consumer is motivated, they may form an enduring memory of brand messages by processing a cognitive response. When the mind, body, and feelings work together, a reaction can form stronger memories. This is why an internal reaction is more effective when selling compared to a simple persuasive argument.

In contrast, when the consumer is able and willing to make a decision, the route of persuasion can be more direct. The consumer who is ready to buy will prefer clear messaging that allows them to comprehend and evaluate the value proposition. For example, a new-build condo needs little explanation other than reassurance to the buyer that it is a good long-term investment with a predictable return on investment.

Promoters should take note of the consumer’s level of involvement in the decision process. Younger home sellers may want an agent who invites them to help during the selling process while an older couple may want to sell without any hassle.

If your clients have a high level of involvement, your communication should be clear and strong with little chance of misunderstanding or counter-argument. Some well-informed sellers may attempt to set conditions without fully understanding the marketplace. In this case, an agent needs to speak directly to any misunderstandings and be prepared to support their position with facts and quality arguments.

If your client has a low interest in the process, then peripheral cues will shape their attitudes. They may respond to a narrative of the buying or selling process. Stories about past experiences or cases can help them understand their own situation and feel good about the decisions they make. Low involvement clients may be influenced by agents with high profiles who lend a sense of celebrity and energy to the process.