Persuasion: When To Appeal To Time Versus Money
Introduction (Via Inside Influence Report)
From billboards and newspapers to TV commercials and online advertisements, references to time and money are commonplace in marketing and advertising campaigns. A survey of the recent issues of four popular, high circulation magazines (New Yorker, Cosmopolitan, Money and Rolling Stone) revealed that out of a total of some 300 advertisements almost half employed a reference to time or money in their message. But does mentioning time or money influence peoples’ evaluation of the product or service concerned? And if they do which is more persuasive – time or money?
Campaigns that promote certain brands of beers have long used references to time and money in their advertisements. Take for example Miller and their “It’s Miller Time” commercials. In contrast Stella Artois take a money led approach by informing potential consumers that “perfection has its price” and that Stella Artois is “reassuringly expensive”. It’s not just beer manufacturers that employ such approaches. Citibank, one of the world’s largest banking corporations, chose to focus on time rather than money in a campaign that proclaimed “there is no preset limit when it comes to spending time with your family”.
Additionally: (Via Inside Influence Report)
There can be little doubt that employing references to time and money in an attempt to influence and persuade are commonplace. But exactly how effective are such strategies and specifically which is the more effective strategy? Making a reference to time or to money? In order to answer these questions a team from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business created a series of experiments to test the time v money effect starting with the setting up of a lemonade stand in a busy park one sunny afternoon.
Results (Via Inside Influence Report)
The results showed that significantly more people (14% v 7%) purchased lemonade when they were exposed to the sign mentioning time compared to the sign mentioning money. There was no significant difference in the number of lemonade purchases made by those people who saw the money sign compared to those exposed to the control condition sign. The researchers also reported that those people who stopped to make purchases were representative of a range of ages (14 – 50 years old), gender (58% male v 42% female) and occupations. This suggests that people in general are more influenced to make a product purchase when they are primed to think about time rather than money.
These results then suggest that irrespective of the amount of money an individual might spend on a product (after all lemonade and iPods have significantly different price points) making references to time can influence people’s perception of a product’s attributes. Therefore it would seem to sense to initially include references to time rather than money when influencing others to consider your offers and proposals. With one exception.
The researchers found that when the products concerned are considered ‘prestigious possessions’ and your influence target is more ‘materialistic’, then making references to money rather than time should be more persuasive due to the fact that in this group the feeling of personal connection would more likely stem from possessing the product rather than the experience itself.