Research Insights 10.1 The Persuasion Knowledge Model

Principles of Marketing Communications

Source: Friestad, M. and Wright, P. (1994), ‘The Persuasion Knowledge Model: How People Cope with Persuasion Attempts’, Journal of Consumer Research, 21(1), 1-31.

Abstract: In theories and studies of persuasion, people's personal knowledge about persuasion agents' goals and tactics, and about how to skillfully cope with these, has been ignored. We present a model of how people develop and use persuasion knowledge to cope with persuasion attempts. We discuss what the model implies about how consumers use marketers' advertising and selling attempts to refine their product attitudes and attitudes toward the marketers themselves. We also explain how this model relates to prior research on consumer behaviour and persuasion and what it suggests about the future conduct of consumer research.

Insight: This paper provides a useful framework to the “realms of understanding” surrounding marketing communications. More specifically, it discusses how consumer understanding of what marketers are trying to achieve (“persuasion knowledge”) influences their reactions to different types of marketing communications. The insights offered by in the paper has proven very useful in understanding reactions to new forms of marketing communications, such as blog sponsorships and branded content.