How to achieve influence: Push-you-pull-me

Mark Earls
HERD Consultancy

Behavioural science shows that social influence is more about 'pulling' by copying others than by 'pushing' through advocacy.

Few subjects in marketing are now as popular as social influence: from a minority interest a decade ago, it has become central to marketers' concerns. Indeed, for many marketers, social influence is now central to their communication plans; for many agencies, social is now bread-and-butter.

However, many of the ideas about social influence and how it works, which are embedded in what marketers do, will strike anyone from outside the marketing bubble as a little odd. Some of these ideas seem to have their roots in old TV advertising models, others seem based in a rather rough and ready anthropology of human social structures, and others again are more marketing wish-fulfilment than anything else.