These concern the balance, the structure, the perceived source and the presentation o f the message to the target audience The Balance of the Message With high-involvement decisions, where persuasion occurs through a central processing route, the emphasis o f the message should be on the information content, in particular, the key attributes and the associated benefits. It is evident from previous discussions that the effectiveness of any single message is dependent upon a variety of issues.
From a receiver’s perspective, two elements appear to be significant: first, the amount and quality of the information that is communicated, and, second, the overall judgment that each individual makes about the way a message is communicated. This suggests that the style of a message should reflect a balance between the need for information and the need for pleasure or enjoyment in consuming the message.
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It is clear that when dealing with high-involvement decisions, where persuasion occurs through a central processing route, the emphasis of the message should be on the information content, in particular, the key attributes and the associated benefits. This style is often factual and product orientated. If the product evokes low-involvement decision-making, then the message should concentrate upon the images that are created within the mind of the message recipient. This style seeks to elicit an emotional response from receivers.
There are, of course, many situations where both rational and emotional messages are needed by buyers in order to make purchasing decisions. Likeability Likeability is important, because learning and attitude change may be positively correlated with the degree to which consumption o f the message is enjoyed. An issue that has been gaining increasing attention since the beginning of the 1 sass concerns the level of likeability that an advertisement generates. Likeability is important, because learning and attitude change may e positively correlated with the degree to which consumption of the message is enjoyed.
This means that the greater the enjoyment, the greater the exposure to the message and the lower the probability that the message will be perceptually zapped. Bible (1990) found that changes in product preferences were considerably improved when receivers had liked the commercial a lot’. This compares with those who were less enthusiastic or neutral towards the advertisement. Haley (1990) reported that advertisements that create a belief that the product is excellent and where messages that are liked are commercially more successful.
In other words, a usage that is well liked will sell more product than a message that fails to generate interest and liking. This begs the question, ‘what makes a message liked? Obviously, the receiver must be stimulated to become interested in the message. Having become emotionally engaged, interest can only be sustained if the credibility of the advertisement can also be maintained. The style of the message should be continued, in order that the context of the message does not require the target audience to readjust their perception.
This is particularly important for low-involvement messages, where receivers have little or no interest. If the weak theory is adopted, then liked’ advertisements will tend to be those for whom the receiver has prior experience or exposure. Messages that are well liked appear to consist of the following components (du Plisses, 1 998): 1. The advertisement needs to be entertaining. This usually means that the advertisement is new and people are curious. 2. People like advertisements with which they can identify and which show them in a good light 3.
People appear to like advertisements that refer to products that are new, that tell them how the products might be useful to them and which show them how to use products. Otherwise, perceptual selection will ensure that messages for products of which target has no experience, or which the target has no interest in, will be screened regardless of the quality or the likeability of the communication The likeability level that an advertisement achieves is not the sole reason or measure of an advertisement’s success or effectiveness (Joyce, 1991). Research from The Netherlands suggests that interest is also an important and interrelated factor. Staple (1991) strongly suggests that advertisers should make their messages interesting, as this will probably lead to liking and overall effectiveness. However, likeability and associated interest are new and interesting contributions that need to be considered when the style of an advertising message is determined. Message Structure An important part of message strategy is the consideration of the best way of communicating the key points, or core message, to the target audience without encountering objections and opposing points of view. The following are regarded as important structural features which shape the pattern of a message Conclusion Drawing Should the message draw a firm conclusion for the audience or should people be allowed to draw their own conclusions from the content? Explicit conclusions are, of course, more easily understood and stand a better chance Of being effective (Carders, 1988).
However, it is the nature Of the issue, the particular situation and the composition of the target audience that influence the effectiveness of conclusion drawing (Havilland and Mandela, 1952). Whether or not a conclusion should be drawn for the receiver depends upon the fool lowing: 1 . The complexity o f the issue Healthcare products, central heating systems and personal finance services, for example, can be complex, and for some members of the argue audience their cog native ability, experience and motivation may not be sufficient for them to draw their own conclusions.
The complexity of the product requires that messages must draw conclusions for them. It should also be remembered that even highly informed and motivated audiences may require assistance if the product or issue is relatively new. 2. The level o f education possessed by the receiver Better-educated audiences prefer to draw their own conclusions, whereas less educated audiences may need the conclusion drawn for them because they may not be able to make the inference from the message. . Whether immediate action is required If urgent action is required by the receiver, then a conclusion should be drawn very clearly.
Political parties can be observed to use this strategy immediately before an election. 4. The level o f involvement High involvement usually means that receivers prefer to make up their own minds and may reject or resent any attempt to have the conclusion drawn for them (Roar, 1985). One- and two-sided messages This concerns whether the cases for and against an issue or just that in favor are presented to an audience. Messages that present just one argument, in favor of the product or issue, are referred to as one-sided.
Research indicates that one-sided messages are more effective when receivers favor the opinion offered in the message and when the receivers are less educated. Two-sided messages, where the good and bad points of an issue are presented, are more effective when the receiver’s initial opinion is opposite to that presented in the message and when they are highly educated. Credibility is improved and two-sided messages tend to produce more positive perceptions of a source than one-sided messages (Poison, 1961). Order of Presentation Further questions regarding the development of message strategy concern the order in which important points are presented. Messages which present the strongest points at the beginning use what is referred to as the primacy effect. The decision to place the main points at the beginning depends on whether the audience has a low or high level of involvement. A low level may require an attention-getting message component at the beginning. Similarly, if the target has an opinion opposite to that contained in the message, a weak point may lead to a high level of counter-argument.
A decision to place the strongest points at the end of the message assumes that the regency effect will bring about greater levels of persuasion. This is appropriate when the receiver agrees with the position adopted by the source or has a high positive level of involvement. The order of argument presentation is more relevant in personal selling than in television advertisements. However, as learning through television is largely passive, because involvement is low and interest minimal, the presentation of key selling points at the beginning and at the end of the message will enhance usage reception and recall. A decision to place the strongest points at the end of the message assumes that the regency effect will bring about greater levels of persuasion. This is appropriate when the receiver agrees with the position adopted by the source or has a high positive level of involvement. The order of argument presentation is more relevant in personal selling than in television advertisements. However, as learning through television is largely passive, because involvement is low and interest minimal, the presentation of key selling points at the beginning and at the ND of the message will enhance message reception and recall. A decision to place the strongest points at the end of the message assumes that the regency effect will bring about greater levels of persuasion. This is Source of the Message The effect of source credibility. On the effectiveness of the communication, and in particular the persuasiveness of a message, should not he underestimated. The key components of source credibility are, first, the level of perceived expertise (how much knowledge the source is thought to hold) and the personal motives the source is believed to possess.
What degree of trust can be placed in the source concerning the motives for communicating the message in the first place? No matter what the level of expertise, if the level of trust is questionable, credibility ,will be adversely affected. Establishing Credibility Credibility can be established in a number of ways. One simple approach is to list or display the key attributes of the organization or the product and then signal trustworthiness through the use of third-party endorsements and the comments of satisfied users. A more complex approach is to use referrals, suggestions and association.
Trustworthiness and expertise, the two principal aspects of credibility, can be developed by using a spokesperson or organization to provide testimonials on behalf of the sponsor of the. Advertisement. Credibility, therefore, can be established by the initiator of the advertisement or by a messenger or spokesperson used by the initiator to convey the message. Credibility Established by the Initiator The credibility of the organization initiating the communication process is important. An organization should seek to enhance its reputation with its various stakeholders at every opportunity. However, organizational credibility is derived from the image, which in turn is a composite of many perceptions. Past decisions, current strategy and performance indicators, level of service and the type of performance network members (e. G. High- quality retail outlets) all influence the perception of an organization and the level of credibility that follows. One very important factor that influences credibility is branding. Private and family brands in particular allow initiators to develop and launch new products more easily than those who do not have such brand strength.
Brand extensions (such as Mars cream) have been launched with the credibility of the product firmly grounded in the strength of the parent brand name (Mars). Consumers recognize the name and make associations that enable them to lower the perceived risk and in doing so provide the platform to try the new product. The need to establish high levels of credibility also allows organizations to divert advertising spend away from a focus upon brands to one that focuses upon the organization. Corporate advertising seeks to adjust organization image and to build reputation. Credibility Established by a Spokesperson People who deliver the message are often regarded as the source, when in reality they are only the messenger. ‘These people carry the message and represent the true source or initiator of the message (e. G. Manufacturer or retailer). Consequently, the testimonial they transmit must be credible. There are four main types of spokesperson: the expert, the celebrity, the chief executive officer and the consumer. The expert has been used many times and was particularly popular when television advertising first established itself in the sass and 1 9605.