March 19, 2018

Modifying beliefs

I assert:

Indeed, there are at least two major ways to change the strength of people’s ongoing beliefs, namely by influencing:

I think this framework has considerable explanatory power.

1. Changing somebody’s mind is particularly hard in our current hyper-partisan, truth-challenged political environment. Yet political swings are common. How can that be?

The standard answer starts with voter turnout:

2. The strength/confidence/importance framework also fits with the current political reaction against “out-of-touch elites”, who supposedly:

3. In the recent US presidential election and its aftermath, many phenomena fit the template:

For example:

4. Fear-based messaging is widely used, in politics and technology alike. It fits both parts of our template.

5. The confidence knife can cut both ways. Fear-based messaging can sometimes be sabotaged by a confidence-reducing counterattack. The tobacco industry worked hard to cast doubt on scientifically proven tobacco risks; the same techniques are now used to blunt fears of global climate change.

6. Our emphasis on importance and confidence also fits well with common-sense market segmentation.

7. This template can also help get past a common error.

8. So how can one use the strength/confidence/importance template to help one’s messaging? For starters, I spend a lot of effort on helping my clients be more credible. For if you’re not credible, how confident will the targets ever be in your story?

Further, let’s note that many messaging choices relate to a key tradeoff:

This is particularly true when you’re trying to market enterprise technology.

A checklist for thinking through that dilemma starts:

Related links


4 Responses to “Modifying beliefs”

  1. Five categories of persuasion | Strategic Messaging on March 19th, 2018 12:50 am

    […] These are addressed in a companion post. […]

  2. Some stuff that’s always on my mind | Premium Blog! | Development code, Android, Ios anh Tranning IT on May 21st, 2018 10:12 am

    […] 5. Given all the tech-specific public policy work that’s needed, I’m pulling back from some my broader political efforts. However, I stand by my overview opinions of last February, and I delivered on some of its IOUs in a two-part series on persuasion. […]

  3. Patterns of political persuasion | Strategic Messaging on September 16th, 2018 3:07 am

    […] That part of the framework was spelled out in an earlier post on modifying beliefs. […]

  4. Accusations of recklessness or insufficient caring | Strategic Messaging on July 6th, 2019 1:48 am

    […] As in so much else, debates about “caring” often hinge on credibility/confidence and/or importance. […]

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