Is Modern Technology Marketing Missing its Voice?

By Mel Day, CEO, Marketing Moves

I recently read a wonderful article in the NY Times by Tim Herrera, discussing how the way in which we use our voice can increase our ability to influence.

The article has several interesting points and concludes that the actual sound of someone’s voice is more persuasive than text – a key fact for decisions of video, radio and TV ads over say email, newsletter, social media and print / billboard marketing.


The article’s reference point is a paper in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, whose research claims that people are more persuasive by speaking slightly louder than they normally do, and by varying the overall volume of their voice (i.e. speaking both more loudly and softly).

The result makes the speaker appear more confident, which is key to persuasion – instilling trust in their audience that they both possess knowledge of the subject matter and moreover they believe in it wholeheartedly.

So how does this affect marketing?


According to Jonah Berger, a co-author of the study, humans have a built-in anti-persuasion radar, which psychologists call reactance. Reactance is used by people to limit the effectiveness of advertising, by intentionally seeking out discrepancies or areas of doubt. So the key is this: overcome reactance and you get more customers. 


We’re also more susceptible to both conscious and nonconscious paralanguage – or how things are being said. So spending more time thinking about the words we use – rather than the way we say them – becomes highly inefficient in a short amount of time. 

As Berger himself says: 

“At some point, any changes we make to a creation no longer make it better but just different (and sometimes worse). Recognising that inflection point — the point at which continuing to rework our work reaches a law of diminishing returns — is one of the hardest skills to learn, but also one of the most necessary.”


I think everyone is guilty of overthinking emails – myself included! But perhaps this article suggests that it should always be video / animation over static social update or email?

What do you think – do you have evidence to the contrary?


Melvin DayTo discuss in confidence how Melvin and Marketing Moves can support your organisation’s growth, please contact Melvin by any of the means below.

+44 (0) 20 3911 6757
+44 (0) 7967 678 002

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