Seth Godin, Gary V, Joe Pulizzi, and … Aristotle?

Yeah! That sounds about right.

In an alternate reality where Aristotle was born in 1984 vs. 384 BC. I have no doubt we’d be reading about the latest digital marketing tactics on his blog AskAristotle.com.

Aristotle taught that every persuasive argument relied on three pillars: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. Any digital marketing or sales book I have ever read has a firm foundation in these three principles. (If he were alive today… he would no doubt be in court suing for copyright infringement.)

Aristotle taught that if you were deficient in any of these pillars, no one would believe you or care about what you had to say. The same is true today in all areas of digital marketing from Facebook Ads to Email Marketing.

Ethos is all about credibility. If you don’t trust the person delivering the message then it doesn’t matter what they are saying. You won’t believe it.

Pathos appeals to emotion. Your sales process has to excite. Stir curiosity. Generate fear. Create deep desire and hope. We are emotional creatures and appealing to these emotions is the first job of any effective digital marketing.

Finally, Logos refers to logic and reason. If we are able to get the buyer on the line because they believe us (Ethos), FEEL our message (Pathos) we can certainly catch them hook, line and sinker by throwing them a few logical arguments about how our product or service really can help them achieve whatever Pathos promises were made. (Yes… I threw a fishing metaphor in there.)

Persuasion hasn’t changed much over 2300+ years.

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