how does contrast influence the persuasive impact of your messages?

Nearly 60 percent of qualified pipeline ends in no decision, according to research from analyst firm Sales Benchmark Index. In the face of such inertia, marketers and sellers alike need to consider what messaging techniques are best at actually convincing prospects and customers to do something different than what they’re doing today.

This research examines four different types of selling messages to answer the following: Does highlighting differences between a desirable future state (e.g., new product features and benefits) and a problematic current state (e.g., current product issues or limitations) enhance the appeal of the future state by a statistically significant margin, as opposed to presenting the future state scenario alone?

Specifically, the study was designed to measure to what extent a presentation based on contrast—compared to one that only presents a future state condition—influences four key categories of persuasion, including purchase intent, attitude and choice, advocacy, and product perceptions.