Persuasion is key in selling & buying

How the elaboration likelihood model characterizes the relationship between persuader and the audience

Photo by Product School on Unsplash

In mass communication, the elaboration likelihood model (ELM) plays a significant role in persuasion towards the audience. Let’s get a quick overview of ELM before discussing how it would affect me as a media practitioner.

The elaboration likelihood model illustrates how the message of persuasion works to change the reader or viewer’s behavior. The ELM theory claims that a level of “elaboration” occurs when a persuader introduces information to an audience. Elaboration refers to the amount of effort that an audience member needs to use in order to process and analyze a message, recall it, and either accept or deny it.

When faced with a persuasive message, individuals respond by using one of two outlets representing the amount of effort they need. They process information along through two paths, which are the central route and peripheral route processing.

Central route processing engages a high degree of elaboration. The listener examines the content of the message because of a high degree of motivation. Users are aware of what is relevant to them and will evaluate the message of a trustworthy layout. As they look for their goals, they will also be more likely to concentrate and overlook distractions.

Peripheral route processing involves a minimal amount of elaboration. The recipient doesn’t research the message for its efficacy and may be affected by other influences, like distractions. This involves users like those who know they want an object but don’t know anything about the item’s information.

Applying the ELM as a future media practitioner

  • Central route- This occurs If I anticipate being carefully scrutinized for my message. I will work on the following substance of the message: the strengths of each of my claims, full rationale, claim truthfulness, the creditability of my evidence, my credibility as a speaker, and the overall quality of my thoughts.
  • Peripheral route- I would focus on the form of the message to make it outstanding if I expect my audience will give my message a superficial thought for reasons such as low interest, an apparent cause, or poor timing. This includes clear articulation, good-looking document symbols or presentation, and impressive physical settings.

Scenario Example:

Central route process
A man is highly interested in buying new tools for his garage. He sees my advertisement on power tools and how they compare to others. He enjoys doing work around the home. He has upcoming home projects and carefully processes the message and thinks about it.

Peripheral route process
A woman is looking for car decals to buy for herself. She sees on my website a wide selection of car decals. She gets puzzled while looking but then sees a decal with a cat that catches her eye. She buys the cat decal without thinking a great deal about it because she’s a cat owner and lover.

Media Professional @ Disney | UF Grad student | SHSU Alum | H-Town Home Stretch blogger.