Pitch Deck - 6 Pillars of Persuasion
Pitch Deck that Sells!

A pitch deck should concisely convince investors – or customers – to buy what you’re proposing.  Google carried out research on how people buy online and identified 6 “biases” that determine purchasing decisions.  You can use this checklist both for an investor presentation or as the basis of your marketing message.

Here’s a handy checklist based on that research to see if your pitch deck ticks all the boxes (or not)

1. Category heuristics

This is a shortcut that helps in decision-making like say the megapixels in a phone camera. What’s important is that the criteria is relevant to the buyer. For example, when buying a car in Bangalore acceleration may not matter as much as mileage, because, well, traffic jams ensure that you can’t ever go fast.  In countries like Singapore with a max speed limit of 90 km/hr what use is all that speed?

I advise clients to own a ‘superlative’ ie be the best/biggest/first/fastest etc. That superlative ideally should be in the area most relevant to your customers.

Checklist Question #1: Do you know what your customer really cares about? And do you have a compelling proposition around that attribute?

✔ Yes! I have identified a cool heuristic

2. Authority Bias

If someone you respect tells you the product is good, you tend to use that as a shortcut to decision-making. Enter the influencers!  If an influential individual or firm has already committed to your product, highlight that.  It makes it easier for decision-making if your pitch deck conveys the message that respected brands have already done their successful due diligence.

Checkpoint #2: Do you have any endorsements or certifications that your product is good?

✔ I have an endorsement

3. Social Proof

When we’re uncertain about a choice, we follow the cues of others. This is why word of mouth works so well, and in the digital world it is easy to propagate.

Checkpoint #3: Can you get users, early trials, or your mom! to say they enjoyed using it?

✔ I have testimonials

4. Power of Now

It’s not just toddlers – we all want everything now! Even if we no longer express our wants by screaming. The faster your ability to fulfil the need the more likely you are to conclude the transaction. Even if you can’t deliver the whole thing at once, see if you can get a part of the product or service done immediately. In the case of investors, it may not be possible to complete the transaction on the spot, but you can put in an intent to invest form.

Checkpoint #4: Do you have a “click to buy” option?

✔ Purchasers will immediately get something

5. Scarcity Bias

The last ice-cream in the fridge always tastes the best…Even more if others also want it. Limited period offers and specials are always attractive, as we feel we are getting a ‘deal’. If an offer is open all the time then there is no hurry to make a decision.  So how can we add the dimension of scarcity to the product or service? One option is to do a time-bound variation and the other option is to restrict the quantity available for sale.

Checkpoint #5: Is your product always available?

✔ My offer is restricted by time or access or both

6. Power of Free

Maketers and customers love the word “free” and with good reason. We are not as rational as we would like to believe – free can sprinkle fairy dust over the product.  Your product doesn’t entirely have to be free, but you can give something free with it, or give a part of it for free, or let it be free for a certain amount of time.

Checkpoint #6: There is something for free!

✔ Customers will get something free

If your marketing isn’t pulling its weight, maybe it is because one of these 6 is either not complete or not visible to your customers.

Google didn’t say your pitch deck sucks if it doesn’t do all this. Just that good marketing does all of this 🙂

Read the complete research here https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-insights/navigating-purchase-behavior-and-decision-making/

Don’t forget to work on branding for your business next!

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Jessie Paul is the Founder and CEO of Paul Writer, a firm she founded in early 2010 to raise the bar for marketing in India. Previously, as Chief Marketing Officer of Wipro’s IT business and as Global Brand Manager at Infosys, Jessie has been recognized for her contribution towards putting the Indian IT industry on the global map. With over 18 years in services marketing, including a stint with Ogilvy & Mather Advertising, Jessie is considered an expert in brand globalization and has been named one of the most influential business women in the Indian IT industry.


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