Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Hot Button Marketing

Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Hot Button Marketing

Push the Emotional Buttons That Get People to Buy

Adams Media,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

How to hit your customers’ “hot buttons:” Psychologically persuasive techniques from a proven sales leader

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


When you combine basic human emotions and motivations with modern advertising and marketing, you get powerful sales messages, like the hundreds of pitches that hit most consumers every day. Most people in authority use psychological triggers to motivate others, conduct business successfully or get things done. Now, you can put this powerful force to work as you sell. Barry Feig brings you into the promotional strategies used by government and university think tanks, business firms and Madison Avenue. He devotes a chapter to each of the 16 “hot buttons” that motivate your customers, and he clearly explains the psychological dynamics of promoting your goods to them. Because of its plentiful examples, his book is a quick, entertaining read. If you want to know how to detect the real reasons customers might buy from you, so that you can sell to them, getAbstract recommends Feig’s marketing lessons.


Pushing the Customer’s “Hot Buttons”

A hot button is “a cue that triggers an emotion in a prospective buyer.” When you tap into your customers’ internal wishes, their hot buttons give them acceptable rationalizations for buying what you are selling. You can use the hot-button psychological sales tactic in personal face-to-face selling, newspaper ads, television ads, catalog presentations and other forms of persuasion. This kind of marketing appeals to potential buyers’ sentiments – “the heart” – not their logical tougher nature – “the brain.” You must understand this difference to succeed in hot-button marketing.

As a case in point, consider costly bottled water, which often comes from local reservoirs, the same source as the water in your kitchen tap. Bottled-water companies upgrade their basic product with smart stories, nice labels and sculpted containers.

The clever salesmanship behind Aquafina uses hot buttons to present simple water as a differentiated product. This marketing magic depends on an array of emotional triggers, including higher status, self-improvement and power. Branding, seductive ad copy and other persuaders – some hidden and some obvious...

About the Author

Barry Feig, an expert “consumer behaviorist,” founded The Center for Product Success and previously owned two advertising agencies. He has written more than 100 articles for publications such as Advertising Age and American Demographics.

Comment on this summary