Aristotle Marketing: What The Great Philosopher Taught Us About Persuasion

Marketing can be viewed through a lot of lenses. In many cases, it will be about the numbers. Other times, wordsmith matters the most. Fine retouches can only come from the best visuals.

But at its core, marketing has a lot to do with persuasion. Convincing someone that you’re trustworthy, so that you can then convince them to buy is a good vision for any marketing department.

And that’s where Aristotle marketing comes in – understanding your marketing efforts as a persuasion exercise can help you better visualize and optimize them.

Lucky enough, we also have the recipe: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.

Aristotle And Persuasion

For ancient Greek philosophers, debate was everything. Plato recounts numerous instances in which Socrates simply walked the streets of Athens and started arguing with random strangers for the sake of rational discussions.

Ancient Greeks in general also fell hard for beautiful rhetoric. Suffice to say, being good at persuasion was important for them. And Aristotle himself explored the facets of persuasion and separated them into three categories.


Ethos is about establishing authority. Aristotle recognized the importance of only speaking on something when you can be trusted to bring valuable contributions to the discussion. People recognize authority when it’s established in any type of persuasion exercise, so ethos is an important element of persuasion.

As long as your audience can trust your expertise, you can better convince them to take action, take sides with you, or just that you are a trustworthy agent.


Pathos is about passion. Well structured arguments and an authoritative position may be convincing, but only to those willing to listen. And without passion or emotion invested into something, few people will take a closer look at what you have to say.

Admittedly, passion and emotion shouldn’t be part of persuasion. In a perfect world, we would all take decisions based solely on rational analysis. But we don’t live in that perfect world, and that’s why emotions are fundamental to persuasion. It’s how people take action.


However, Aristotle wasn’t just about authority and passion. While those are important, he realized that your message taken out of context needs to be persuasive on its own. Logos (roughly translated to “words”) is about the raw argument anyone is making.

To be persuasive, that needs to be on point as well. Simply put, if you want to convince someone to do, or believe something, your message needs to make sense. 

In Aristotle’s view these three components are fundamental to persuasion. Check all three boxes and you can hope to better convince anyone to do anything.

But why should you care?

Aristotle marketing and how to apply it

Before we get started, remember that using these principles is not a replacement for modern marketing best practices. Using AIDA, complex funnels and other fundamentals from our millenia is still a must, but you can pair the insights of that structure with what Aristotle marketing can reveal.

Establishing authority

The first thing you want in your copy or messaging is to establish authority, just like ancient greek philosophers would establish authority before speaking in front of an audience. If you’re writing blog posts, make sure you link back to other high authority sites in the same niche.

Be straightforward, and only use jargon or technical terms as long as you can explain them clearly. Lastly, mentioning real-life experiences related to whatever you’re writing about will always help.

But authority is not just about the copy. You can apply the same principles in any of your texts, but it’s even better to ooze Ethos all throughout your online platforms. Testimonials, media appearances and guarantees work best to establish you as a trustworthy source.

Invoking Emotions

Humans are not rational beings. A lot of purchase decisions are based on emotions, and whether or not a customer trusts you has very little to do with your fiscal record or actual trustworthiness.

It’s all about how you’re perceived, or what emotions your copy can invoke. A good sales page won’t just focus on the features of a product you’re trying to sell. Good sales and landing pages also focus on invoking an emotion from your visitors. 

It shouldn’t be a random one either, it should be what your research has deemed to be important for your target audience. If you’re selling a course about financial planning, empathize with your visitors by focusing on the struggles of having bad finances. Then tell them how well you’re managing anxiety about the paycheck since you started sticking to a budget.

Just make sure it’s genuine.

You can apply the same principles to your copy and website in general. Show passion in what you produce and you’ll convince more people to buy from you.

Making sense

And now for the last ingredient of aristotle marketing – the words you use. Your copy should first and foremost make sense. It should be an example of proper language use and reasoning, but it should also go even further than that.

Good copy flows well. The style and tone of your content should be easy to comprehend by your target audience, and the sentences you lay down on virtual paper are crucial for the success of any marketing campaign.

Focus on these three elements, and your marketing campaigns can see improvement.

To keep in mind…

Again, Aristotle marketing should not be seen as a replacement to other methods of analyzing your efforts. Modern practices are important.

But I believe that one way to find success in business is constantly optimizing your practices. Aristotle marketing, and viewing your marketing efforts through ethos, pathos and logos, are one of the ways you can switch things up a bit and understand how you position yourself in your market.

If your landing page isn’t doing as well as you liked, analyzing it with these principles in mind might lead to valuable insights. What do you think about Aristotle marketing? I’d really like to see your opinion down below.