I Love-Hate Marketing Because it Works so Well

When I purchase things outside my normal budget, I’m prone to strong bouts of buyer’s remorse.  The problem is, it took me years of buying stuff I didn’t really need before I truly figured it out.  Now I’ve always been a bit of a cheapskate, but every once in a while I would find myself obsessing over some new video game or music CD.

The worst was probably the Xbox.  It was around November and it seemed like everyone I knew was talking about it.  The commercials were on TV every day and all I could think about was how much I wanted an Xbox.  I must have kept yapping about it too, because my girlfriend went out and bought the “perfect gift.”  Except that it wasn’t the perfect gift at all, its just sitting there collecting dust.

After a few levels of a kind-of cool spy game, I’d completely lost interest.  I never bothered installing the internet kit.  I think its sitting somewhere with the headphones right now.  About a month after buying it, our young dog decided to chew up the power cord.  Despite the fact that the damaged component was covered by a recall and I could order a free replacement, I never bothered to fix the machine because I knew I had lost interest.  Nix that, I never had the interest I thought I did.

See, I like to play video games on the computer.  I’m used to playing games with dozens of input commands.  No console controller was going to recreate the complexity of the games I was playing, and my computer already had better processing and video capabilities than the Xbox.  By any rational standard, it was a downgrade from my point of view on gaming quality.

So why did I want it?  Why am I drinking this Pepsi?

Marketing works.  People are rather easily influenced:  even cheap, cynical skeptics like me.  Standing in line at Walmart, staring at mini-fridges of Pepsi and Coke suddenly made me want to drink something I usually don’t drink.  At the very least, now that I recognize this effect on me I’m able to restrain myself until I can get home and pour a glass from the cheaper 2-liter.  If they had a Starbucks in site of the line, I probably would have dusted off the espresso machine and I’d be sipping a latte right now instead.

In business, we all rely on marketing tactics of one kind or another.  Information and persuasion can be as simple as providing a good product and then making your product or logo visible where the product is sold.  Seeing cold bottle of coke is just about all it takes to make me thirsty even if I know its the effect of marketing that reminds me to spend extra money on sugar water…something I could quite easily do without… if only they weren’t reminding me about it!  🙂

So, what tactics work and which ones feel like an insult to your intelligence?  I personally hate how the soda and candy at the checkout counter is three to four times more expensive than it is at the back aisles of the store.  How do you incorporate your preferences to your own online marketing efforts?  I try to stay honest and avoid any kind of hyped up claims.  Everyone responds differently to marketing efforts though, so I’d love to hear what you think too.

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