Born to Buy; Manipulating people for Profit, Is it real or just a game?
Manipulation Tactics Used by Brands to Get More Customers.
Through modern retargeting, anyone can manipulate consumers into believing something they wouldn’t think. And we mean anyone can: the media, government, marketers, online business owners, anyone!
The human mind mostly works on a subconscious level. During every second of a day, it takes in — and filters — tremendous amounts of information and makes assumptions based on it.
So, as we scroll through Facebook or browse YouTube, we don’t always understand what is going on. We take it in but don’t necessarily understand the message — or question whether it is accurate and factually correct. We are on autopilot and subconsciously form beliefs and perceptions of everything!
Manipulation in Marketing (and Politics, the Media — Everything Else)
Those of us who have established marketing according to the marketing values like Coca-Cola have become huge today because it has managed to create a particular whole through billboards, television commercials, newspaper ads, and the like. The company knew that if we saw enough of the brand, we would eventually form attachments. And it’s not the only one to do so.
We come across “fake news” every day about something or someone on a widespread basis. Political parties and political/ideological groups build momentum by targeting specific “bubbles” of people and begin growing from there, as things that may or may not be true were not offered to feel real. Sometimes, even Goebbels Ian’s tactics are savages used to sway the public’s opinion or bring a society to its knees through false propaganda and fake news.
A wise man once said: “People do not always believe the truth, but what they perceive to be the truth. And perception is reality!”
This perception may make it feel like the truth through homogenous groups called “bubbles,” as mentioned before. Companies, governments, ideologies, and religions have targeted bubbles like these throughout history. As a species, people are born to bind: age, religion, sports teams, dietary habits — the list is infinite. As a species, we are born to attach ourselves to bubbles of this nature. The stakes are incredibly high these days. Anyone with access to the right algorithm (and if we have access to Google or Facebook, we even have access to these algorithms) can target, retarget and manipulate these bubbles of people. Ecommerce giants like Amazon or Flipkart can manipulate us into buying certain products. The media can manipulate us into believing (or not) in a new plan or campaign. Politicians can manipulate us into forming individual perceptions or prejudice.
We cannot escape this. It impacts us as individuals and as business owners — because, as business owners, we can and will manipulate our target customers every day.
Ethical Manipulation in Marketing
If we own a business, manipulation in marketing is an inherent part of what we do.
It is the only way to create raving fans, sell them products, and gain their trust. Therefore, the issue is not whether we do it or not — but rather how we do it. Successful entrepreneurs are conscious about how they use manipulation as a marketing tool. They do not feel guilty about doing it, and we shouldn’t either, because if done correctly, then it’s a good thing that can have a mostly positive impact on our target customers. But like most good things, it can quickly turn sour in the wrong hands.
So, how do we ethically use the power of manipulation in marketing?
How do you ethically use manipulation in marketing?
It begins by you know your offer or product at a deep level. Is it changing? Would it be beginning to transform into “vitamin” or “painkiller”? Is it a real deal? Would this affect more people, actual and massive? You have to believe in what you do and commit to becoming the best at it.
Once you do, you then have to know who this helps. You need to know your audience on a deep level, too. What happens to its biggest problem right now? What is the most considerable pain they are feeling? Are they avoiding this pain and resisting taking action?
It is why manipulation in marketing is a good thing because it’s in our DNA to feel comfortable; we are born to survive and avoid dangerous situations. So, we remain in our comfort zone and stay blind to the solutions we need.
Your job is to illuminate their pain, so they know they have it. Your job is to show them the solution so they know what to do. Your job is to guide them so they overcome their problem.
If you want to help your audience, you have to manipulate them; otherwise, they may never “figure it” out. But, there’s a right way to go about it and a wrong way, and the right way centers around:
- Relevance: Don’t sell to them; give colossal value. Be relevant and provide all that is a need.
- Omnipresence: Become “top of mind” because they won’t “figure it out” overnight.
- Intimacy: Build their trust, be “real” with consumers and continue to help them with value.
Do this, and you’ll ethically manipulate your audience into taking the action they need
It’s easier than ever to do, but most people don’t because it’s easier still to prey on their fears and insecurities. Such scarcity tactics do not serve them, and they do not help you in the long term.
-Fedrick Gold – Staff Writer
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