Not the subject.
The practice of it.
It makes people want. And want more.
Many times, marketing taps into peoples' subconsciousness to induce them to spend. At other times, it changes society to make it normal to spend. And all kinds of other tactics to make customers buy stuff which they may or may not need.
Ever heard of the De Beers marketing for diamonds.
How De Beers created the demand for the engagement ring.
Previously, engagement rings weren't that common. Diamonds are also more common than sapphires, emeralds and rubies. Potential wives would rather their husbands-to-be spend money on a new washing machine instead of an engagement ring.
But all these changed due to marketing. De Beers created a campaign to make engagement rings desireable. To make people attach an emotional value to it so that people will buy it as a symbol of love. A diamond is forever. (Actually, it isn't as diamonds can chip, shatter and discolour) De Beers hired actressess and gave them rings to wear so that people could admire and desire. It was a heavy advertising campaign that spread throughout the world to influence people to buy diamond rings and also to spend 2-3 months of salary on them.
Another marketing tactic is why retail shops put candies at the checkout.
This is highly related to decision fatigue.
So the idea is that when people go to a supermarket, they have to decide on many items. They have to decide on what to buy, from which brands to buy from, whether they need an item, etc. Apparently, making decisions is tiring, so it drains you out. This comes back at people in 2 ways. Loss of willpower and lack of energy. After a couple of hours of buying stuff, you may feel tired. Then you see a bunch of nice chocolates just as you are about to check out and pay. So you think, what the heck, I'll just grab one to get my sugar levels up. Also along with the depleted willpower, where one might usually resist such a temptation, it induces people to just buy, just that additional candy for quick consumption.
With big data, here's what some companies do.
Target, the hypermart in US. Realized that people typically go to the hypermart which they are used to. They make changes only at certain periods. Usually when big changes happen in their lives. ie, when pregnant, moving house, getting married, etc. So everytime you swipe a membership card, they take data on what you buy. And with what you buy, they are able to analyze and determine what is happening in your life and thus allow them to "push" items to you in specific marketing material. I'm not even bothered about the privacy issue. I'm just kinda disgusted that marketing identifies these trends and pushes products to people, making it more tempting for people to switch or make decisions which they would not normally make.
Similarly, Starbucks is going down this route.
Starbucks is a habit. You go to work, on the way, you pick up a Starbucks. Or after lunch. Whatever. So if Starbucks give you a free muffin for 2 weeks. What do you think will happen?
There's a high chance that you get used to the free muffin and now feel that you need a muffin as a dessert after lunch. So now you purchase the muffin as a habit resulting in long term continued sales.
So from my point of view, marketing is this deceptive, conniving business to induce consumers to spend more than they would normally do. The worst thing is that it is homing in on consumer subconsciousness, meaning the consumer doesn't even know they are being influenced. I find this totally disgusting and should not even be legal. People should be buying things when they are aware of it and be able to make fair consideration to consume whatever product.
But oh well, who am I to say anything. Marketing spurs consumption which boosts GDP which in turn keeps people employed and turns the gears of the economy. If businesses aren't able to "make" consumers buy stuff, how is the economy going to run right...
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