February 11, 2019

Manipulative Marketing: Priming You To Buy More

Modern advertisers reach farther and farther into your brain, often without you knowing it.

I would be willing to guess that marketers know more about human motivations than anyone else. Trouble is, they are using this advanced knowledge against us. 

Neuroscientists captured by the marketing industry have gone deeper than ever into our brains, and getting you to consume automatically without thinking is the goal. 

Their tricks appeal to both your conscious and subconscious, so some you may be conscious of, while others remain hidden to your awareness. But knowing about these mind manipulations can help you mount an effective resistance. 

Retail outlets of Big Business all use subtle techniques to get you to buy things you don't need, or according to them, don't yet know you need. 

Let's look at some of the manipulative marketing tools that they use to influence consumer's thoughts and behaviors without conscious reflection or consideration.

1. Smellvertising - smells have a powerful effect on shoppers. Our sense of smell is wired directly to the limbic system, which is associated with memories and emotions, both of which are used against us to trigger subconscious cravings and desires. 

This happens quickly, and we are not even aware of the dopamine rush that leads us to anticipate making a product purchase. 

Some fast food joints blow synthetic burger smells through their vents to trigger memories of comfort food which will lead us to their counter with a serious craving. 

In one study smell researchers found that when a vanilla scent was released in a women's clothing store, sales increased by 50%.


 2. Product Placement - integrating products into movies, plays, video games and tv shows is increasing. At the same time it is becoming more subtle, or you could say, sneaky.

That is because research has shown that consumers are easier to persuade when they have not engaged their conscious decision making faculties. When you are watching something, then, your defences are down, and advertisers are ready to pounce. 

Viewers have no conscious recall of exposure to the products, but when they see them in stores, and other settings, the implicit memory is set loose, and a purchase often results. Note: The effect of product integration is so powerful that since a 1998 agreement, tobacco companies can no longer pay to have their products placed in any programming. 

 3. Packaging Colour - marketing experts believe that the product’s (or its packaging’s) color has a significant—if not the dominant— impact on purchase decisions. 

We can not look at all the information about every product or we would become overwhelmed. Therefore, we rely on snap judgments to help us make decisions quickly and efficiently. This helps us avoid cognitive overload, but opens us up to marketing manipulations, like the colour of a product package, or the colour theme of a store setting. 

Such manipulations affect decision-making by consumers, such as when they associate eco-friendly with the colour green and pictures of trees on packaging, whether the product is good for the environment or not. This association is often subconscious. 

You may have noticed that advertising is increasingly moving away from an informational approach. Very few ads give information about the product, because information can be refuted. What can you say about a bunch of junk that no one actually needs? 

In this case, they want you to bypass the rational mind. If advertisers can appeal to consumers subconsciously, and trigger powerful memory and emotional responses, people will be programmed to create attachments to products that often last for life. 

Eventually, the increased use—or misuse—of neuromarketing and sensory marketing research to influence consumers at a nonconscious level is likely to prompt calls for regulation. But then there is the fact that governments also use manipulative mind control techniques against their populations. 

Perhaps best, is for consumers (and citizens) to know what is going on, and how they are being manipulated to buy things (or ideas) they don't even know they want. Yet.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments will be printed after moderation to eliminate spam. We are proudly a no buying, no selling website.

We enjoy reading all comments, and respond when time permits.

If you put a name to your comment we can all recognize you for your contribution.

Thank you for visiting and commenting.