What is marketing?
Commercials on the tv, print advertising in newspapers and banner ads on the internet are all various types of marketing/advertising. Companies that want you to buy something (spend money) or do something (“like” them on Facebook) use marketing and advertising to get you to #1 be aware of their opportunity #2 understand what action they’d like you to take and #3 take that action based on their prompting.
Why does it work?
It works because we have all been indoctrinated to want things from the time we were born. Commercials are not only aimed at adults, they are aimed at children. How many times have you heard a young child tell you what material item they want and instruct you on where and how you can purchase it. The advertising has gotten so slick that more and more movies, music videos, and tv shows are using product placements to advertise to you when you don’t even realize you’re being advertised to.
What do you not know about it?
Morgan Spurlock created a wonderful documentary about product placement named Pom Wonderful Presents … The Greatest Story Ever Sold. He shows viewers how product placements work by making a movie full of product placements. One of the best parts of the movie is when he goes to a neuro-marketer. The neuro-marketer shows him that the reason he likes Coke so much is that when his brain recognized the product, his brain squirts out a bit of a happy hormone. He tells Morgan that he is basically addicted to Coke.
Not only are advertisers ingenious enough to make us want their products, they don’t even want to know what they are doing because they know that the mystery of it all makes us want those products even more.
What you should do about it
#1 Become aware of the classic tactics that are used to get you want to things you don’t need and probably didn’t even know existed. I present a great workshop on this topic.
#2 Turn off the tv/radio. I know it’s not popular, but if you don’t put yourself in harm’s way you it’s harder to be effected.
#3 Check to see if your purchases are in line with your values. If you say that your family is really important to you then why do you spend all your money on depreciating items like clothes?
The key is to buy what you want, not what advertisers, your neighbors, or your family and friends tell you that you should want.
Shay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. She has written three books on personal finance, contributes to multiple online media platforms, and is a foster care alumni. She’s been quoted on Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, and The Credit Union Times, among others. Visit http://www.BiggerThanYourBlock.com to find out more about her work.