Psychological tricks to help convince us to buy goods

Nowadays businesses in Canada engage in all kinds of psychological tricks in attempts to get us to buy things that may not even be needed. As a result, marketing is being transformed.

Marketing is becoming far more sophisticated than was the case just a few decades previously. Marketers have been compiling far more information than ever before. When a customer uses a coupon or a loyalty card or a search via Google, that person’s personal information is provided. Then, that generic information is sold to advertisers. The electronic data create a detailed summary of purchases made and how they were paid. Attention then can be brought to the selling firms, so that potential buyers can be targeted.

So-called smart phones then can list the retailers that carry the items that one wishes to purchase.

Marketers then use every possible devise to influence further our behaviour. Music in stores is utilized to affect buyers’ actions. For instance, Christmas melodies are played as early as October to push holiday shopping. Later, spring is emphasized by light music.

Then, marketers hover around stores counters to listen to conversations and to pay attention to shoppers who pick up an object and then decide whether or not to purchase it.

Outrageous as it may seem, marketers target children. Kids are bombarded as early as infancy with point-of-sale displays or on television with hidden messages. That, in turn, can attract youngsters who can push parents into purchases. Three-year olds can recite advertising jingles; some fast-food restaurants shape food to entice children, such as cookies in the form of small animals.

At pediatricians’ offices candies are given, of course, with brand names on the wrappers so children will recognize them again. Some companies offer everything needed for parties, hoping for repeat requests.

Increasingly, men are becoming targets for marketers. Stores have counter displays featuring males with athletic builds in bathing trunks, so buyers will want to emulate those depicted. Males respond to peer pressure so television advertisements feature a group of young males sitting around drinking beer. At universities students receive free samples in the hope of generating more sales.

Clearly, the date revolution and many subliminal ploys are changing the face of marketing.


Bruce Whitestone