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Marketing Tricks to Promote Mass Consumption


Companies have the manipulative talent of getting customers to buy more than they intend to, and they do it through three simple tactics.

The first marketing trick that is increasingly used by businesses is offering products and services as “free.” Retail stores have found a way to convince people they’re getting something for free when they’re actually being persuaded to spend more money. They offer incentives such as “free shipping” for spending above a particular threshold or give a free sample product along with one that is more expensive. The zero-price effect is also known as “freemium,” which was coined by venture capitalist Fred Wilson and is often identified as the most effective marketing tool.

Trick number two: Whenever consumers are exposed to a product, whether through an advertisement or in a store, they should take under consideration that everything about its placement is intentional. Placement of products is used as a mechanism to encourage consumers to purchase more expensive items. Pricey products are highlighted in all sorts of visual persuasion strategies such as in lighting, underlining and even shelf placement.

And finally, technological advancements now enable businesses to get to know virtually all of your shopping habits. Then they utilize this information through personalized pricing by offering similar or complimentary products to an item you have recently purchased. Companies such as Amazon even lower the cost of their most popular products to gain traffic, and then they increase the price on less favorable items. Businesses also use a similar tactic called cross-subsidy, where a product is offered at a relatively low price, but the retailer makes up for it in a counterpart that is sold at a higher price.

In order to shop wisely, one must not only evaluate a product, but understand how it is being sold to them. Marketers study consumer psychology to figure out how to make you think that you need to buy their product.

So, before you buy your next item, take notice of the ways that companies are encouraging you to consume more than you actually need.

*Check out the video above from The Atlantic to understand more about how marketers trick consumers into spending extra cash.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect University’s editorial policy.

Photo Credit: Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

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