The other day I read a post online regarding Facebook’s “secret marketing agendas” behind the rainbow profile images. The story was centered around “a tool Facebook released allowing users to superimpose a rainbow over their profile pictures.” This was in response to a new ruling on gay marriage and was being offered as a way users could represent their support of this decision. The article then continued to explain how the users of this tool were “Duped” because it was only created and secretly being used as a psychological marketing survey to gather information about their users.
Allow me to clue the masses in on a simple truth…. EVERY entrepreneur who does any form of marketing is running psychological testing on their audience. That is what we DO!! How else do we get to know and best serve our audiences?! We do things and then listen (or track) your responses.
I later found it written that this explanation for the application was just a conspiracy but I am still struggling with understanding how this even could have been perceived as a bad thing regardless…. That’s like saying Pepsi taste tests are a dirty trick derived determine our taste preferences !!! HOW COULD THEY?!?!? Sounds dumb right?……
OF COURSE Facebook is keeping track of user’s habits on THEIR website. This is how they continue to grow and remain the #1 social forum EVER ESTABLISHED!! 71% of ALL internet users are on Facebook. There is only one way to reach this type of popularity. It’s by knowing what its users want. I wish MORE companies would engage in these type studies and tracking of their clients to improve their interactions.
If you’re still having a hard time understanding this reality and/or accepting this as a good thing, here are the 10 principles of pschology being used encourage your buying decisions every day… but FYI:
The companies that have mastered blending these concepts into their marketing are your FAVORITES!!
- Priming : You get exposed to one stimuli prior to being exposed to the item for sale. The initial stimuli will have an effect on your buying decisions. This can even be as subtle as the background color on a website.
- Reciprocity : You’re given something up front for free, hoping you will now feel obligated to show your support and purchase something when asked.
- Social Proof : If we can show you that others like it, so will you. Few people like to be the first at something but even fewer want to be the last.
- Decoy Effect : Typically used in pricing structures, a decoy midrange option is offered presenting the top tier option as more attractive.
- Scarcity : Simple supply and demand. The more rare something is, the more valuable it is.
- Anchoring : People base decision on first piece of information. Showing a higher price and then offering a discounted price while the original price still shows will increase the buyer’s feeling of a “deal”.
- The Frequency Illusion : The law of awareness. Once something catches your attention the first time, you now become unconsciously more aware of its presence from then on.
- Verbatim Effect : People will remember the gist of what’s said, not all the details. This is why headlines are important. A good headline will guide a reader’s assumption of the entire story.
- Clustering : Combining similar pieces of information together makes it easier for the reader to understand and remember.
- Loss Aversion : Once people have something, they tend to not want to lose it. This is where time restricted free trials come in. Once you have had something for free you will likely pay to continue having it as opposed to losing it.
Now you know the 10 most devious mind manipulating tools built into all marketing to ever exist… but I’ve heard if you quickly don your aluminum foil helmet you will be safe from our dirty clutches….