How Marketers Can Read Your Mind

Marketing is and has always been imperative to the success of a product. In an expanding contemporary market, commodification has drastically increased choices and competition. Consequently, making strategies has become even more vital, but unfortunately more invasive.

Using consumer psychology and social research, marketers are now able to manipulate consumer purchases by getting in their heads; considering the way the customer thinks and interacts, and then utilizing that information to increase spending. Today, marketers have become mind readers, so to speak, and we at Fueled think that they’re changing the landscape of advertising in unprecedented ways. 

Supermarkets are a prime example of physical terrain weighted by the schemes of this new and progressively passive marketing approach. The geography of the supermarket appears practical and sincere; dairy, produce, meats, liquor, canned goods and household products all sensibly separated into organized isles for the clarity and efficiency of the everyday consumer. 

An intimate inspection of supermarket design, however, reveals the blueprint to be much less transparent. Supermarket layouts, however subtle, are highly calculated physical arrangements, the shelved items consciously curated and deliberately displayed to provoke greater spending by impulsive and otherwise unconcerned consumers. 

The manipulation begins upon entry; customers are routinely welcomed into their local supermarket by an attractive exhibition of colorful fruits, vegetables, and seasonal floral arrangements. For the consumer, produce designates freshness, and flowers replicate the imagery of a local outdoor market. Placing these items at the immediate entrance of the store functions to assure incoming customers of the quality of the store’s inventory, while subduing any possible moral concerns pertaining to groceries sold by a large, national retailer.

Equally positioned near the entrance of the supermarket are large, metal shopping carts, convenient for holding all of the essentials: eggs, milk, yogurt, cereal, the items ordinarily scribbled on an average grocery list. These items, however, are usually placed in the back corners of the store, requiring shoppers to traverse a terrain of tempting sweets and enticing promotions before making their way to the checkout. 

Armed with an empty basket waiting to be filled, more often than not, consumers will fall prey to spontaneous purchases and pricey impulse buys, finally making it to the register with a burdening cart stacked full of more than just the essentials. 
These physical marketing tactics hold true for practically all retail environments. Gas stations, coffee shops, drug and department stores all systematically arrange their store’s layouts as to spatially indulge an inattentive consumer’s capacity to spend. 

Media outlets, however, take the new marketing approach even further. In an epoch of constant media consumption and unprecedented market competition, the  marketing tactics of the media have become almost unconditionally reliant on consumer psychology. Targeting the psychological soft spots of consumers, media outlets use fear, curiosity, and nostalgia, to effectively sell their product outside retail domain. 

Local television news programs do this with outstanding efficiency, using fear segments aired hours before the nightly broadcast to provoke concern and curiosity. Short teasers lasting no more than thirty seconds, these segments usually feature newscasters reading off the day’s shocking headlines, before inviting the viewer to tune in tonight to learn more. Such a strategy makes the product, in this case nightly news broadcasts, fundamentally relevant to the consumer. 

Online media outlets behave much the same, using article links with captivating headlines to seduce the customer into a click. Sites such as Buzzfeed have particularly mastered this form of marketing, often adopting appeals to nostalgia as their primary marketing ploy. 

In today’s environment, mind read marketing has become the standard. With highly acclaimed universities such as NYU now offering master’s degrees in Social and Consumer Psychology, a growing field of graduates, aspiring Don Drapers, will continue to manipulate consumer’s innate psychological tendencies and decision-making processes to effectively sell products. 

Awareness, it seems, is the best way for consumers to combat often invasive marketing techniques. While the new strategies of marketing are in no way avoidable, being conscious of one’s needs and expenses can help minimize the effects psychological marketing has on everyday consumption and decision-making, leaving the consumer close to carefree, and the mind reader, defeated. 

About The Author:
This Guest post has written by By Diana Zelikman. Fueled is New York’s leading mobile app development.

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