Marketing is Manipulation

Marketing is the art and science of creating demand to drive profitable growth – David W. Mischler

Marketing is helping your customers understand how much they need something they never knew they needed – Doreen Moran

Marketing is influencing behavior to get more people to buy more stuff, more often, for more money – Mark W. Schaefer

These are just one of many, many definitions of Marketing. These definitions can try to cover the overall aspect of marketing or parts of it, or even from different perspectives. However there are a few definitions which expose the actual meaning of marketing and its role in society.

Firstly folks need to understand that the time for figuring out a particular gap between demand and supply processes are rare and incredibly tough to figure out. With the exploding population, there are plenty of opportunities in the market but there are already highly competitive and established firms waiting for such opportunities. If they have not discovered them yet, all they need is one player, however small it may be to start their operations and the big corporations waltz in and take over the market pie.

Also Corporations need new sources of revenue all the time while maintaining and improving demand for their existing line of products. How does one do that? How does one make the same Target Audience buy more? Maybe expand your presence to other markets but that will be tough as every market would have its existing share of competition. Improving the product might work in certain cases when you know the existing customers want this and is willing to shell out more.Marketing is Manipulation - Keyhole in the Head

You create demand. You manipulate the environment. Spread certain types of information which is relevant to your brand message and convinces your customers to buy or buy more. To make them think that they want more. Marketing campaigns is designed in such a way as to improve the likelihood of a potential customer feeling that tiny little pinprick of an urge to try that product and like it. Marketing makes buying or using a certain product cool or cooler and more relevant to current societal standards.

Let’s take a few examples

Coca-Cola “Saath Khao, Khushiyaan Badhao” campaign which was launched during Diwali whose main aim was to improve consumption of their product through inclusion of Coca-Cola during meals. The campaign was an integrated communications campaign. Click on the campaign name to read the official Press Release. Their approach was to leverage the memories of individuals of having enjoyable and noisy meals with their family.  They had roped in McCann, an agency I used to work for and Sanjeev Kapoor and together they promoted the message of great family times over meals. And through a combination of Radio, Social Media, TV Commercials and On-Grounds Activities, they created a brand recall value of Coca-Cola with meals.

As you can observe here, they don’t push you to drink Coca-Cola during meals but rather, connecting their brand with this daily occurrence in our lives. And now folks seem to have that pinprick urge to open a bottle of coke on the dinner table. And it’s disappointing to not that apparently it has effected consumption habits of consumers in India. They divert your attention, make you feel nice, connect with you emotionally, no brand ambassador used and they make you believe that you need to buy that product. And Coca-Cola is famous for this with most of their campaigns never pushing you to buy their product but creating that desire in your head.

They wanted the precious real estate in the world and they just waltzed into it, the space between your ears.

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