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My Wealth Avoiding Marketing Traps

Posted Sep 2008

You need to be aware that marketing is not a friend to you as a consumer. Marketing is there to push you over the limits of necessary shopping, consumption and spending.

Most of the people do not understand the real nature of the today's marketing. Marketing sounds like service that has intention to connect manufacturers and retailers with customers, to provide information and education to the customers.

In essence that is true, at least it was. The problem appeared when profit driven companies faced the ceiling, regarding sales, revenue and profit. Since the rules of engagement in the business are merciless, companies needed to grow further. Since the population of some market is usually more or less stabile in short term, as well the needs, there was the need to expand the "demand" of consumers.

"OK, if we can not clone our population, we will make them to buy and consume more, even if they do not need too much".

Well, this is what is the ultimate goal of growth driven companies. They will try whatever is needed to obtain growth. They will say, promise, offer, or even lie to you anything, just to make you buy more and more, even when you really do not need some product.

So where are we in this story? Simply, if we "bite" every trick served by marketing, we will buy more than we need, we will eat more than we need, we will travel more than we need, we will compete with other people in shopping, we will produce more garbage and, yes, we will spend much more money than we really need to spend. And as the result we will be financially poor, and probably will not be satisfied.

What is the solution for this? First thing you need to be aware that marketing is not a friend to you as a consumer. Marketing is there to push you over the limits of necessary shopping, consumption and spending. Understanding this is the first step of self-defense from marketing invaders. Next step is to develop a feeling what is excessive marketing and what is your real need. To bring you the picture that will make things more clear, pay attention to the following facts.

  • The goal of marketing is to make you consume more than you need, in order to achieve business target. If you consume 0,5l of beer daily, while the goal of a brewery is to grow 12% annually, they will try anything to make you to consume more, from year to year. They will serve any kind of commercial messages, they will produce new bottle shape, they will try with big packs and multi-packs, promotions, etc.

    You are constantly bombarded with marketing messages all the time, while watching TV, while driving, reading papers or browsing Internet; you are receiving messages. Regardless are you paying intention to that or not, you are being influenced.

  • Special offers, like +20% gratis. Gratis offers is the way to attract and addict consumers. The trick is too hook you with gratis offer and to keep you as loyal consumer. Gratis offer is usually sign of desperation, since they are willing to give you more, just to grow sales. While companies have planned growth achieved, they usually do not give gratis offers. But if they have the sales lower than planned they will come up with gratis offers.
    Solution: Be careful with "gratis" offers, since it might not be gratis in some cases.

  • Discount, like –50%. This type of offer is really tricky, since it easily make you buy all kind of unnecessary things, that you wouldn't buy otherwise. And remember, the one who is giving you –50% or so is still making money on you, so imagine what is the margin that they operate with. Giving discount is usually indication that the company is having the high stock and they are trying to get rid of it.
    Solution: Check for expiry date and product quality.

  • Prestige prices. This is nasty trick. This is a really low blow. Very low. This is the one of the dirtiest marketing tricks. They offer you a regular product with very high price. They are counting on someone’s need for "exclusivity". So there is nothing special between expensive product and the regular one, simply they are charging you extra for making you feel exclusive. Expensive product is not necessarily more quality than the regular product. Dull.
    Solution: Buy product with the best "value for money" ratio.

  • Big pack Syndrome is very deceptive trap. With this deception, marketing tries to make you buy and consume more. OK, you might think that you get a large size pack at good price. But the fact is that the big pack will make you consume more in the same period of time. Marketing is calling this phenomenon the expansive consumption – more you buy, more you consume. I call it buy more, be fat, be poor.
    Solution: Do not buy food big packs, since you will eat more in the same period of time. For non-food products check the net content/price ratio with different packs.

  • Fashion is the special marketing technique that will hypnotically order you to throw a fully functional piece of clothing and to buy a new one. Also, brand new fashion lines are always charged extra.
    Solution: Choose practical, not fashion clothing. It lasts at least double times more for at least double money less.

  • Pharmacies. You couldn't imagine what these guys are ready to do. You might imagine them as nice guys that give medications to people, to make them be healthy. In fact, they are selling over expensive products, with margins that are equal to drugs, weapons and similar contrabands. They justify this with researching costs. On top of this, when they felt that they are not taking enough from the sick people, they target on healthy people, by trying to sell them vitamins, preventive and rejuvenative medications.
    Solution: Do not buy the most expensive medications, use supplements, because branded
    medications are overpriced.

  • Car Industry is trying to increase pace of launching of new cars. This exercise is very expensive and that reflect through retail price of the vehicle. The new cars are overpriced, especially when the model is new. Also new models usually have technical problems, especially in the first year. This is caused by manufacturers' rush to launch a new model, so they do not have enough time to test a car.
    Solution: Buy a young used car, that has shown to be reliable, unless you are a rich and do not care where you throw the money.

Remember, you are constantly bombarded with marketing messages all the time, while watching TV, while driving, reading papers or browsing Internet; you are receiving messages. Regardless are you paying intention to that or not, you are being influenced. These messages will penetrate deep into your subconscious gradually.

Finally you are becoming obedient to your Masters. You will be one who is blind fully subordinating to the command – Obey!

Unless if you start with active management of of your needs. Try to manage your needs, do not let the "needs" manage with you.

It is true that you still need to shop when you have a need for some commodity. But still you can train yourself to distinct a really necessary shopping from impulse shopping, driven by marketing messages.

Just a little attention while shopping will make you shopping less, getting less fat, throwing less garbage and finally it will make you more wealthy and healthy. I am aware that I was harsh with my comments, but the modern marketing is so rude and merciless toward consumers, while they are too brainwashed to understand the big picture.

Buy what you need, do not buy what you can. Do not buy what they tell you to buy. Do not buy, because somebody else bought that. Buy what you really need.


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