Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Magical Marketing.

There's a magician/illusionist involved here, so we know it's a trick and it's pretty easy to work out how it's done. Like most magic, it's based on false assumptions. The trick works and impresses because the illusionist knows the assumptions we'll make and ensures that we make them.

Efective marketing should also be based on knowing the assumptions your customers will make. Advertising agencies call these insights. Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren't. But, I'm not sure the analogy should be taken all the way. Here, the patsy knows he's been fooled, yet doesn't mind because he went in expecting that to happen.

In some categories, specifically those with a fashion basis, customers are relatively happy to be "tricked". Fashion, however, is fleeting. If your product/service is less transient, I think it's probably acceptable to exploit customer assumptions in pursuit of giving them greater satisfaction, but I don't think that justifies deceiving them. That's where marketing gets its bad name. Any thoughts?


Blogger Unknown said...

good post, but how on earth did he do that?!

7:36 AM, September 05, 2008  
Blogger john dodds said...

First question Dino - what did he actually do? What are you assuming he did?
you know where they started and you know where they ended and youre assuming what happened in between?

What happens to the patsy's cube? Think about that.

10:22 AM, September 05, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

hold on one second here john!
i think that the illusionist took the patsy's cube and switched it while he made the poor guy examine the cube he handed him! am i close?!

12:19 PM, September 05, 2008  
Blogger john dodds said...

Why would he swap cubes? Did he want to re-emphasise what an open guy he was and say hey keep my cube so you can see there's no trickery. Well yes, but he also might have wanted to get control of the only variable he hadn't controlled so far.

And if perhaps he'd started with two identical cubes in his possession, he'd only have to perfect his sleight of hand rather than go to all that bother of mind-control and quintillion permutations.

2:09 PM, September 05, 2008  

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