There are endless marketing tools businesses utilise to play on the psyche of a consumer.
What is a ‘Marketing ploy’?
It are a range of tactics used to convince a consumer of a number of things, all of which aim to encourage a purchase that might not have been made otherwise.
1. The most frequently used marketing ploy is to not price products with a whole number. This is known as the “Left-digit effect”. A packet of gum will be priced at $3.95, or $3.99 instead of $4. When a consumer has a desire to buy a product, we tend to round down the price of a product instead of rounding up. When we see a good being sold we focus on the first number, in this case being 3, and round it down to a $3 packet of gum, instead of a $4 packet.
2. Another highly effective marketing strategy is to mark-down the price of goods, and display the original retail price. When we see a blouse that we might otherwise not purchase being advertised as “WAS $95 NOW $39” we suddenly perceive the item as an instantaneously high-value good. It encourages consumers to purchase a product, sometimes even solely for the purpose of believing that it’s an unmissable bargain.
3. Many restaurants or delivery services offer deals in which your purchases will eventually lead to a free product, or a price reduction. This is highly effective in establishing customer loyalty. For example ‘After 9 meals, get your 10th free’, we’re then strangely encouraged to remain loyal customers, and continually purchase meals in anticipation of a free one. The first 9 deliveries may not have even been to standard, but as consumers we gain immense satisfaction in feeling as though we are receiving a product for a particularly good price, or free of charge. It then motivates clients to spend more money than they ever would have in order to achieve the ultimate goal of some free home-delivered sub-standard Pad-Thai…
4. Evoking a sense of urgency in consumers is powerful tactic in making profit fast, and almost always yields results. Businesses play on a consumer’s fear of missing out, as the saying goes “we always want what we can’t have”! The notion of not having something because someone else beat us to it, makes consumers competitive and frantic. When stock is advertised along with ‘For a Limited Time Only’- it creates a sense of anxiety and restlessness that can only be satiated by purchasing the product, or at the very least being drawn into a store and likely purchasing other products in the meantime. You now feel the desire to buy because the act of purchasing has become a hunting game motivated by you own competitiveness!
5. Known as the “compromise effect”, businesses sell a few very highly-priced items in contrast to the overall price range of most of the products available. This leads consumers to believe that these higher-priced items must be genuine higher-quality luxury items. It also makes all the other products look more reasonably priced, and cheap in comparison. Either way leading to maximum profit.
The advantages of ‘marketing ploys’ for businesses is that it generates more sales, and encourages brand awareness. However it can also result in clients feelings cheated or tricked, which is of course highly counter-productive. So if you’re a business owner, ensure that you utilise these tactics with an honest foundation and from a place of integrity. Do not employ transparently deceptive marketing ploys.
Now when you’re buying a product, you might want assess whether these marketing tactics are getting the best of you…. And if you’re a business owner, you might want to consider employing some of these tactics to boost sales!