Why Everybody is a Marketer
How Ordinary People Use Proven Marketing Tactics in their Everyday Lives
Since the dawn of capitalism, marketers have been honing their techniques, perfecting everything from the elevator pitch to the call to action all in the name of making a sale. In many ways, however, nature has beat them to the punch, instinctually equipping mankind with the marketing know-how they need to survive.
When it comes right down to it, everybody is a marketer, from the barber down the street to the politician behind the podium, and everyone in-between. Below are just a few of the ways these ordinary people use proven marketing techniques in their everyday lives—all without ever even realizing it.
Love at First Touch
Physical touch has long been one of the most effective ways we market ourselves to other people. We convey trust and agreement through handshakes, friendliness through hugs, approval and congratulations through high-fives, and love and romance through more intimate forms of physical touch.
Walk in to most jewelry stores and you won’t see any price tags easily visible on the items. It’s not that the sellers don’t want you to know the price; it’s that they want you to hold the item and try it on for yourself before you make a cost-based decision. They recognize that the power of touch is enough to overcome the hesitations that knowing the price may cause.
For the same reason, it’s difficult to see e-commerce ever completely overtaking in-person sales. Sure, the online market has increased dramatically in recent years, but there will always be those people who like to hold a product in their own two hands, run their fingers over its material and feel its heft. From setting up dressing rooms to rolling out packaging that makes touching the product possible, marketers have long been cashing in on the importance we place on touch, but they certainly were not the first ones to do so.
The Power of Perception
Ordinary people are well aware of the power perception holds. It’s why we spend hours finding the perfect photo of ourselves to put on our social media profiles, dress ourselves in clothing that highlights our positive features, only talk about that which make ourselves look good, and do essentially the same things a good marketer does to influence the perception of their product in order to influence the perception of ourselves. Yes, the power of perception is not lost on ordinary people, and far more our decisions than we realize are based on influencing how we are perceived.
Marketers also realize that perception doesn’t always have to exactly match reality, and, when it comes to making a sale, perception is what really matters. It’s why they too will spend hours finding the perfect product photo that makes their product look as desirable as possible, put it in packaging the highlights its positive traits, and only talk about its advantages.
Captivating an Audience through Storytelling
Captivating those around us with great storytelling is something that people have been doing for millennia. Storytelling allows us to relate to our fellow human beings in a way that is beneficial to both parties. The storyteller gets to have their story heard, themselves validated, and they get to include a number of other subtle pitches and attempts to sway perception in their favor in a way that doesn’t necessarily come off as pushy or, in some cases, come off as even noticeable at all. The person hearing the story, meanwhile, gets to be distracted and entertained, and, hopefully, walk away having learned something.
Yet marketers are quick to use the power of storytelling as well. One field of marketing that has recently become more and more prevalent is content marketing. Marketers have learned that, in a world saturated with advertising, you have to be able to captivate, inform, and entertain your audience in order to hold their attention for long. A run-of-the-mill ad simply won’t do the trick. By and large, marketers have turned to storytelling in order to keep their audience’s attention.
The same tactic is used in the person-to-person side of marketing as well. If a salesman feels their customer is losing interest in their product, they may revert the conversation to something else, such as talking about the customer’s (or their own) personal lives until the customer is drawn back in enough to start paying attention to the product once more.
As far back as human history has been recorded we’ve been telling stories, and though content marketing as it exists today may be relatively new, the psychology behind it certainly is not.
Framing Negative Experiences in a Positive Light
While framing negative experiences in a positive light often seems like a tough task (and it certainly is) people everywhere are masters at doing so, both in their own mind and in the minds of those around them. When we make mistakes, or when bad things happen that are completely out of our control, we are quick rationalize these experiences, look for the silver lining, and try to make sure that same silver lining is what others see as well when they look at our situation. Framing negative experiences in a positive light is one of the things that keeps us sane, and it has been around since the dawn of man.
Likewise, marketers too often find themselves having to respond to negative situations. When a rival company comes out with an attack ad, when their brand endures a bit of bad press, or when the company makes a mistake that puts it in bad favor with its customers, it is the marketer’s job to come up with a marketing strategy that frames all of these negative experiences in a positive light and puts their brand back in good-standing with their customers.
Physical touch, self esteem, stories, and positivity are all cornerstones of humanity, and yet another example proving that, at the end of the day, everyone is a marketer.