A marketing ploy - a good practice with a bad reputation

Marketing strategy
a marketing ploy does not mean that the company's actions are morally suspect

Every day we hear "this is just a marketing gimmick, don't be fooled." However, does every marketing activity deserve this name? Negative connotations have long entered the consciousness of recipients, and society has split into those who are skeptical and suspicious, and those who are influenced by marketing.

Regardless of the brand's intentions, it is worth a bit of reflection. Does the infamous marketing ploy have a definition? And should it really be so badly associated? 

Is there a definition of a marketing gimmick?  

There is no clear, precise, or even scientific definition of a marketing ploy. Therefore, it can be said that it is a kind of phenomenon, saying or association that certain marketing practices, currently used by specialists, may trigger specific reactions in the recipients. Most often it is the purchase of a product or service.

Although it is unfair, very often each sales activity is called a marketing gimmick. It came from a certain belief that specialists in this industry manipulate recipients with the help of messages. There are many techniques to convince consumers of the rightness of the purchase. We should remember, however, that most of these are not unethical acts.

a marketing ploy does not mean that the company's actions are morally suspect

Every day, around tens of thousands of consumers are held marketing activities. Moreover, they are made not only by sellers or service providers, but more and more often by public benefit organizations, associations, foundations and even politicians. However, no one then calls it a marketing gimmick, because the subject matter is slightly different, perhaps less characteristic.  

What is fair competition? 

So let's think about what our world was like today, if we were not constantly informed about new products, promotions or offers. Would we like not to know that there is a brand somewhere close to us that offers products that we have been looking for for so long or is based on the values we value? That's what it is for marketing - aims to inform and offer - not to cheat.   

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Let's not forget that thanks to marketing, you can lead fair competition on a market that is enriched with new initiatives every day. Startups and recently created brands are doing their best to stand out from the competition and make it remembered by a wider audience. They do it through an innovative business idea or through fresh, inspiring marketing. So not everything that might seem is this shameful marketing gimmick, but only a way for brands to be remembered among hundreds of messages. 

A marketing trick on an example 

There is nothing to hide - modern marketing is based primarily on the psychology and preferences of recipients. It has been known for a long time that we are most often attracted by visual messages. This image is food not only for the eyes but also for our perception. Seeing a perfect, perfect product for us, we are already wondering how we can get it. Of course, our imagination works.  

Note that today's messages are very poor in words. In fact, we rely on visual messages and only in ourselves there are arguments that make this marketing really effective. The brand simply presents its best, tastiest product - sometimes in an innovative, surprising way. 

Following this lead, let's imagine a situation in which our eyes reveal a wonderful, perfect, colorful cookie with a huge amount of chocolate. In our minds there is an image of ourselves, going to cafes and ordering just this dream sweetness. Although it looks completely different in live than in the photo, it has a lot less chocolate and we don't really know what it tastes like yet, we still buy it without much reflection. If you also feel hungry, your desire to eat this cookie will increase significantly. It is only during consumption, when the visual and taste impressions are even slightly satisfied, that we reflect on the truthfulness of the arguments that persuaded us to buy, although they were not expressed directly. It was in our heads that we wanted to buy a cookie, although we hadn't thought about it when we left the house. So, can the presentation of a cookie in an advertisement by a certain confectionery brand be called a marketing gimmick? 

What can a marketing gimmick manifest itself in? 

However, let's note the difference between a photo and reality. After buying a cookie or any other product in 99% cases, it will be different from the product we saw earlier. Nevertheless, seeing all the differences, we still want to have them. Why is this happening despite the fact that skeptics and staunch opponents of marketing gimmicks would undoubtedly advise us not to do so, calling it manipulation and a waste of money? Because man by nature strives to satisfy his consumer needs. We know perfectly well that the perfectly thin, crispy chips shown on TV, in fact, are mostly broken in the package. However, we want to buy them anyway, because we need it in our minds.  

The infamous marketing gimmick manifests itself not only in the form of visual materials such as photos, videos or advertisements, but also through verbal messages. Promotions, price reductions, freebies, free deliveries - all these would seem to be marketing gimmicks.  

What's wrong with the fact that on this particular day the brand offers free delivery? This example can be viewed from the perspective of various situations. Recipients will then be divided into three groups - consumers who wanted to order something and free delivery is a real gratification for them, people who admittedly nothing needed, but on this occasion they looked through the products on the site and decided to buy assortment and people who are completely unconvinced by free delivery, because they cannot or simply do not want to buy anything. Should either group deserve social condemnation? Not at all - it should absolutely not be judged as naive or manipulated either. Each of us has our own beliefs that guide our lives. Of course, skeptics would see this as a marketing ploy that most consumers succumbed to, but we can call it the perfect opportunity to fulfill your need.  

A marketing trick as an improvement in the purchasing process  

One of the best known marketing techniques is distribution of goods in stores. We took a closer look at this example because it perfectly reflects the exaggeration of the allegations against the so-called marketing gimmicks. While in the butcher's shop, we can see aromatic spices right next to it. Why? Not because it is supposed to be a marketing gimmick. Above all due to the sequence of purchasing decisions. Seeing such a situation, many consumers immediately think of the lack of a suitable mixture for seasoning meat at home. Then they put a few packages in the basket and they can uncheck the matter of dinner.  

Of course, adding spices here should encourage the consumer to buy, but at the same time makes shopping easier. He does not have to look for spices in other sections of the store then. The same is true for example in the ice cream department. Ready-made fruit sauces, toppings or ice-cream wafers are immediately placed on the refrigerators. Is the fact that the products are arranged thematically not a great help for buyers?  

Summing up the opinion on the so-called marketing tricks, we should pay attention primarily to consumers. What for some people seems to be manipulation, for others it will be a great help and a way to meet their needs. Many examples show that price reductions or free delivery are most desired by the recipients. For who has not taken advantage of the promotion at least once or got carried away by imagination and bought a product that later turned out to be excellent? Even critics of the above-mentioned marketing techniques willingly use them, but in their case never see them as marketing gimmicks. So let's leave the choice to consumers and let brands stand out - this makes our world a diverse and interesting place.   

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