Marketing decides its actions on the basis of a spectacularly dangerous delusion: that people know and can accurately describe the mental mechanisms underlying their decisions and actions. Designed to utilize language in a way that influences your thinking, feelings and behavior, language is the extraordinary ability that allows marketers to excel at promoting and selling products or services. Language allows us to say, “I am here, I am unique, I exist.”
Imagine a world without language. I am sure to a certain extent you feel a sense of relief. With the constant interruptions we deal with from the media today, I am not surprised. Humor me and try anyway. Imagine a world without language. This sentence no longer makes sense to you. The television that you hear in the background has now become just grunts, shrieks and gestures. You attempt to speak, but you suddenly find yourself wishing you had taken that American Sign Language course down at the local library. How are you now going to express you thoughts, feelings or experiences to others? Social groups would no longer have a place, good-bye networking! Hello… utter… isolation…
If language was lost you would experience sever limitations in the once complex and dynamic individual relationships with others that once enriched your life. Unlike the increased complexity in the relationships shown on the popular apocalyptic television show, The Walking Dead.
In order for you to best understand how marketing should work, you first have to understand and accurately describe the mental mechanisms underlying your own decisions and actions. I am able to communicate with you with my writing because as human beings we have this great ability to create and attach meaning to it, or symbolize. The most common symbols we are exposed to are words and with them comes tremendous symbolism; ideas, concepts, feelings, define an object, define properties of another word, personal perceptions, and/or can add situational meaning. Language then can be summarized as a system of spoken and written “words” that we use to represent various aspects of our experience.
Some manipulate their audience, and in my opinion underestimate our intelligence, as a way of influencing and sometimes controlling the messages we receive which in turn provides us with limited context to then question our thoughts and feelings. In return some of these manipulative marketing techniques result in their ability to take advantage of persuasive tactics that prey on naturally learned, socially conditioned heuristics and as a result, your behavior. [Want to Try Another Way? Show Your Work!]
In order to understand if the techniques were effective you must first know the trick.
“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”
― L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
As we all know the trick isn’t as magical once it is revealed. Once you see the man behind the curtain, there’s no turning back. Atlas I can only speak for myself, for some find bliss in ignorance.
Join Paperless Marketing in this unique blog series, “How to Use the Marketing Industry’s Super Powers Against Them” and learn how to accurately describe the mental mechanisms underlying your decisions and actions, use language more efficiently for your next marketing campaign and build a community around your product or service using authenticity instead of manipulation.
Quick Update: The new face of PaperlessMarketing4U.com is shaping up nicely. We hope to share it with you next week when we return with Part II of this series: The Nature of Language is Symbolic.
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