masters of marketing

Posted : April 17, 2018
Last Updated : November 22, 2021

masters of marketing

Contentment is being satisfied with what you have. Learn how to explain the concept of economic incentives and evaluate the claims in advertising.

It’s BOGO Time!

BOGO deals – or Buy One Get One Free deals – are great! Who doesn’t love getting things for free? This is an example of an incentive. Coupons are another example. Say you went to the store and you weren’t planning on spending seventy-five cents on a candy bar, but you found a coupon for twenty-five cents off that candy bar. Sure, you got a deal, but the company also got you to spend fifty cents that you weren’t planning to spend because you felt like you were getting a good deal.

Some common examples of economic incentives include:
  • Buy One Get One Free offers (BOGO)
  • Coupons and rebate offers
  • Customer loyalty reward cards
  • Store email with special deals for “select” customers
  • Big sales (such as Black Friday)
  • An extra 15% off if you use a store credit card
  • Internet, phone, or email coupons
  • Referral incentives (tell three friends and get yours free)

Advertising Stats

Advertising is all around us. Some research indicates that the average American is exposed to over 4,000 advertisements every day – and not just on television or radio. Consider these figures:

Average daily number of hours:
4.3 watching television
2.8 on a mobile device
2.4 on a computer
2.0 listening to music

Average minutes of commercials in one hour of programming:
15 minutes watching television
12 minutes listening to the radio

Average number of commercials:
30 commercials per hour on TV = 129 commercials per day (avg.) = 47,085 commercials per year (avg.)
24 commercials per hour on radio = 48 commercials per day (avg.) = 17,520 commercials per year (avg.)

Televised Football
The average NFL game includes about 20 commercial breaks and an average of 100 ads. And that doesn’t include all the name and logo branding on everything you see on the broadcast.

Advertising impressions are made every time you:
  • Brush your teeth and see the brand of toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Put on your clothes and shoes
  • Get into your car
  • Open your refrigerator or pantry and see all the labels
  • Drive past places to eat
  • See billboards and advertising along the road

A Materialistic Society

Stuff is not going to make you happy. That is an important truth to understand considering we live in the most marketed-to culture in the world. Face it: companies are competing to get you to buy their goods. And when you don’t buy the things they are selling, their ads often make you feel left out. Those ads make you feel like you are not satisfied unless you have “X,” and they make you think your life will be so much better if you go buy it. That is called discontentment.

Contentment is being happy with what you already have. Contentment is a powerful financial principle. Content people are satisfied with the perfectly good pair of shoes they have, and they know that buying another pair of shoes is not going to make them really happy. For example, you can be content eating a hamburger even though a big steak sounds pretty good.

There is a way for you to become content and that is first to become grateful. Being grateful requires being thankful. Take the time to express your thankfulness to others. When you say “thank you,” mean it. Being grateful also relates to your wants and needs. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this? How much is enough for me?” Being content with what you have will keep you from spending money you don’t have and going into debt for something you don’t really need.

Impulse Purchases

We buy a lot of stuff as impulse purchases. The goal of advertising is to get your attention and lead you to do something – to buy some gum, a hamburger or burrito, a particular brand of cereal, or even toothpaste. Just about everything is marketed to us to catch our attention. These ads work. We buy a lot of stuff. In fact, 75% of adults surveyed said they have made impulse purchases.

You’re probably familiar with the “photoshopping” effect – just about everything you see in ads has been altered on a computer and made to look better than it really does. For example, when was the last time you bought a hamburger, taco, or any other fast-food item that looked as good in person as it did in the ad or on the menu?

One of the practices of a wise consumer is to evaluate the claims made in an ad. Will this product be the best thing you have ever tasted? Probably not. Will the product instantly surround you with all kinds of new friends? Probably not. Will the product make you smarter, prettier, faster, taller, or something else? Probably not. It is up to you, as the consumer, to evaluate the claims of each product. Remember, marketers try to influence your emotions to get you to buy stuff.

Did you know that many of the food photos you see are actually created by a food designer (or food stylist) who gets paid to make food look really good? Sometimes they use plastic models of food, or the food is carefully photographed and then digitally enhanced. Other tricks include using hairspray to make food look fresh, using motor oil to simulate syrup or honey, or using colored mashed potatoes in place of ice cream, because mashed potatoes don’t melt and they hold their shape.

Final Thought

It really is true that money can’t buy you happiness – or contentment – even if you get a deal.

Source: Ramsey Solutions
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