November 19th, 2012
I used to think that marketing didn’t really work on me. I wanted to believe that I was smart enough to know what I wanted to buy. I thought marketing and advertising only really worked on “stupid people”.
Add and I were thinking about this question today when we were shopping for groceries and other basic stuff we needed.
We realized how important marketing was when we were thinking of which toothpaste to buy. Shopping for something like toothpaste is interesting when you think about it. I imagine that most people don’t care at all about the brand name in terms of “coolness”. It’s not like BMW, LV, Apple, or even Starbucks. People won’t judge you at all in terms of which toothpaste you use. They won’t even know.
I also imagine that most people are looking for the same things when they are shopping for toothpaste. I think we all want toothpaste to:
1. Make our teeth clean
2. Make them extra white
3. Taste good
4. Not be ridiculously expensive
I also guess that most people don’t spend any time researching toothpaste brands. I know I don’t. So, how do we make our decision? We all buy toothpaste so our decision must be based on something.
I really don’t know how exactly I make my choice. First of all, I don’t really want to spend much time thinking about this decision. It’s not like I’m buying a new car or a new house. I won’t spend more than 30 seconds thinking about it. I won’t even look at all of the options or all of the prices. I guess most people are the same, or similar.
I quickly look at all the boxes of toothpaste and just grab the box that looks like it would be the best one. If it says “tooth whitening” and costs a bit more money, I’ll probably buy it, especially if the box looks and feels good. I know that I’m probably wasting a bit of money on buying the nice box, but for some reason I don’t care. Part of me feels more relaxed when I buy a better looking box of toothpaste. Part of me believes that the toothpaste in the prettiest box is also the best in quality. Logically, I know they are all almost the exact same product in different boxes, but I willingly allow myself to almost get fooled.
After I chose the toothpaste I wanted, I realized that I make almost all of my shopping decisions based on marketing. I have almost no other information to make a choice on most of the stuff I buy. I just buy the one that looks clean, fresh, and good. A nice package made of nice coloured stuff makes a huge difference when you have no idea of how else to make a choice.
In many ways, I absolutely hate marketing. I wish it didn’t exist. In my little dream world, I wish that people bought only the best quality stuff. Then companies could focus all of their time and energy on making the best products. The best stuff would win and the terrible products would lose and those companies would fail. The unfortunate reality, however, is that marketing is too important to ignore. If you totally forget about it, you won’t make enough money to eat or turn on a light, even if you have the best product in the world.
Add and I found out how important it is with this website. Our original plan was to only focus on making the VIP section as good as possible. We hoped that just making a great product was all we had to do. We really want this website to be the world’s best for learning English. We don’t want to just say it is, we want it to be TRUE. (We actually believe it is by the way). Anyway… The problem is that we need to focus some of our time on marketing. There is no way to totally forget about image, even if we want to. That’s my experience anyway. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject.
I also want to thank everyone who has been writing comments on these blogs. They are really interesting to read, and great practice for your writing. It’s awesome to see your ages, countries, and jobs. It makes the comments come alive. It reminds me that this website is for real people. That sounds kind of stupid but I think you know what I mean.
I’d love to read your opinion on a couple things:
1. How much do you think marketing affects your buying decisions in your own life?
2. Does good marketing matter more for certain types of products? Which ones? Why?
3. How do you think we could improve the marketing of our VIP page? (We try our best on making the actual product as good as possible, we’d just love to hear if you guys have any marketing ideas too. You guys are smart and we take your opinions seriously.
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