Customer (or consumer) seduction is generally an accepted concept amongst learning institutions, economists and marketers. However this has its dark side. What is customer seduction? What are its positive attributes and how is it abused? This brief lesson will show you.
Customer Seduction – An Economist Point of View
There are a number of elements I find hard to grasp within this concept, but nonetheless, most modern advertisements are built from it and it is a widely accepted set of procedures built into just about every physical and digital product in existence. Another equally disturbing (to me) element within customer seduction is the requirement to entice customers.
However, from the strong Biblical background that I have, it is only natural that I would cringe over such concepts. For now, I put my differences aside and point out the economist’s view of intended use of such concepts.
Any number of ploys associated with the term come into play, most notably, a set of tactics used in winning customers and making them love the products being offered. Typically, advertisers resort to a known logical fallacy, the appeal to emotion, which is by far, the most deployed of logical fallacies in advertising. Great strides in the engineering of modern advertising include a number of visual and textual aids built-in to make a product look whiter, grander, more effective than it actually is.
In my opinion, products, when they are at their best, do not need such strategies and the products speak for themselves, and a few companies with such products do not use these strategies.
However, in the high competitive nature of many industries, embellishments like this do get included in advertisements and is considered, not only acceptable, but is the norm within commerce and e commerce. Only those at the top of their industries can afford not to use the strategies. Customer seduction is taught in marketing courses and upheld by economists almost universally.
The downside to all this is the apparent elevation of most products and services as they are shown to consumers and the conditioning of consumers themselves, to, not only accept, but to expect this added baggage in products. In the wrong hands, this concept can and does bring disastrous results, not necessarily to the producer, but certainly to the consumer.
Physical Products – A Prime Example
Great care goes into a product’s feel, colour, shape and other physically attractive attributes that go into the end results for that product. The physical design not only addresses the functionality of the product but the actual appearance as well. These too appeal to the emotion and call out to the consumer in non-intellectual ways.
Weight-loss product containers must look sexy and slim, automobiles must look sleek and contain curvatures that make it look like it is moving aerodynamically, even when it is sitting still, consumer-grade electronic audio equipment must flow with the music, bath and bathing products must make like the waves of the sea, and on and on this goes…
Appearance of a product must supersede practicality and functionality and conform to whatever style and trends dictate. Once outside of this picture, consumer-grade products, even when perfectly functional, become obsolete when their physical form go out of style. Functionality of a product is not the only target in planned obsceletedness, but style as well.
In fact note the usual automobile advertisements. What do you see? Are the advertisers not careful to expound upon the sleekness of the automobile being advertised? You do not see what’s under the hood most of the time. This is not shown, and consumers have been well conditioned to put full emphasis on what the interior, the dashboard, seats and sleek designs look like. The advertisements actually say very little, if at all, about the functionality of the automobile. The same is true about just about all commercial products that are available.
Functionality of anything, from shampoo to refrigerators hinge upon intellect and have little to offer emotionally, so intellectual considerations are divorced from advertising and given place almost solely to emotional appeal.
The downside to this is apparent: Quality can be quite inferior and this can be well hidden behind the veil of emotional appeal, and one doesn’t need to look any further than our landfill dumps across the nation and throughout the world. Whist this isn’t to say all products are inferior, there certainly is a fair share of them out there.
Digital Products – More Than They Really Are
These carry a different tune than do physical products, but essentially resonate in the same ways physical products do.
No doubt, there are some awesome digital products out there, some of which have become a vital part of our online experience and essential tools to make life easier for us.
This goes for products for use within the opportunity-seeker industry which this lesson focuses upon. Unfortunately, the vast quantity of digital products that are available on the Internet are inferior. This is NOT to say that they (i.e. many of them) are scams, but a fair share of them are.
Customer seduction falls less upon digital products than it does upon physical ones however, in comparison to the advertising for physical products to digital products, in my opinion the digital fares worse in the wake of customer seduction. Consequently, consumer trust for digital products remain lower than that for the physical. The instances of scam is also much higher for digital counterparts.
I’ve seen a digital online course teaching and encouraging students to research highly successful websites, then go on to replicating them, almost word-for-word and then put them up on the notable Flippa auction website. Obviously the creator put in a lot of hard work and honest effort into the course however, with little regard to prospective buyers who could wind up with a website they have just purchased that tanks. In my reviews of this online course, I could not find reason to mark it as scam, but it certainly contains some methods in it that no longer work today. I also found the advertising for this course to be forthright and to the point about the product and what it does. The Internet abounds with products like these.
Digital Products – Part II
Already-mentioned entities such as ClickBank, and others such as Commission Junction, which are marketplaces where affiliate marketers and businesses needing their products promoted meet, were overrun by these fraudulent digital products. Losing clientele, these and others conducted a thorough house-cleaning that put these thugs out. Some of these have banded together to form their own marketplaces which consist mainly of bad digital products and, as already noted, thrive on armies of affiliate marketers that don’t care what they promote, so long as there is a substantial kickback, which often happens, though there are also high occurrences of refunds to irate customers – if guarantees are actually honoured.
Customer seduction takes on a whole new and insidious meaning when compared to the more ethical counterparts in advertising.
Customer seduction, though considered a worthy cause in so-called ethical marketing and in the minds of professors and economists, it can, and often covers up products which have lower quality and then is purposely used in deceptive advertising to push digital products that have little or no value at all! Throughout the rest of this Guide, I will focus in on some of the most disturbing and damaging aspects found in the advertising campaigns for such products. In Lesson 3, we will see actual examples of outright lies that plague online opportunity-seekers who get stung.