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How marketers humiliate consumers: what to do with a lack of professional ethics?

Warm customer ”,“ customer touch ”,“ building a sales funnel ”,“ landing page ”- we use these terms every day. And we don’t think about doing it publicly, but an attentive consumer sees how we are trying to “plant” it, “throw it into the funnel” and “warm it up” somewhere.

Until about 2000, the manipulative terminology of marketers almost did not go beyond professional conferences, planning meetings in the marketing departments of companies, university audiences, special studies and books. But the Internet came and changed everything. Marketers themselves made thematic blogs and the media, in which they arranged such a professional striptease that they take a flurry of an unprepared person.

And how, tell me, should an ordinary consumer who has some self-esteem have to perceive, say, such an article on the Texterra blog: “A lead magnet is a delicate way to draw a customer into a sales funnel”?

The network is full of quality guides that actually tell everyone and everyone about “how do we put a ring in the nose of the consumer and take him where we need to.”

In this situation, how can marketers, analysts, SMMs, copywriters and journalists respect their professions? After all, the everyday slang of all these people is permeated with a neglect of the end user.

The notorious phrase “sales funnel” in a normal person is associated with something dangerous, “dragging to the bottom.” With a hit in a definitely bad situation, which can lead not only to trouble, but to death itself.

The consumer now not only intuitively feels that they are being controlled. He also sees direct evidence of this. Even John Kenneth Galbraith, a prominent theoretical economist, called advertising “manipulating consumer desire.” And, speaking of its effect on people, he wrote back in 1958:

“… Demons attack a person and instill a passion in him sometimes for silk shirts, sometimes for kitchen utensils, sometimes for pots, and sometimes for an orange pumpkin.”

The jump in the development of advertising technologies that took place in the 21st century, on the one hand, made the “advertising demons” refined and almost invisible. But on the other hand, the availability of information about these technologies ruthlessly exposed their unsightly essence.

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“Demonic” advertising has become quite a while
One of the “fathers” of manipulative techniques in advertising was an American psychologist and marketer, a native of Vienna, Ernest Dichter.

Dichter is called a genius who came up with how to use people’s irrational desire to make stupid purchases in establishing “smart sales”
Dichter is called a genius who came up with how to use people’s irrational desire to make stupid purchases in establishing “smart sales”
In the 30s of the XX century, Dichter fled to the United States from Austria – from persecution by the Nazis. In America, he began to apply the psychoanalytic concept of Sigmund Freud to the study of consumer behavior. Over time, Dichter acquired the status of “father of motivational research.”

The psychologist proposed to business the idea that needs in the form in which they exist in people can be “mobilized” and then manipulated. The business happily seized on it. With the great help of Mr. Dichter, an intensified “commodity fetishism” developed in the USA already in the 1950s.

Just then, the marketing psychologist convinced the business community to connect sex and consumption in a public field. Dichter developed a kind of philosophy of corporate hedonism.

And in practice, everything looked by today’s standards even very nice. Millions of families in the USA strove to achieve the “American Dream”, which was presented in an innocent way: the husband works, the wife is a sexy (within reasonable limits) housewife, raising 2-3 children. They have their own house and a car. The husband is making a career hard, over time the family gets the opportunity to buy more and more pretty things.

What really happened with such families can be found in later journalistic investigations and works of American culture. There were completely unexpected problems against the backdrop of remarkable economic growth, festive consumer fever and the baby boom.

Say, thousands of American women, driven into a wheel “home-children-consumerism” and suffering from unrealization, began to become depressed. Further – into alcoholism, and then into dependence on barbiturates. In those years, they were actively used to “treat” depression, but the fact that this class of drugs was addictive was not immediately apparent.

A guide to depression, or How I became a patient in a neuropsychiatric clinic and dealt with the problem (almost)
By the way, one of the victims of the image of the “American Dream” was the world-famous actress Marilyn Monroe, who personified the connection between sexuality and consumption indicated by marketers.

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