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Mental marketing secret #1: the fake compromise

Published on 5/6/2014
Categories: Advertising
Mental marketing secret #1: the fake compromise

My friends know that in addition to information technology, my second great passion is magic.
Illusionism has never been a job in my case, but it let me travel around the world doing magic shows (if you are curious take a look at the fan page).
However, the question I am asked often is "Do you ever use magic tricks in marketing?"
Answer: "Of course!"

This article is the first of a series in which I will reveal some of subtleties of mentalism and how they can be successfully applied to advertising and web marketing. Before we start, let me make a clarification: mentalism is not based on supernatural powers, but on tricks, often mental, such as suggestion, manipulation of memories, etc.

The fake compromise

The secret that will be discussed today can be applied either to a shop shelf or to an e-commerce web site. Let's start from two considerations.

  1. Who needs to make a purchase, especially if important, rarely buys the first thing that comes to hand. Especially today that you can easily compare products using the Internet, anyone prefers to take a look at alternatives.
  2. We feel very gratified if we buy something after evaluating the alternatives, especially if we think we have done a bargain.

How can we use this mindset to our advantage?

Simple! We'll offer our visitors false alternatives that will take them to the product that we wanted to sell. If they believe that they have had considered all the options and have found the right one, that's an irresistible urge to buy.

Be careful, too many alternatives would disorient your customers, discouraging them and making them postpone the transaction.

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How do we create these false alternatives?

Suppose we want to sell a blender on our e-commerce web site.
When a visitor ends up on our blender landing page, we have to "frame" the blender between other two ones, with a message like:

Who rated this product, it is often also interested in these others.

I am sure that it is not the first time you see this message...
The three products that we'll offer are:

  1. A blender that is a little bit cheaper, but with much less features than the one we actually want to sell.
  2. The blender that we want to sell.
  3. A blender with a few unnecessary additional features, but that costs a lot more.

Our unsuspecting visitor would choose the second option, thinking that the compromise (piloted and fake) is the result of her wisdom and judgment.

In the future, when a magician will ask you to "freely choose" something, ask yourself if you are not falling victim to this technique.

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