How many times have we experienced this (comment, below): we find something interesting on the internet; we get smitten by it; we buy it; finally, when we possess it, we realise that we’re not as happy as we believed we are going to be. And yet, the next time we are on internet, the same thing happens, all over again. Congratulations, we got tricked by some well-crafted, marketing content.
We all have certain set of beliefs:
Some set of beliefs related to culture:
- It is okay to make mistakes but unacceptable not to learn from them.
- Never tolerate dishonesty.
- If we help people in their times of need, we will get help in our times of need.
Similarly, there are set of beliefs related to religion, politics, and, so on.
These beliefs help us develop our core values:
And these values control our actions/ behaviour.
Consider an act of “helping a person”.
This act is, actually, triggered by our Value (Kindness), which is supported by our belief that “If we help people in their times of need, we will get help in our times of need.”
Occasionally, we may realize that our act of helping someone did not produce the desired result. Maybe, the person turned out to be fake. We, then, modify our belief as, “If we help deserving people in their times of need, we will get help in our times of need.”
This is what I call the Behaviour cycle. This is the natural flow that, actually, improves our belief sets and, thereby, improves ourselves.
But, all these change if we consider the role of marketing.
The best case for Marketing influenced Behaviour cycle is Politics (especially, in today’s digitally connected world).
Our Values (backed by our beliefs) motivate us to vote for a particular politician (behaviour). After few years, we realize that we haven’t seen certain changes, as expected. In a normal behaviour cycle, if we do not see changes, as promised, we modify our beliefs and we may not vote for the same person, next time.
But, in the Marketing influenced Behaviour cycle, the experience gained from our behaviour takes a back-seat. Marketing content influence us to think that our experience itself is faulty, due to various external factors. So, even if we do not see changes, as expected, we do not care to modify our beliefs. As a result, we skip the natural flow of modifying our beliefs and thereby, improving ourselves.
Same thing happens when we substitute marketing (above image) for:
- people we like (who share our values)
- things we are passionate about
So, the next time you are about to do something, try to pause for a moment, and THINK: “am I being influenced by a person that I like or a thing that I am passionate about?”