Marketing is Just Psychology, Really

It’s not hard to tell that everything in this world revolves around some form of psychology, but few areas of study and the economy are so tied with psychology like marketing. To be able to sell, you must know who you’re selling to, where they’re at, and why they’d want to buy your product. This is where the psychology of it all comes into play.

However, the goal is to make the customer feel like they would feel better owning your product, about themselves and their life. This is fine in most cases. What I have a problem with is when marketing so often uses people’s flaws, be they real or perceived, against them. I find it predatory.

We see this a lot with multi-level marketing (MLM) and direct sales schemes (which are effectively pyramid schemes that have a product, but require recruitment). For example, I’m a member of several anti-MLM groups on Facebook. I cannot count the number of times I have seen messages from “huns,” the people who sell these products, comment on someone’s body weight. Oft-times, these people who are targeted have eating disorders they’re overcoming and don’t want to lose the weight, or have literally just had a kid, and it’s only natural.

People deserve better than companies, representatives, and entities that are effectively bullying them.