Don’t Take the Bait

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

28 May 2020

 I should be sleeping. Instead, I’m scrolling through my Instagram feed. My favorite part of Instagram is following mental-health accounts, abuse-recovery accounts, and some of my favorite people (friends and celebrities.) I can endlessly scroll through memes, photos, and videos while feeling connected to a world that’s currently unreachable. I can see my friends’ children growing. I can laugh with Cardi B. And I can go to sleep with thoughts of self-love and positivity.

Lately, aggressive advertising has taken over my feed, as well. I’ve even succumbed to a couple of purchases – some environmentally friendly hand soap and a compact water pick. Social media is free. And I understand there’s a business behind the free platform – thanks Facebook. But I miss the days of carefree scrolling, the world in which I didn’t waste time watching commercials and deciding whether products were spam, legit, or worth my money.

Subconscious Marketing

The color of the packaging, the placement on the shelf, the size of the price tag, or the language on the label can all influence our buying decisions. We don’t realize the subconscious biases we have, or which ones are being used against us – or for us. The good news is that with awareness, effort, and time, you may be able to overcome some of those biases and the marketing that targets you.

Don’t reach for the first bottle you’re drawn to. Don’t succumb to the ad that pulled at your heartstrings or made you wish you were different. Before choosing which products enter your home, think about your values. Think about what type of footprint you want to leave on the world. Think about the messages you share with your family. Do you really need that brand-new pair of sneakers? Do you need to use the name brand bottle of soap with the one-time-use, unrecyclable plastic container?

Life is full of decisions. Let’s be present and deliberate in making our choices. Let’s learn more about ourselves. As a marketer, am I giving away too many trade secrets? Maybe. But I feel responsible for sharing what I know.

Giving is the only way we grow.