Persuasion and Manipulation in Marketing
Some people say that all marketers are liars, all marketing is deception, and that all persuasion is manipulation. As a marketer, their job is to persuade people, whether it is buying a good or a service. Although, it is not always clear when the persuasion turns into manipulation, and if is it possible to sell effectively without walking into those gray areas of persuasion and manipulation.
I would have to say that the clear difference between the two is, intent. A marketer with a good intent would chose a different technique than someone with a bad intent. They would most likely go with a more ethical technique than the other also. So how do you know when, as a marketer, you are persuading or manipulating your ...view middle of the document...
For instance, if a prospect is looking at a car. They may not know for sure exactly which one they want but may have an idea. That is when the marketer/ salesman comes in and gives them that little nudge (persuasion) they need to finalize a decision.
On the other hand, if you are selling a product and coloring it into something that it is not so that it IS what the consumer may want or need is a whole different story. Manipulating and changing a product just for another sell is a huge ethical issue that we see today in ads and commercials. Including false claims, fake testimonials, and describing a lifestyle that you have gained from the product that is truly unrelated. So really in the end you are inducing people into making bad decisions on false premises. For instance,
â€œThe desire to be associated with attractive people is employed in manipulative advertising in several different ways. A loose association between attractiveness and product marketing is placing an attractive woman near a car to sell the car, or an auto part associated with it. The woman has nothing to do with the product, but her presence attracts the target audience of males in a certain age group.â€ (Root, George)
Think what you may but not all marketers are liars, marketing deception, or persuasion is manipulating because there is a large difference and that, again, is intent. When selling a product you have to ask yourself; Am I telling the truth about this product/service or am I coloring it into something that it is not?
Bolen, W. (1984). Advertising (2nd ed.). New York: Wiley.
Grewal, D., & Levy, M. (2014). Marketing Ethics. In Marketing (Fourth ed.). Penn Plaza, New York: McGraw Hill.
Root, G. (n.d.). Examples of Manipulative Advertising. Retrieved October 21, 2014.