Why Superstitions Are Amazing Marketing Tools

Post by Nick Armstrong of WTF Marketing.

You wouldn’t know it by their reputation, but superstitions are actually a very useful marketing tool.

I’m serious.

Superstitions Are Amazing Marketing Tools

Superstitions teach us through veiled threats of impending doom about the hidden dangers that surround us, the value of everyday objects, and “common sense” better than perhaps even a first-hand recount of a bad experience.

Superstitions are also insanely pervasive, because science!

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7 Marketing Tactics from Zynga That Really Work

7 Top Marketing Lessons from ZyngaAfter only four years in existence, Zynga is already earning over a billion dollars a year in revenue. No gaming company has grown so big in so little time before.

Part of the reason for this growth was an incredible change in the way games are consumed. Games like Farmville have moved beyond being only for young men and have found wide acceptance across all age groups. In addition, the Facebook platform has allowed games to quickly spread through players’ personal networks.

Though the changing landscape has been a tremendous help, Zynga’s success is no coincidence. They have a solid marketing plan that has been executed as well as any, and it’s Zynga’s understanding of behavioral psychology and viral marketing that has allowed them to dominate the social gaming environment so quickly.

The success of Zynga has a lot to teach us about marketing in the digital age. Below are seven outstanding marketing lessons we can all take away from Zynga’s success.

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Is Politeness Driving Your Brand Off the Boredom Cliff?

Creating a Brand PersonalityWe’re told to be polite, earnest, and respectful. However, as we’ve learned from Reality TV, face slaps and unfiltered emotions are often more engaging than polite interaction. Micro-blogger Chad Johnson attracted a lot of praise for the influence he earned with raw unfiltered messaging; Twitalyzer in 2011 called Chad Ochocinco the most influential American on Twitter.

Recently, we’ve seen an epic “brawl” on Twitter centered around Nassim Nicholas Taleb and his book, Antifragile-Things That Gain From Disorder. Dr Taleb has attracted a lot of attention with his challenging, brash, and often bombastic tweets. His persona is more Ochocinco then Emily Post. Even more interesting is that his topic is Macroeconomics and Econometrics rather than cheating spouses, baller theatrics, and celebutantes. He is making economics interesting.

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What Metallica Can Teach Marketers About Product Changes

“Why would they do that?

Seriously, how in the world did they ever decide this would be a good idea?”

Consumers often aren’t the biggest fans of major unexpected changes.  Facebook users flipped out when Timeline started rolling out to the masses, for instance.  Coca-Cola has had more than one run-in with angry consumers over changes to their packaging.

With that said, there’s a simple fact of life in marketing: Product changes are inevitable.

  • Technology improves
  • Economies fluctuateProduct Changes and Marketing
  • Markets shrink and expand
  • Consumer expectations and perceptions shift
  • Budgets rise and fall

Everything in business changes.

The way to survive in a competitive market is by launching new products or changing existing products.  But changing existing products creates a bit of a problem for marketers:

When changing a product, how do you capture the segment of ever-changing consumers without leaving your most loyal customers out in the cold?

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How Social Media Impacts the Consumer Decision Making Model

“You don’t have to buy from anyone. You don’t have to work at any particular job. You don’t have to participate in any given relationship. You can choose.” – Harry Browne

Anyone who has taken a formal marketing course knows all too well the traditional consumer decision making model depicted below.

Here’s how it works…

  • Consumers recognize a void between their desired and actual states (problem awareness)
  • Seek information on products that will fill that void (information search)
  • Form a consideration set of products they believe will solve the problem (evaluation of alternatives)
  • Make a decision/purchase from that pool of alternatives (purchase)
  • Evaluate the purchase and determine if it truly solved their problem or if there is still cognitive dissonance present (post-purchase evaluation)

Consumer Decision Making Model

The steps of this model haven’t changed since the introduction of social media, but what has changed are the ways consumers seek information, form their consideration sets, and give feedback about those products after purchasing.

Marketing is no longer strictly between the brand and the consumer; it’s now between the brand, the consumer, and hundreds or thousands of the consumer’s friends and followers.

All with a few keystrokes and a click of the mouse, or tap of the phone.

It would be a gross understatement to say social media is a game-changer with respect to consumer behavior.

MORE: Get three practical lessons about creating a winning social media strategy for your business. Join here.

While social media impacts all levels of the consumer decision model, there are two parts in particular that it disproportionately affects:

  • Information Search
  • Post-Purchase Evaluation

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