Do you remember the advertising campaigns, below? Ever wondered how much each cost, on average?
Wonder no more! Marketing magazine, B&T have released the top 10 spenders in 2014 in Australia.
Credit for the photos: www.bandt.com.au
From the B&T Magazine, April and May edition.
Personal growth: it’s something we should all be striving for; leaving our yesterday behind and enjoying a new-you everyday, fearless of the future. But are we challenging ourselves enough each day? Or are we just watching time go by slowly, then suddenly wondering in disbelief where it all went to? Life is short, so we want to make the most of it, yet it’s a risky world out there and we don’t want to put ourselves into harm’s way or set ourselves up for failure. It’s a tricky balance, but one worth getting right.
Our Reality Is Our Own
Everyone envisions themselves as this forward-thinking, intuitive-feeling, adventure-seeking hero, and yet how true is this compared to our reality? I’m guilty of this gap myself, and I’m sure many people reading this are now asking themselves the same reflecting question (and if that’s the case, this blog post’s mission is successful already!)
Ask yourself this: In both my career and personal life, do I say yes enough and genuinely open myself up to pushing my boundaries? Or do I play it far too safe?
Only you know for sure! You can’t lie to yourself
We all know ourselves pretty well; we’ve been well-acquainted for quite a long time. You, and only you can know how ambitious you wish to be, and this is the bedrock where it all starts.
If you feel content with your achievements and your objectives at the moment, then congratulations, you’ve found the correct balance! However, if you’re like most of us and can’t 100% truthfully say that you’re happy with your current goals and successes, regardless of whether they be about finances, career, personal, habits, relationships, and so on, then it’s time to put yourself out there and increase your activity in that space.
Now, I know that this is simple and easy to just say. After all, we all have situations, responsibilities and dependants that require us to act in a conservative way. But don’t make it a poor excuse either. With the modern age moving by at a million miles and hour and experiences out there a-plenty, there’s absolutely no excuse to be just drifting through life and simultaneously angry at yourself for doing so.
Don’t be that person wondering how someone else does it- be that person that does it!
Sign up to that language learning class.
- Record that podcast or social media video you’ve always dreamed of trying.
- Enter a competition that will spur your creativity.
- Take acting or singing classes.
- Register and be active on social media to connect with people to see what else is out there.
- Completely change your career to the industry you really want to be a part of.
- Save up and purchase your first investment property.
- Take that trip to that remote location you’ve always wanted to go to.
- Go back to university and up-skill yourself.
- Start your own business in something you feel is a niche only you can provide for.
- Write that novel.
- Take up that sport you’ve always watched on TV and wanted to try.
The list is endless, and unique to you. Put aside your worn-out excuses and your back-burning tendencies; it’s time to make the most of now. Start saying YES.
With taking risks and embracing new experiences, you have everything to gain. The success and self-actualisation of pushing your boundaries is something you will treasure, and will be some of the best gifts you can give yourself. Sometimes, you’ll even be shocked at how much you are capable of; it’s just that you’ve never given yourself a chance to ever try before. Even if your little adventure fails, you’re still in a better place than if you hadn’t have attempted anything at all.
A sad situation is looking back and realising that you missed an opportunity you wish you had of taken earlier. A worse situation is looking back and realising that you’ve missed countless opportunities over and over, and you’re still not doing anything about it to learn for next time.
Stop existing and start living! Opportunities are out there for those who reach. And, most of the time, it’s not even that difficult!
Let Technology Help
The advantage to the speed of life today is that everything is available at our fingertips, most of the time in inexpensive and easy to use forms, making your reluctance to change even less justified. For example, there are apps that can help you improve your brain training, countless YouTube videos on how to do everything, free podcasts on languages and subjects, online qualifications and the list goes on.
A simple internet search will reveal a lot of these opportunities to take advantage of. So, again, the ball is in your court.
It’s A Balancing Game
Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose when you take a gamble. You risk something to gain something- that’s the nature of life. For example, if you invest a lot of money in a venture, it could turn sour. However, you should learn to never to shy away from a challenge just because it’s scary or difficult.
Practice hedging your risk by weighing up the opportunity costs that you face, should taking a chance go either way. Being realistic is an important way to sooth that overly cautious side of yourself, and get you to see your little wins along that way which will snowball into bigger ones.
If learning a language is your ambition, then that’s a pretty simple equation: you spend a few hours on a week night at a class which costs about $150 for a semester, and download a free app to practise with on the bus. In this case, if you can afford those small costs, then the self satisfaction and fulfilment in learning will far outweigh the costs. You may even end up meeting new people in the class and it becomes a social event. Now think of the reality of you not pursuing this option: you’re sitting at home in front of the television, wondering why you’ve never picked up Italian or French.
In the more involved risks of, say, starting your own business, again, be realistic. Plan out your venture and run it by others to ‘acid-test’ it for you. Don’t let anyone (including yourself) talk yourself out of it because it’s simply ‘something other people do.’ Many new businesses fail before you get that real winner, so you have to ask yourself, are you willing to never even try, or are you happy to extend yourself and see what you can do?
Make A Plan To Succeed
The way to justify pushing yourself is to see actual changes. So, give yourself the solid evidence you need! Start a diary of your progress on your new diet, sign up to a website that tracks your goals and allows you to set targets, or perhaps look back on your situation a year ago at work, and see how different your situation is then to now.
Everyone has the same amount of time in an hour, a day, a week, and each year. What you do with your precious time is up to you, but just promise yourself to never fill it with flimsy excuses, especially when the world has so much more to offer you, if only you’d just take a chance and pushed your comfort zones aside.
From my blog, www.melottimedia.com.au/blog
Does Marketing really know thy customer?
One of the greatest challenges for Marketers is the study of the complicated Human Being. Whilst marketers spend so much time, effort and resources into investigating customer behaviour through scientific studies, trials and extensive market research, we continue to find that the human consumer is not as simple as most text books and 'gurus' lead us to believe.
The real truth behind this is that, as humans, we are quite irrational and instinctive when it comes to decision making and consumer behaviour, taking significant influences from countless sources of stimuli, most of which we aren't even aware of.
I have attempted to summarise a few basic outlines of consumer behaviour and psychology, below, to assist marketers appreciate the complexity of their target consumer. A wider understanding of what’s going on in each consumer’s “black box” will help sharpen communication campaigns and marketing strategies, as patterns of behaviour can be more understood and therefore better catered to.
(1) Real Decisions Are Emotion Based
Consumers base most, if not all of their instinctual decisions on their emotional states, and far less of logical checklists (if at all). This is why branding and positioning can be so effective: if you can appeal to a consumer's emotional needs, it becomes highly attractive to them.
(2) Consumers Will Substantiate Their Emotional Decision Using Facts
After a consumer receives a favourable emotional bond with a product, and thus desires it, the logical side finally kicks in. A consumer will automatically grow wary of this emotional 'pull' and cannot validate a purchase simply based on this feeling, so they will search for solid facts that will help them justify their need or want.
This is why marketers must provide easily accessible factual information to consumers after hitting the emotional button.
(3) Consumers Crave Value
Not to be confused exclusively with a monetary figure, value is relative to the subject, and basically represents the consumer's perceived benefit, minus all costs involved. This incorporates time, inconvenience, money, cost of substitutes and so forth.
A successful product is one where the consumer is shown enough information for them to evaluate that the benefits of their purchase is at least equal, if not far outweighed by the costs of consumption.
(4) Humans Are Humanistic
Basically, human thought processes are strongest when relating to social interaction with other people. Therefore, marketing messages that are relatable to the target audience by, for example using names, real situations or quotes, will be more effective in meaning.
(5) Ultimate Free Will
Whilst marketing campaigns can be extremely effective and compelling, it is important to appreciate that consumers can never be forced to behave in a specific way: sometimes, even when all the boxes are ticked, a consumer may still behave expectantly. Therefore, the most basic of marketing principles holds true here: make your product offering as appealing and valuable to your target audience as possible.
(6) People Enjoy Purchasing
Consumers enjoy discovering new products and technologies, and get a thrill from curiosity and ownership. This is because they look for products that appeal to them on an emotional level, and therefore, a level of satisfaction is achieved when a purchase is made (i.e.: the term retail therapy!).
A successful product should add to this feeling of ecstasy, and not sour the experience through inconvenience or creating buyer's remorse.
(7) People Are Sceptical
Years of consumerism has engrained a natural suspicion in the average person these days- and rightly so. Therefore, marketing efforts need to focus more on assisting and providing the right information, rather than persuading and pushing people into a purchase. A good marketing campaign aims to reassure the target market, not repulse or fear them.
(8) Insatiable Emotional Desires
Humans constantly manifest emotional needs when they are always naturally dissatisfied with their current state. Related to a few of the earlier points, products that get in touch with their emotional target audience and appeal to these cravings will attract their attention.
(9) Consumers Love Convenience
In today's electronic age where everything is available online and extremely fast, consumers will gravitate to the easiest method of acquisition- it ties in with the value proposition and how much energy it takes to obtain the good, versus the benefit. So, if a product is convenient, consumers view the cost as lower and therefore the value as higher.
The other side to this is, if it is an exclusive product available in limited locations, then the appeal of exclusivity and individuality must outweigh the need for convenience for the target audience.
(10) Tangible Sampling
People appreciate samples and a chance to examine the product, risk free, before purchasing.
Samples and free trials are a way to create a positive, risk-free experience for the consumer and encourage their positive purchasing behaviour.
(11) Peer Pressures
Peer pressure and 'group think' effects are prominent with people within a society; especially one that is so connected with social media. Humans take into account a lot of external judgement when making purchasing decisions.
Additionally, as mentioned above, a lot of our decisions can reflect how we think others will perceive us. This is why testimonials and messaging that focus on crowd impressions are effective.
The Shift Towards Empathetic Marketing
These above pointers are just factors of consumer behaviour that I have studied and observed as a Marketing Professional. The field of psychology is extremely complex, substantial and constantly evolving, however there is merit in attempting to rationalise a target consumer's behaviour so that an effect marketing strategy and campaign can be developed accordingly.
Breaking down consumer behaviour highlights a common theme in a lot of marketing strategy and tactics: a lack of empathy. The best way to understand consumer psychology when devising the most effective way to communicate with a target audience is to exercise a sense of empathy: put yourself into their shoes and ask yourself how you would react if you were shown your own campaign. This sounds extremely simple, however we continue to see organisations consistently rolling out expensive marketing efforts which have little to no real appeal to their target audience, instead relying on frustrating repetition or messages that are not relatable.
Don't just do marketing because you can; really consider of all of the complex humans you are trying to connect with.
Christopher Melotti (BComm:Mtkg, MCommLaw, AMAMI CPM)
Freelance Copywriter at Melotti Media