The best money saving tip is simple and anyone can do it. Reduce your contact with advertisements.
I remember while I was studying early childhood education years ago the topic of marketing came up. It was eye opening to learn how insidious it really is.
Disclaimer: I have not studied marketing and I am not qualified in the topic. The following blog post is my opinion only and not fact!
It’s not your fault
It’s not your fault if you struggle to curb your spending. We are a product of our environment. Being bombarded with both obvious and subliminal advertising everyday is bound to take a toll on our spending. Remember marketing is big business for a reason. It works.
If it didn’t work marketing wouldn’t be the lucrative industry that it is.
Let me give you a quick example. You start playing a game on your phone to while away some time. It’s relaxing and you enjoy it. After a certain amount of time you either pay for the ads to go away or you get regular advertisements for other games. The reason those ads are there isn’t just to get you to pay for them to go away. It’s a two for one special for the marketing team. Either way they win.
You will either pay to make the ads go away or eventually you’ll click into the next game out of curiousity. This increases their opportunity to advertise to you.
The other games advertised will most likely be free to play games with in-app purchases optional.
Take Fortnite for example. What a gold mine that is. It’s such a simple yet genius business model.
Kids want to play on it because it’s all their peers talk about. The colours are fun and vibrant. The pace of the game is quick and exciting. Limited edition characters create a sense of urgency.
The game itself is free to download but to get the cool accessories and battle pass you need to pay money.
You pay money for something you will never touch in real life and within a few days the novelty has worn off. Then your children are looking for the next accessory.
The fact that big YouTubers have cottoned onto the cult following that Fortnite has only makes the vicious circle more vicious. Now you have kids watching other people play video games such as Fortnite and wanting to be as cool as the YouTuber and so buying the skins they see on YouTube.
Marketing and kids
Have you ever wondered why fast food chains were able to have toys associated with movies, for their kids meals, prior to movies being released? It’s a chicken and the egg situation. Which came first the merchandise or the movie?
Occasionally movies are made after merchandise. A team of experts create merchandise with small children in mind. Then a movie is made to drive sales. A long advertisement.
Think of it this way, what toys do your kids gravitate towards? It’s the ones with their favourite characters isn’t it? If the choice was between a Peppa Pig umbrella and a generic umbrella then Peppa is winning all day every day. If you’re still not convinced think about your child’s favourite clothing. It’s the Captain America t-shirt they want to live in, isn’t it?
I came across this post on the national library of medicine’s website when I was doing research for this blog post. It says a child is more likely to enjoy a healthy fast food option if it was tied to a movie. Think about that. A movie can influence your child’s eating habits.
It is not only children
Adults too are prime targets for marketing campaigns. The Kardashian family have found a way to sell products without consumers noticing they are being marketed to.
Social media is one of the greatest ways to sell products and to advertise. Take the Kardashian model. Showing behind the scenes content and inviting the consumer into their homes through snapchat and Instagram creates a sense of connection. We are more likely to buy from someone we know and trust.
Think about the people you follow on social media who are selling products. Focus on the ones who are doing really well for themselves like Jordan Page for example. She’s an incredible woman and admired by so many of us. But she is a brilliant business woman too.
Jordan shares snippets of her family life and gives honest advice that helps families world wide. She’s credible because she only promotes products she believes in. She’s accessible because she shares on both Instagram and YouTube. We can rely on her because she shows up when she says she will and she posts consistently. None of that is an accident. It’s smart business practices.
Support the people you want to support
Now you are more aware of how subtle marketing can really be. It is not always loud and flashy. It is not always patently obvious (Lego movie, we see you!)
Marketing done naturally is powerful. It has the ability to come between you and your saving goals. Advertising isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If we didn’t have advertising we wouldn’t know what was available to us.
Support the people and businesses you enjoy or feel a connection to. That could be a kick-ass single mama who is building a budgeting and organising business from scratch. It could be a devoted family man who shares his small carpentry business on TikTok. Or maybe its a hilarious family who share their day to day lives and sell merchandise to support their small business.
I used to follow all of the beauty YouTubers because I enjoyed their content. Jaclyn Hill was my Achilles heel. I enjoyed her content so much that I wanted to support her and found myself buying her suggestions. Nothing wrong with that so far, except I wasn’t even wearing half the makeup!
When you follow someone on social media or when you make yourself available to advertisements be aware of it. Give your support to people and businesses you actually want to support.
The best money saving tip is
The first money saving tip is unsubscribe from marketing emails. The ones you signed up to for a 10% discount or for free shipping with your first order. Take the temptation away. You can look for the best prices when you actually need them. Decide when you want to visit their website on your own terms. You do not need to know about every sale.
Arguably the best money saving tip is to unfollow social media personalities that persuade you to spend money thoughtlessly. Unfollow anyone on social media who doesn’t bring value to your life or who isn’t in-keeping with the person you want to be. You determine what valuable content is. It doesn’t have to be someone dull who spouts educational facts all the time. Just someone who you can relate to and is either living the life you want to live or working towards it.
Bonus money saving tip:
Skip advertisements on your normal television programs. If you do not have the option to fast forward through them then get up and make a cup of tea or run to the bathroom etc.
I realise the irony in me telling you to avoid advertisements where possible and my blog post then containing advertisements. This is an ideal opportunity for you to realise how often you are marketed to. Now you can make an informed decision about who you are supporting.
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