What is manipulative marketing?

  • Manipulative marketing means tricking consumers into buying products through manipulation. More and more people are now questioning such marketing practices.

Points to speak:

  • Exaggerated claims are the most common type of manipulative marketing practices. For example, we see so many shampoo advertisements which claim that their products prevent hair fall, but in reality, that may not work. When we see advertisements with exaggerated claims, we may think of trying them. So, this is like cheating the consumers.
  • Some companies market their products by following psychological manipulation techniques. They create unnecessary & artificial needs. For example, a few perfume companies market their products by overemphasizing the benefits of using perfumes. And some other companies make us feel like a loser if we are not using their products. Some people fall into this kind of trip buy the products to keep up with the trends.
  • Using photoshopped images are now a common thing in advertisements, billboards and hoardings. But that is a kind of manipulative marketing.
  • With direct advertisements and other marketing practices, we at least know that it is a part of their marketing strategy. But now subliminal advertising is a common thing, which means targeting the subconscious mind of potential customers by using images or sounds. We may not be able to notice these types of ads, because they are generally not perceived by our conscious minds. For example, a character in the movie eat snacks of a particular brand. It will be shown as normal content and the brand name of the snacks will be displayed for just 5 seconds. Through this kind of product placement, people may get influenced subconsciously to buy those products.
  • Some companies promote their products by false claims such as using only natural ingredients, not having any harsh chemicals etc without any proof. We also see some ads which claim that doctors recommend this product. For example, if we observe marketing practices for soaps, many soaps are advertised like that, but in reality, they just hide some ingredients from displaying on the cover. Some companies make vague claims. For example, some food products are advertised as having more vitamins and minerals, but if we see the packet, there will be no mention of which vitamins and minerals it contains.
  • Some products are advertised by concealing hidden costs. For example, many vehicles will be marketed at a price, which generally doesn’t include insurance, registration, delivery and handling charges etc.
  • Political parties too follow manipulative marketing practices by exaggerating the good they have done to the people and also by diminishing the accomplishments of the other political parties.
  • A few companies are using greenwashing techniques by promoting their products as eco-friendly.
  • In general, people say that we have to be cautious while choosing products and should not be influenced by manipulative marketing practices. It’s tough for consumers to make the right decision when there are so many companies that use unethical marketing practices to influence their decisions. So, it’s important to make laws to prevent businesses from using manipulative tactics to influence consumers.
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Many companies are now following unethical marketing practices to manipulate potential consumers into buying their products. Even though people are increasingly becoming aware of manipulative marketing practices, it is not fair to put the burden of analyzing the good and bad on consumers. So, businesses should be punished if they follow unethical marketing practices.

Your Turn…

Have you ever witnessed manipulative marketing practices? Express your thoughts on this topic through the comment section below. And subscribe to our blog to read answers to the trending GD topics.

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