Understanding Marketing Messages

Understanding Marketing Messages

I had a thought late last night after dosing up with cough syrup and ibuprofen to quell this man flu of all man flus.  It went something like this;

Marketing messages are like pushing a trolley through a supermarket.

You start off down an aisle, and you see some people (marketing messages) coming the other way, doing their own shopping. Neither take much notice of each other. But underlying that is some commonality. You are both in the same town, presumably living there, or staying for at least a little while (why else would you be in the supermarket) on the same day at the same time and at the same shops, indicating that you share at least some demographics and psychographics (The suburb you are in, and the time of day, indicates a similar work pattern and potentially earnings profile).

You finish that first aisle and turn down the next.  In a few seconds the same people from the previous aisle are again coming towards you. This time you might make eye contact, but keep on with your shopping.

Third and fourth aisles the same, by now, you’ve progressed to a small smile, maybe a G’day or wink. Both finding a bit of humour in the repetition of it all and the synchronisation of your swatches.

By aisle 6 or 7, you might have shared a joke, or said hello to each others kids in the trolley who keep staring at you.

You know each other now, you’re acquainted, but by aisle 20, the fun has been sucked out of it, you’ve run out of polite conversation, you start avoiding eye contact with each other and you might even be annoyed that they won’t seem to go away, it’s like they’re following you. Every aisle you go down, there they are.

You’ve been judging them since aisle 10, what their wearing, their haircut, and generally making assumptions about who they are, and at this stage one of you might turn around and “forget” something from a previous aisle just to avoid the uncomfortableness (no? just me?) and force this weird relationship to end.

This might carry on for a few weeks or months, you might not see them for a few weeks, or months, you might never be fully in sync with each other’s aisles, but inevitably your schedules overlap and you see each other regularly, after a while, you either avoid eye contact and any form of relationship or you start talking; just a little chit chat, adding 30 seconds to the length of each conversation.  You’ll find some commonality to talk about as people are want to do, oh you go to XYZ, old mate Mick goes there do you know him? Oh, Micko, good bloke, how do you know each other?  And away you go, next time you’re talking to Mick you mention, what’s his face from the shops and the next thing you know you’re invited to a BBQ with Micko and whatsies and you all become BFF’s.

See. Exactly like Marketing Messages.

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