What are the main messages and themes in the video “The Selling Game”?
The video deals with a number of topics. One of them is the subject of communication and the numerous themes connected to it. The different views of communication are presented; two main models of perceiving communication are the transmission model and the transformation model. Communication is not perfect; it can go wrong if the message is misinterpreted (social aspect) or transformed by the medium (technical aspect).
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Communication can serve different purposes, e.g. informative (shares data, explains, and instructs; is neutral and accurate) and persuasive (shapes data and changes attitudes of receivers). Propaganda can be a subset of both, for it creates a mutual understanding between the sender and the receiver (informational aspect) and promotes mutual fulfillment of needs of the sender and the receiver (persuasive aspect); on the other hand, it promotes the interests of senders that do not always coincide with those of the receivers.
The video also discusses the history of persuasion, from its beginnings in the Ancient Greece (Aristotle’s Rhetoric) through the history, in particular, the 20th century, and until today. For instance, it is elaborated how persuasion was used during and after the World Wars I and II; then it is stated that later in the 1950-80s it was utilized as a means of supporting politics and business and promoting the conservative agenda friendly to business (but that happened at the cost of social programs); it is also elaborated how after the 1980s it was employed in the conditions of globalization, polarization and the increase of inequality.
In particular, it is noted that PR and propaganda were used in order to change the very nature of democracy. In addition, some aspects of persuasion and propaganda as they exist today are scrutinized. For instance, it is stressed that nowadays propaganda has become much more subtle and “devious,” as well as more complex and interpersonal, and often institutionalized.
Finally, the video discusses “the selling game,” i.e. marketing and advertisement. Some of its aspects (such as its functions, the role of the buyers, the use of marketing in modern technologies, etc.) are discussed.
What is the impact of the Internet on marketing?
The Internet technologies have had a great influence on marketing. The Internet is used in a variety of ways in order to deliver an advertisement to the buyer. In addition, it allows for short surveys and questionnaires that permit the companies to identify the tastes of buyers and adapt their products (or their advertisements, or both) to them.
The Internet is, in fact, riddled with advertisements. A significant percentage of websites use ads in order to make money. Most social networks and applications also have become highly commercialized, not only delivering advertising to the users but also helping the companies collect data on them and their preferences by offering surveys to the users and selling some information about users to businesses. This allows for a more personalized approach to marketing, because computer software used for gathering and processing data and offering ads selects the advertisement for a person on the basis of their personal preferences.
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It also means that marketers gain access to the information that people often consider private, and obtain information on what the population does (for instance, GPS allows companies to follow the person and know what places they visit) and thinks (by analyzing the above mentioned social networks). Advertisers also track what browsers people use and what categories of population visit which websites, in order to customize ads. It is also noteworthy that many people, especially younger ones, do not realize the fact of the applications’ commercialization.
How are products now being sold and why?
It is important to stress that advertisements control and direct the population’s buying habits to a significant extent. What is noteworthy is that advertising allows the companies to sell e.g. useless trinkets that would otherwise be uninteresting to the public. One of the reasons why it is possible is that people often do not reflect on ads, but sometimes only catch a glimpse of them (though repeatedly, for many times).
This advertisement affects the “more primitive” parts of the human’s brain, and they only form an association of the product with something pleasant without considering it in detail. The modern advertisements often use this fact in order to sell all types of products, from useless trinkets to foods and technological gadgets.
As it was mentioned, companies often collect data about customers. This is done not only via the Internet and social apps but also by using other means, such as discount cards, etc. Businesses gather information on what things this or that customer usually buys, and, on the basis of this data, offer them products that might interest them personally.
What role does the consumer now play in selling and buying?
The consumer nowadays plays an important role in both selling and buying. As it was noted, companies collect data on users of the Internet to determine what products to sell. They also use various surveys to know the opinions of the population and their desires. In addition, companies may invite the audience to make videos that will then be used in order to advertise a product. Therefore, the user-generated content can also be employed in advertising, which means that consumers also help sell the product.
Importantly, companies also can utilize e.g. the word of mouth as a means of advertising a product, which means that clients themselves are used as ads. The buying decisions of consumers are also studied, which allows enterprises to adjust their production to the current tastes. In fact, advertising is often used to shape those tastes.
What does the marketing of the future look like?
It is clear that in the futures the modern technologies will be used in marketing even more than they are used today. It is highly probable that as new means of online communication emerge, they will be tracked and used to collect detailed data about the customers as well. Marketers will obtain the ability to track people’s movements and buying decisions more effectively, and will possibly use electronic gadgets to offer products (for instance, when a person passes by a coffee shop, they are tracked via GPS or similar means, which makes it possible for advertisers to send the person a message offering a discount (expiring in e.g. fifteen minutes) on the brand of coffee they usually buy, or something similar to that).
It is also important that many people around the world are switching to electronic money instead of the paper one. When buyers use credit cards or other means of electronic payment, it is also profitable for businesses, because the clients are not limited to the amount of cash they carry on themselves, and can buy more. This also allows enterprises to track the customers’ buying decisions, adjust their production, and make special offers. As the systems of electronic money develop, businesses will use them for their marketing purposes as well.