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In other words, an appeal to what excites the consumer is much more effective than the properties of the product. This is not necessarily deceptive. In many cases, productscan be so similar that the only real difference among them is in their perception, ie- sizzle, by the public.
If ever anyone in cyberspace has excelled with this principle, its The Rich Jerk.
If youve done any significant cybercruising, youve surely encountered his promotional campaign. His spiel is impressively creative. He claims that hes rich, not necessarily because he works harder than you, butbecause hes better than you. As a result, he doesnt really care what you think about him or whether youre interested in buying his product. However, he makes itvery clear that its due to his product that he can claim his arrogant superiority over you and everyone else.
The Rich Jerk could be the Don Rickles of the 21st century.He revels in spewing insults at his audience, and the more he wallows in rudeness, the more effective his message becomes. Some readers may not be amused by his angle, but most recognize that he goes so over the top with his approach that his point is made. He purports to be sofinancially free that it doesnt matter what others think of him, and therein lies the sizzle.
The Rich Jerks product is a mere staple of cyberspace: hesselling a work-at-home internet business concept. Theres nothing earth-shaking in his content. Its basically the same as what everyone else in the genre is selling:
1) Find a product,
2) Get a website,
3) Promote the product,
4) Reap the profits.
The Rich Jerk has some leads that may expedite theprocess, but none of those are anything exceptional,either. Results will vary. Few will join him in richness.
Still, thats not the Rich Jerks issue. His job is selling hisproduct. Hes doing it legally and effectively. As far as Im concerned, hes merely selling the cyber-equivalent ofbottled water; hes taking something you can get for free, putting an aura around it and getting you to pay for it. Willingly.
Another principle taught in marketing is that of cognitivedissonance. Basically, this term infers that consumers havea tendency to justify their purchase of a product by noting its advantages to them and downplaying any disadvantages. For example, in this case, theyd say theyve bought a step-by-step tutorial for getting into awork-at-home business and have saved time over anyone trying to gather all that information by themselves, even though the task can be done for free with a bit of search- engineering. Almost every positive comment Ive seen about The Rich Jerks product confirms this tendency.
Thus, the Rich Jerk has his bases covered. His sizzle isalluring, his product may be obvious, but its legitimate and his aftermarket has afterglow.
Not only has the Rich Jerk seemingly done well for himself, hes spawned a cottage industry for others. Copycats are abounding. So far, Ive already seen ads for the Money King and The Rich Pig; more are probably on the way.Theyre poor imitations, but in cyberspace, duplication is asuccessful form of flattery. They might actually profit from their near-plagiarism.
There is one facet of Jerkdom that is worth calling to your attention, though, which involves the third sales principle Id like to mention: incentive marketing. This involvesgiving a consumer something for nothing, in some manner, in order to realize a profit.
Enter The Free Jerk. Hes offering to give you the Rich Jerk product, legally, in return for your simply reading his critique of it. Thats his product.
The Free Jerk profits because youre going to first pay forthe Rich Jerks product, after which The Free Jerk gives you a 100% rebate. In effect, hes sharing the affiliates commission he receives from The Rich Jerk for your purchase. He makes up the financial difference --- and then some --- by directing your details, for anothercommission, to major cyberspace advertisers who see youas an active cyber-consumer. Thus, he realizes a net profit and you get what becomes a free copy of the Rich Jerks product. You also get directed to additional advertising,but The Free Jerk tells you in advance that its coming your way, so you do have a choice.
Thus, the Jerk industry is a niche of ironies. Sizzle is on sale, and if youre so inclined, you can accept someoneelses sizzle in exchange for being exposed to further sizzle in order to acquire the original sizzle for nothing more than a bit of after-sizzle.
And while all this is in process, someones making money and everyone has the possibility of being satisfied with their end of the deal.
As the consumer who catalyzes this Jerk-a-thon, perhaps that makes you the Niche Jerk.
Marketing is indeed alive and well in cyberspace.
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