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Marketing Techniques that Play on Human Nature


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[ ] It’s no secret that when it comes to technology, most people want to be the first to have it – whether the product is a device or an app ...

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Marketing Techniques that Play on Human Nature

  1. 1.  Marketing Techniques that Play on HumanNature 22, 2013By Xavier Villarmarzo    It’s no secret that when it comes to technology, most people want to be the first to have it – whether theproduct is a device or an app. We want the latest and greatest. We want to be first. We want to be part ofan exclusive group that will make others jealous. It’s simple human nature, and companies know this verywell.LinkedIn is one of those companies. Earlier this month, the company sent an email to 10 percent of itsusers, informing them that their profile is in the top 5 or top 10 percent of the most viewed profiles on thesite. This caused many of those users to brag about being in the 90th or 95th percentile, giving the socialmedia network a little extra publicity.LinkedIn even made it easy for them to brag, too, providing a graphic with their profile picture and amessage congratulating them on being in the top 5 or top 10 percent. Naturally, this graphic was veryeasy to screen grab on a smartphone and – as many people did – post to Twitter or Instagram.If you look at what LinkedIn did using actual numbers instead of percentages, you’ll immediately see thatthere was a calculated effort behind it. As of early January, LinkedIn reportedly has over 200 millionusers. Simple math will tell you that 10 percent of 200 million is 20 million, while 5 percent is 10 million.
  2. 2.  Now, which sentence below would make you feel more exclusive?A) “Your profile is in the Top 5 percent of those viewed on our site.”B) “Your profile is one of the Top 10 million viewed on our site.To LinkedIn, both sentences mean the exactsame thing, but the different wording invokes adifferent reaction from the reader. LinkedInobviously knew the psychology behind thedifference.Companies play these types of mind games allthe time in order to increase brand awarenessor to create hype for a new product. Techcompanies are especially notorious for this.In 2004, when Facebook launched, it was onlyavailable for students at a small number ofuniversities. As the year went on, TheFacebook – as it was then known – startedbecoming more and more available toadditional universities. As the list expanded,anticipation started to build. Students withfriends at other universities wanted to have thesame thing as their friends, to be a part of thesame “club.”Not only did this approach give Facebook the time to build uptheir product to accommodate a large number of users, ithelped them build up an unprecedented amount of hype.Other companies have taken a similar approach to buildingup hype for their product with invitation-only access. Gmail,Pinterest and Spotify most famously took this approach, andit has led each of the three platforms to a great amount ofsuccess compared to their respective time active. Chancesare 90 percent of your email contacts have a Gmail account.Additionally, a good amount of the women you know who areactive on social media probably have a Pinterest account.And it’s likely that your Facebook news feed has beenspeckled with notifications that your friends are listening totunes on Spotify.The most recent product benefiting from the hype machine isMailbox App, an advanced email management application forthe iPhone. While the app, developed by Orchestra Inc., isn’tinvitation-only, it is based on reservations. Downloading theapp puts you on a waiting list, and opening it tells you yourexact spot in line – how many people are in front of you andhow many people are behind you. Many are already usingthe app, some have even started and stopped using it, yet asof 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 22, there are still over 800,000 peoplewaiting for their chance to get to use it.
  3. 3.  Obviously, it’s too soon to tell how Mailbox App’s initial success will translate in the long run, but havingwell over 1 million downloads in less than a month for a product that is still beta testing is very impressive.Orchestra explains the rationale behind the reservation system on the app’s website:Mailbox checks email from the cloud in order to deliver it as fast as possible tothe phone, support push notifications, and facilitate email snoozing. The IMAPprotocol is nearly 30 years old and a part of reinventing the inbox is building asecure, modern API that’s better suited for mobile devices.While that may be the case, it’s more than likely Orchestra knew delivering the product like this – andcoupling it with a cool video – would generate a ton of buzz, as their tech-savvy target demographicwould want to be the first of their friends to get it.Orchestra definitely won’t be the last company to prey on people’s desire to be the first or to be exclusive.The next time you see another product being highly touted before it’s available to the general public,chances are the company knew what it was doing to get the hype machine going.http://www.Tier10Lab.com