Learn to defeat the psychology of marketing so you can make your own choices, rather than allowing a marketing firm to influence your decisions. Marketing and promotional materials flood your mailbox, your email, television commercials, radio commercials, advertisement banners, billboards, and other areas such as pens, hats, shirts, and pants. How can you defeat this constant barrage of the promises to improve your life made by marketing firms and promotion specialists?

Understand the Process

Marketing goods, services, and information, when done with current strategies, is highly effective. Those who are marketing their product are convincing the consumer that their product will improve the life of the consumer in some way. This may sound quite simple, but in reality, the process is quite complex and uses many psychological concepts in order to convince consumers that the product they have to offer is better than the product offered by their competition. During the marketing process, the consumers are tested for their response to the product being offered. First, the main message is developed to attract the attention of the consumer, then the body of the message, and finally the conclusion and call to action. Each of these phases is tested in many ways on consumers before the final marketing campaign is pushed into large-scale distribution. The most important thing to remember is that a marketing strategy is based on psychological principles, rather than on the product itself.

Know Yourself

You are the only one who can truly know what you need, what you want, and what you truly desire. However, a good marketing campaign, using basic principles of psychology, can convince you that you need, want, and desire even more. You should know yourself well enough to know what you have to have, what you simply want, and where you can downgrade what you can accept when the price is right. A good example for this is purchasing a car. Do you really NEED showroom new, never been driven? You will pay around $5,000 for that luxury. We used $15,000 and $20,000 for this example. That is roughly another $106.23 per month on a 60-month contract. Using a compound interest calculator, we will assume compound interest on the additional monthly expense is 6%. This is roughly $7,617.10 over the course of the loan. For that price, I think I will take the car that was used for test drives, and KEEP MY MONEY. I am sure I can find a better use for that $7,500 than the banks or the car company!

Stop and Think Before Minor Purchases

Start making conscious decisions before you buy even the smallest thing. Keep in mind that each dollar is worth more than a dollar if it stays in an interest-bearing account. Consider the 10-year earning a potential of a single dollar, and you may consider that candy bar at the check out counter to be a lot more expensive than it looks. For example, $1 earning 5% annually compounded interest for just 10 years adds up to $1.63 according to a compound interest calculator. Is that candy bar really worth $1.63? I don’t think so. Besides that, is that candy bar really going to improve your life? The sugar is not good for your teeth or your waistline, how will that improve your life? If you start thinking about the lifetime value of every dollar as $1.63, it will be a lot easier to keep that dollar in your pocket. In addition, start thinking about $5 as $8.14, $10 as $16.29 and $20 as $32.58. It is amazing how such small purchases add up to a lot of lost money over time.

Stop and Think Before Major Purchases

Start making conscious decisions before you buy. Ask yourself if you truly need or want what is being offered before you make a purchase. Is that product really going to improve your life? Do you have any questions you should ask the seller before you make your decision to buy? Is this another product that you are going to pay for that will end up never being used or forgotten after only a few uses? Would you be better off if you waited a while before making a decision? I am really glad we waited before buying a plasma TV. We had the money, they sure are expensive but chose to wait just one month before making that decision. During that month, we continued to compare televisions, especially plasma and LCD. What we found out is that the LCD televisions last much longer, are much less expensive, and have just as good a picture as the plasma televisions. A friend of ours wanted to out-do our purchase and did buy the plasma television. In less than six months, they are already complaining that the plasma screen is breaking down. We, however, after waiting one month and doing just a little research, are still thrilled with our LCD television.

Enjoy NOT Buying, Rather Than Buying

When you consider which is truly a benefit to your life, the latest gadget or more expensive product in a category as compared to having more money for your home, your children as well as your retirement, you may find that you enjoy not buying something even more than you would enjoy making that purchase. Refuse to allow the psychology of marketing convince you that you need something you simply do not need. Just because there is a sale or a coupon, you are not saving money if you don’t need the products that were on sale. Make a list of the things you need want and desire. Watch for those specific things to be on sale. Try to cut out as many of those things as you can. You can start keeping your money, rather than giving it away. You will be very happy in the end – and that is the best benefit to anyone’s life that I can think of.