Who’s influencing your thoughts?
Are you hearing what you hear, are you seeing what you see?
What are your thoughts, where do they come from and where do they go when you’ve finished with them?
Have I made you think?
Was that me influencing you to think?
Buying and Not Buying Stuff
For the first 20 years of my working life I pursued a purchasing career. I started off being a Buyer, spending money, buying stuff - I mean how hard could that be? Well, as I progressed to the heady heights of senior purchasing management it became more of a job of not buying stuff.
This was the pre-internet era, and sales representatives would have to write letters and send catalogues in the post, cold call on the telephone, send a fax or maybe turn up at my office, invited or otherwise.
The one thing salespeople had in common was their product and service was the best; it was competitively priced and excellent value for money. Delivery would be prompt, product quality exemplary and the customer service outstanding. No salesperson was going to admit to selling expensive rubbish! I was a Buyer with a queue of eager salespeople trying to sell me stuff. Go away people I don’t need your stuff today; when I need to buy I will give it careful consideration and then decide what and when to buy.
I soon became conditioned to ignore advertising, see through the smoke and mirrors of the marketing messages and avoid sales pitches until I was ready to buy.
My influenceability was below the norm.
The new world of influence
Well that was 15 years ago and how the world has moved on. The internet has revolutionised commerce with the ability to influence a buyer’s mind to be more directed, immediate and on an unfathomable scale. The ability to connect to our thoughts has been transformed.
In the early days of buying something online we were amused and probably taken in by the “people who bought this also bought this, that and the other” - ka-ching! Nowadays, the intelligence behind this persuasive technique has grown beyond most peoples’ comprehension.
Are you comfortable with store card loyalty schemes? Are you hooked into the club with your supermarket of choice? You’ve become to accept the trade-off of some amazing special offers for a little bit of data capture opening the door to be influenced by the club controllers. How soon did you redeem that voucher for aubergine and mango hummus on BOGOF? The faster you redeemed, the higher your gullibility rating. You topped up with fuel on the way out - oh, now they know what car you drive as the security cameras captured your number plate. But, they probably already knew that when you got that car insurance quote from them.
They know what you buy, when, how often, where you live, what car you drive, who you live with, what size clothes you wear, your shoe size, how you respond to their precisely personalised marketing . . . Don’t worry, it’s only a little bit of data in exchange for a shopping experience where you are influenced to buy stuff you didn’t really want or need. How was the half priced aubergine and mango hummus?
Now connect that data into your online digital footprints and your gullibility rating is up for grabs.
Do gullible people have nail fungus?
As I mentioned, I have an inbuilt aversion to advertising, especially for old-school TV adverts. On the occasion I watch TV, I find some adverts quite intriguing. I’m guessing that running campaigns on mainstream channels doesn’t come cheap so how does a producer of fungal nail infection treatments come to fill the ad breaks with calls for people to buy their low-value product. I’ve never had the need to buy this stuff and I’m not sure I’d get some just in case because I saw an advert on the telly. Furthermore I’m not sure I’d be seduced to buy into the brand values of a cream that does what it says on the tin. How many brands are there? Is it a flooded marketplace? Is there a national epidemic of nail fungus that’s passed me by?
So many unanswered questions, but clearly there must be enough people influenced by the advert for it to keep appearing on screen.
Celebrities have the power to control your thoughts
Celebrity “a famous person, especially in entertainment or sport”
So someone famous who can sing a song wears a dress. If you rush off to buy that dress it doesn’t mean you’ll have the same vocal ability to get a song in the hit parade, earn lots of money, walk down red carpets and drink champagne in the A-list bars. It will mean your digital footprint flags your gullibility to be influenced by the celebrity agenda.
Do you think your thoughts?
So do you think your thoughts are manipulated by influence?
Do you know how your gullibility profile is shaping up?
Did you know you had a gullibility rating or have I influenced you to believe you have one?
Thoughts are powerfully precious, use yours with the wisdom they deserve. Influence of value from reliable and trusted sources may aid your progress through life. Influence cloaked by manipulative forces may have the opposite effect.
Be careful which influence you consume.