I always like to think that I'm not unduly influenced by tricks like these .... so maybe the way to get to me is to tell me how clever I am to not be unduly influenced by tricks like these (thereby pushing my "pride" button) and then try to sell me something LOL
Hi Max, that is always the question isn't it :-) I have never fallen for a scam/spam that's come by email or post, I feel the hairs on my back going up as I read it. Flattery gets you no where with me, always raises the eyebrows. I did almost by an apartment for investment after a "strong" sales presentation, but the same evening I did an analysis and decided that the "too good to be true" was too good... and cancelled. I think the crux of the matter is whether you're impulsive or not, if you sit back and ponder the the whole thing I think you come up with the right choice. Also they say fate favours the prepared mind, so none of us should fall for technobabble after a few years on the job. Basically the more you read about different subjects the more likely you are to recognise baloney when you see/hear it, and a good baloney detector should prevent bad decisions.
That's the one thing I've always admired about you the most LOL
I must admit that about a year ago I came real close to falling for a scam -- I got an email from a "Sock collection group" -- they said that they collected money to buy socks for homeless people and that they were just starting to move into my area and invited me to click a link to learn more.
The thing that made it sound real (in addition to the well-written prose) wa sthat they said that they were working with the Downtown Rescue Mission in Huntsvilla and with another local charity -- both of which I support ... so having that local tie-in made it sound really-real.
I was just about to click the link when I thought "Just a minute" and I "looked under the hood" and found the link went somewhere else completely...
:-) thanks. I'll now have to be suspicious of anything you offer LOL. That sounds like a very clever one. I've been using Eudora for email since about '92 and it warns you when you try to click on a link that goes somewhere else other than described, and you can hover the mouse over any link to see its true nature. It's a cleaver feature and because Eudora hasn't been updated in something like 10 years I'm going to have to move away from it eventually but I will miss these clever "reality checks" it has. I wish some clever group in the open source community would revive it. There is a group running it but they've made it look like Thinderbird, a UI I don't particularly care for.
@Etmax "thanks. I'll now have to be suspicious of anything you offer LOL"
My pleasure :)
Many of these techniques can be employed in fully ethical manners, BUT it takes a skilled practitioner to navigate that minefield without crossing the line. "Ethical manner" is often in the eye of the beholder and in the intent of the marketer.
I hope to offer you something "too good to pass up" in the future, and to do so without crossing the line with you!
Caleb Kraft Intent is certainly part of the sales calculus, but I believe that some of these manipulations are usually over the line. For example, appeals to pride or vanity are not the basis on which I want my products sold. Yes, these techniques can be effective, but should they be used for sales of indusstrial parts?
When I first started work in the semiconductor industry as an applications engineer, I learned from writing comparison articles about competitor's parts to make the comparison "intrinsically fair." The wisdom of that guiding principle has stood me in good stead throughout my career.
The only sales people I've come across that are sheisters in general are used car, real estate, HiFi/TV etc. and on TV products. Probably because either the time between purchases is so long and the gains so high for a generally unsuspecting mark. With proferssional products I've seen nothing but professionalism over the years, because as they say reputation is everything.
The only thing that I sometimes wonder about is benchmarks in processors because the target code has a big impact. As apinful as it is, I think CPU benchmarks should be done in assembler to be really fair. Sadly that requires the test suite designer to understand what special features are available that can influence the outcome.
One of the most pushed aspects MCU perfomance these days is power consumption and I have a Microchip supplied demo board that shows off RTC behaviour and low power yet it only ran for 3 months on a alkaline battery where as I've done this with other MCU's and got a couple of years which is contrary to a Microchip benchmark app note. Of course the ancilliary components like the LCD display and pullup resistors have an impact so maybe that's it? If I ever have time to get to the bottom of it I'll write an article for EEtimes :-)
@Etmax Boiler-room sales folks, and others like them, don't care about the long term value of a customer because they are compensated on how many sales they made today. Regis McKenna used to say that the more opporunities that you had to make a decision the easier the decision would become. The converse is also true - reduce the number of times that a person can make a buy deision per unit of time for a single product and the temptation to unethically manipulate skyrockets.
@mvea75101 Indeed, the whole "subliminal advertising" was a fraud. The original experimenter made up the "data" and finally confessed to falsifying the data after many researchers were unable to duplicate the experimental results.
Perhaps the idea *might* work on a local scale trying to influence people - but only to do the things that they already want to do. But among other flaws, the experiment was based on cultural bias.
But there are social triggers that work on buyers' behavior. For example, running a split test of an advertisement with only a change in the person featured in the ad can yield some unexpected results. An ad that features a pleasant, good looking, woman outpulls the same ad featuring a pleasant, good looking, man. I was surprised that the ad worked better regardless of the genbder of the viewer - unexpected.
@Henry Davis: Laziness: There are a great many ways of sugar coating this, but people in general like to automate routine stuff, so they don't have to think. With more than 20 years of being urged to "work smarter, not harder" behind us, it's easy to avoid the central fact that people are lazy.
It's not just laziness.
In my more cynical moments, I think that while we trumpet "freedom of choice" as a desireable feature, most folks really want freedom from choice. They want to reduce the number of things they must consciously consider and make decisions about.
What I'm cynical about isn't the desire to reduce the need to make decisions, it's the inherent hypocracy in claiming one thing but doing another. There are good reasons for wanting to simplify our lives and reduce what we must think about.
An increasingly technological environment with attendant increasing levels of stimuli can overload us. We get too much information, and get asked to make decisions about too many things, to the point where truly critical information and decisions can get pushed aside by lesser matters.
As an example, I'm a sysadmin among other things. I installed Ubuntu as my Linux distribution because it did the best job I've seen a Linux distro do of figuring out what it was running on, setting itself up, and Just Working, with minimal interaction with me. I'm a tech. I know how to answer the questions other distros ask on installation, and can pop the hood and tweak things, but it isn't how I want to spend my time. I want to spend my time using the system, not fiddling with the OS to make it usable.
So yes, I automate. If I find myself doing something more than once, I think about how it might be automated, so doing it again is pressing a button of clicking an icon.
These sinister tricks don't address the issue directly, but rather how you look or how you feel you look in dealing with the issue. It's pure psych play. These guys will fall apart upon a technical question presented after they make you feel good. You just have to remember to ask it.
Directed advertising makes this all more sinister. Where these techniques were once broadcasted to the masses and we could kind of educate ourselves and rise above them, these campaigns are more and more being personalized to us. We are monitored by all these data collection services which use the information to figure out what works on us. You may think you are able to outwit these techniques, but are you prepared for some neural network someplace studying you, looking for your weaknesses and crafting advertising campaigns designed to specifically manipulate you?
@Wnderer A number of years ago the idea of "one to one selling" took hold in many businesses. But it is a simple extension the craft that copywriters have practiced for years. The goal is to turn one-to-many marketing into one-to-one marketing and sales. Unfortunately, people don't make even a p[assing attempt at keeping their information private. And at the least a marketer can find out oodles of information about most anyone without resorting to data aggregators.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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