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Marketing is one of the fastest ways to overspend. Looking at marketing from a quality aspect will free you to save money. Its been too long to not address the 0 Value Added nature of Marketing-
Your Lifechanging Homework:
This is an actual challenge for you, It woke me up. Spend a moment and watch commercials.
To show you how quickly a Marketing gimmick can set you back-
Future Value = Present Value (1+Interest Rate)^Number of Years
Future Value = 20,000*(1+0.07)^30 = $150,000
When I look at a problem, I break it down to Cost, Time, and Quality Metrics. A product’s marketing doesn’t convert to any tangible quality metric. This makes it easy to objectively analyze what value you get out of a product.
As some examples of quality: Taste, Expiration Date, Beauty, Long Lasting, Uniqueness, Potency, etc… These matter. A hilarious joke during the Superbowl? Non Value Added Marketing.
I’m a huge fan of offbrand products for commodities.
However, there is sometimes a correlation between a name brand product over an Offbrand. Offbrand Goldfish crackers don’t seem to have quite the Crack. Goldfish Crackers are reliable, they always tastes good.
We buy brand name Frozen Broccoli because Great Value gave you broccoli stems and called it broccoli. This is very much a quality metric that you can define:
Is a Broccoli Floret- True/False
You can make a better decision, instead of grabbing the brand name, it might be better to look into alternatives like Fresh or a lower cost Brand. But it needs to be a Broccoli Floret
(Note, not all quality metrics need to be a number like Calories Per Dollar, they can be Boolean(True/False). )
Marketing evolves quickly. Black and white commercials were straight forward. Today entire organic looking podcasts/websites dedicated to affiliate sales yet they have fans.
Here are just a few examples that you may have seen recently:
Instant Pot on Reddit, Facebook, Mom Blogs, Twitter, and Instagram. All organic looking posts, done by marketing teams.
Soylent’s Vitamin and Protein Powder marketed as a magic drink that feeds you. They even have fake Facebook accounts to make fun of their name to seem organic and popular.
Aldi was caught on Reddit acting grassroots. (Astroturfing)
Health Insurance’s show. High cost plans actually cost you MORE money if you broke your arm and got cancer in the same year. Giving people 5 options called Gold and Platinum are marketing and a worse product. This is a scummy and unknowing people pay literally hundreds of thousands of dollars extra in their lifetime because of it. I’ll do the math when Insurance Season comes around.
Marketing is an unfortunate part of any successful business and will always be necessary. Its up to you to learn about products and break it down to things important to you.
Redbull charges insane amounts Caffeine Per Dollar to make their product a scarce luxury. Then they throw parties for various social communities. We’ve attended a Redbull Art Gallery and Starcraft party. I support Redbull’s marketing. They choose to invest their resources into their fans rather than product deception.
While I’m not a believer in Organic, Gluten Free, Preservative Free, Filtered, Natural, etc.. Products. These are real quality metrics to be considered.
There can be specialty premium that I pay for, but they are Quality based, not Marketing. H&M clothes are only good for 1 season. I will go for brand name jeans that fit well and last.
I often see Protein Powder + Nutrition Fads are putting a spin on everything to mark up whey protein more than 300%. That’s Marketing.
Gucci, Tesla, That nice watch… Those are Veblen Goods
That watch didnt cost 1,000 dollars to make, but you want it. Nike Shoes and your store only has 30? Scarcity. Rolls Royce, very pretty interior, but you can get a pretty interior for under 300,000 dollars.
What Quality do you want?
Do you want a stylish watch? You can get something beautiful AND interesting for easily less than $100.
Do you want a nice pair of shoes? Do you need the Nike logo? Or can you find shoes that have more support, fit better, and last longer than this week’s Nike?
You want a fast car? What are the lowest cost vehicles that can hit 200 mph? Could you rent them?
High prices are a marketing tactic. Artificially tricking the user to assume high quality when luxury products are notorious for a short life.
Be smart, laugh off these tacky companies.
Despite seeing through these examples, I’m a puppet to marketing daily. Top Instagram accounts, ‘The News’, the popular page of reddit, twitter hashtags, and more are controlled by massive companies with insane resources. News is what a person wants to teach people. Marketing is unavoidable and no one has time to put up their guard 24/7.
If you can beat Marketing, you will be enormously wealthy while “The Joneses” will keep buying what their TV tells them.
Keeping a close eye at you resources, you can allocate them. Looking at what you purchase and quantifying it based on cost and quality free yourself from the burden of Marketing.