Top 5 Marketing Tricks to Get Us to Buy Their Products

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Fifty years ago, marketing "tricks" meant taking out an advertisement during "I Love Lucy" and sitting back as the sales of the product skyrocketed. In today's competitive and complex marketplace, marketers must do more to gain the attention of their target market. A multifaceted approach is critical to marketing success, and while many tools and tricks can be used, here are five that marketers employ to stimulate product sales.

5 Corporate Social Responsibility

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While there may be an element of altruism that motivates corporate giving and community involvement, using socially responsible business practices as part of the company marketing is increasing. Corporate social responsibility can improve employee retention, brand perception and profitability, making it one of the most beneficial marketing tricks at a company's disposal. The ability to create a more favorable reputation is fueling the growth of these business practices.

4 Product Placement

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Still drawing primarily from Hollywood, companies pay big dollars to have their brands attached to trendy television shows and movies. In an era in which people use digital video recorders and skip past traditional commercials, product placement is important in keeping studios financially viable, and for marketers to obtain the attention of the viewers. The watershed moment for product placement was in Steven Spielberg's box-office hit "E.T.," which featured prominent placement of Reese's Pieces. After the movie opened, sales of the relatively new candy exploded and a market for product placement was born.

3 Celebrity Endorsement and Sponsorship

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Celebrities have a prominent place in influencing purchasing decisions. Although the last few years have been tumultuous for golfer Tiger Woods, he still raked in about $52 million dollars in endorsements in 2012. Before scandals plagued Woods, he earned about $100 million per year from attaching his name and likeness to various merchandise. The public continue to pay attention to the products that celebrities endorse, and celebrities are more than happy to cash lucrative checks for their efforts.

2 Sex

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Using attractive people in advertising is hardly new and is most noticeable in advertisements for fragrances, clothing and alcohol. However, there are also many more subtle examples, such as a Planters Peanuts package that has a pool of chocolate shaped in what can be imagined as a sexual image, which suggests it is more than the typical offenders that employ this type of imagery. Companies using sex to sell products is unlikely to stop as a primary tool for many companies and marketing professionals.

1 Social Media

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Successful businesses are social. An example of how a digital presence impacts business comes from computer manufacturer Dell. What drove Dell to social media was an angry blog post by a customer, now dubbed "Dell hell." Instead of ignoring the blog and hoping it would go away, Dell was responsive and open to the complaints. The open approach to social media that started at Dell continues today, and they are one examples of committed listening to consumers. That reputation, arising from an initially negative customer experience, has fueled customer retention and sales and is a prominent marketing approach for Dell.

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