Marketing Is Better With Questions

What makes a person want to purchase something? Marketing students want to know, and they’re asking about it on Packback Questions.

Recently on the blog, we talked about how college students have a certain intrigue with how the human mind works. With the subject of marketing, it’s about asking the question, ”How do I move people towards the action I want them to take?”

In a Principles of Marketing class, a curious mind at Kent State University asks:

Today, technology is changing at a rapid rate. With that rate comes a purposeful marketing strategy, as identified by this student:

“Companies participate in planned obsolescence knowing consumers always want the newest version. Even though with a quick Google search you can find out what for examples Apple’s next phone is called and what features are going to be new and different from the previous newest released version now.”

He understands this marketing strategy in theory,but what is the psychology behind this tactic? From his perspective, it’s an overall smarter decision to just wait for the next version to come out so that you get a cheaper “second best” product:

“The price of the previous newest version will drop when the next newest version is released. But people still continue to buy the latest and greatest (spending more money) instead of just waiting a little bit to save and have the second best product instead of the best product.”

It’s a good point to raise that not only shows his interpretation of the situation, but pushes his classmates to consider this information in different circumstances. This is where higher level thinking is activated.

Where other marketing classes could stop short at learning the theory and accepting is, Packback Questions encourages students to question why.

Why does this marketing strategy work?

Why do people react so strongly to minor technological differences?

Why is this relevant to me and how can I apply it to my own life?

This classmate brings up that it’s not only technology that is open to the planned obsolescence marketing strategy. She applies this marketing strategy to fashion is as well.

She goes on to justify why she purchases the newest items in fashion:

“My cost per-wears may be lower actually if I buy the garment now versus me waiting till the spring to purchase it and getting a more limited amount of wears out of it. In total I believe it’s about how much usage one believe they will get out of it. Going back to the example of phones, one may feel with the new features they will get more out of it thus they get more usage out of paying the higher piece, possibly lowering the cost- per use.”

This student explains the psychology behind the marketing tactic using her own experience and self-knowledge, and it’s excellent discussion! She is able to relate her unique experience with clothing to the realm of technology. She’s making connections between two different ideas – a link that some people wouldn’t see immediately.

That’s how high levels of critical thought are built using Packback Questions.

When students answer questions so willingly and openly, other students get to analyze and evaluate multiple viewpoints and make their own judgments.

Additionally, by asking questions that invite challenging, interesting discussion, the students create a community of curiosity around marketing that is both engaging and fun.

We believe that with Packback Questions, these students will carry more curiosity and higher critical thinking skills into whatever they choose to pursue outside of the classroom.

Written by Evan Le

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