“Marketing is about psychology. Once the customer is convinced, your job is done. My company, Buy-Buy, is now the number one e-commerce retailer, displacing market leader OMNI.”
My TEDx talk was met with thunderous applause.
Afterward, I got into my swanky car and sped off. Like every weekend, I headed to Greenvale park to meditate. I proceeded to my usual spot on a bench.
Wait, what was under the bench?
A piece of paper. On it, two words were etched.
Don’t leave trash, perhaps?
I threw it in the dustbin.
A Month Later
Those infernal bits of paper kept popping out of nowhere; under my seat, on my morning run, and on my windshield. Someone was stalking me!
It was my job as CEO to analyse customer interests, not the other way round.
I couldn’t go to the police without evidence. I’d first discover who this psycho was and what ‘don’t leave’ meant.
That weekend, I set off to Greenvale park earlier than usual. I hid behind a clump of bushes and waited. Soon, a young woman circled around my favourite spot. She dropped something.
I crept behind and confronted her. She jumped. I pointed accusingly to the paper.
“I’m calling the police!” I threatened.
“How does it feel to be hounded?” she demanded, startling me.
“Don’t leave our page. Have you forgotten something? Don’t leave happiness behind!’” she continued.
“That’s what Buy-Buy does if you as much as hover a cursor over your products.”
“Who are you?”
“I’m Rumi. Do you know what happened to my friend? She is now in therapy. A shopaholic driven to the brink of insanity due to your aggressive marketing tactics!”
“Ridiculous. Every shopper has a choice!”
“I have a challenge for you. Buy something using your app.”
“You haven’t had a taste of your medicine, have you?”
I walked away fuming. How dare she accuse me of mental manipulation? I would show her!
I searched for shoes on Buy-Buy. 600 options! After three frustrating hours, I shortlisted three brands. Ignoring temptation, I purchased only one pair.
Almost immediately, I received an email.
DON’T LEAVE your stuff behind! Your shoes feel lonely.
I shifted to social media.
Suggested link: Don’t leave without looking at our gym wear!
They must talk to one another.
Click. Buy. Click.
The bombarding further intensified.
Just one more purchase.
I didn’t even realize I succumbed. The parcels mounted rapidly, just like my credit card bill.
Good, Lord, I had created a monster!
I summoned my lead programmer.
Buy-Buy to redesign its algorithm to prevent obsessive shopper behaviour and safeguard mental health.
Rumi smiled at the news. She, the daughter of the Chairman of OMNI had vowed to claw back market share.
The CEO of Buy-Buy was a creature of habit; he was easy to stalk and was influenced by her make-believe sob story.
Meanwhile, OMNI would strengthen its algorithms and inundate its customers with offers. Ultimately, marketing was about psychology.
Connect with Penmancy:
Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!