spending money

As I buy more and more stuff these days and have more transactions with different businesses, the more I am convinced that I am making my decisions based on marketing advertisement campaigns. While I love to think that I have power over and against the marketing people of multi-million dollar companies, the truth is that these people are paid for a reason – because they are successful.

Despite my original reluctance to admit it, I am influenced by explicit and implicit (or even subliminal) messages each and every day. On rainy days, when it is too wet to bike to work, I ride the train. On the train, there are advertisements and despite my interest in my book or game on my I-Pad, I find myself reading them for no other reason than for the proximity and location of the advertisements. I read them because they are there. It’s that simple. When I read them, I think about them, and this ultimately influences my future purchases.

While I do not have an advanced degree in marketing, I suspect that young adults are even more susceptible to advertising campaigns than any other people group. Young adults have many other financial challenges, and to add resisting advanced marketing campaigns seems only to add insult to injury.

Reasons Why Young Adults are Easily Influenced

Love for Technology – Young adults or people in their 20’s are part of a new generation. I am part of the generation that has grown up with computers and the internet from childhood. Incorporating technology into my everyday life is normal to me. So, when companies produce fancy, sleek pieces of technology, I am going to want to buy it. Even worse, when they make it even easier to buy with a fast online payment gateway, enabling me to buy the product with a click of a button, I am going to have a hard time resisting that urge. After all, it’s just one click. Who knew so much could be tied up with the click of a button? Marketers know that young adults love technology, even when it is unnecessary, so they plan around this. They don’t release the best technology immediately, but strategically plan it out so as to ensure that people are buying products before they fall apart. Who hasn’t sold their old piece of technology because they just HAD to have the latest and greatest? The close affinity to technology makes them weak when it comes to marketing ploys.

Exposure – Young adults are probably the most exposed to marketing campaigns. Because they love technology, they are surfing the web more frequently than older generations. They are watching more T.V. (maybe at the same time as browsing the internet), and they are out and about more often (they have to meet people and celebrate all of their many achievements). What do these places all have in common? Advertisements – lots of them. With the increase in exposure, it only makes sense they they are more susceptible to advertising.

Lots of Money – When you add the the exposure aspect and technology piece to the fact that young people have one of the largest pay increases within a short period of time (from college wages, or nothing, to a decent salary job after graduation), they feel like they have money burning a hole in their pocket. Who is to blame young adults for wanting to splurge a little after eating ramen noodles through college? As it turns out, this increased willingness to buy is what makes for great sales.

Again, I am no marketing expert, but if I can figure all of this out, surely advertisers can too. If they are aware of these patterns, it only makes sense for that young adults would be targeted, thereby further increasing their susceptibility to these campaigns. Before you go pointing your finger at young people, have you stopped to think about how you might be a victim of marketing tactics as well?

Have you realized that you are being persuaded to buy something you otherwise wouldn’t have bought? When?

Are you handing over money without thinking about it?