The Genius of Marketing

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News Byte: Transactional Analytics and Marketing Come Together
News Byte: Transactional Analytics and Marketing Come Together

Each year when Black Friday madness begins I'm reminded of the mastery of today's marketers. I'm not talking about all the “shouting” about sales and specials. Most of those ads, frankly, are a dime a dozen. There are some that are catchy or engaging, but mostly they're a coupon or a call-out about the deals available somewhere you already enjoy shopping.

No, the real magic of marketing is the buzz of Black Friday itself. Marketers have taken an insider term—one that refers to the vats of money retailers expect to extract from customers on the day after Thanksgiving—and turned it into even more of a reason for consumers to fork over their hard-earned dollars to their favorite stores (or the favorite stores of their friends and loved ones). Really, it's amazing.

Think about it. Marketers are blantantly using an insider term about profit-making to sell more stuff. It's like crazy genius. What's more amazing is that instead of consumers being apalled that retailers think of them as nothing more than big fat dollar signs, they've all bought in to the whole Black Friday mania, shopping until they can barely stand. Fighting crowds, standing in huge lines, dealing with rude fellow shoppers or frazzled store associates—all for 20% off.

It makes me wonder how much the average consumer knows about pricing. Or even cares. It's not like retailers haven't planned for these “amazing” sales when they set their original and plan for their mark-down prices. They're certainly not losing money when they offer steep holiday discounts. If so, the day after Thanksgiving would never have become Black Friday.

So, my hats off to you, Genius Marketers, who can spin a corporate benefit to seem like one designed for customers. And who can take that concept and grow it to the point where some people now plan their online holiday shopping for Cyber Monday, or who wait in line on Thanksgiving night to start their Black Friday shopping ahead of the crowds. It's crazy, but it works.

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