12 important takeaways from this talk:
Every manipulative tactic can indeed help influence behavior and help a company become quite successful.
But there are trade-offs. Not a single one of them breeds loyalty.
Over the course of time, they cost more and more. The gains are only short-term.
If you have exceptionally deep pockets and are looking to achieve only with no consideration for the long run, then these strategies and tactics are perfect.
One day my manager showed me a horrible graph. It was pretty simple: the graph was steady, then it dropped straight down, then after a short period, the line shot straight back up and stayed level again:
“That’s what happens when we do the right thing”, he said while pointing at the drop, “and that’s how much money we lose. We tried it just to see how bad it was for our bottom line. And this is what the data tells us.”
“Wow,” I said, taken aback. My employer clearly had two options: “do the right thing” or “be profitable”. That was the position they had manuevred themselves into through a series of bad management decisions.
My manager then said, “More than half the company would have to lose their job in order for us to stop these tactics … so are you volunteering to be one of them?”
That was the day I learned I’d rather lose respectfully than win without honor. Once people become wary of your products or your business ethics, it’s game over. You can’t sustain for long, because you won’t keep your customers much longer.
Not to mention your employees.
When a person’s fear that they will miss out offsets their perceived risk in making the purchase, they have a powerful motivation to act.
How much more quickly do you press the ‘buy’ button when a website tells you it only has one of the product that you’re interested in?
When the fear of missing out overpowers the fear of making a bad choice, people will buy.