Sex, Seduction and Manipulation
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There's a Family Guy episode where Peter is watching British Porn (stay with me). A couple is sitting in the living room and the man says, "You know, we could have sexual intercourse right now. But let's not." Later we see them having extremely mechanical sex ("Almost. Almost. And... There we are." "Oh, well done.")
Just because you know the product and can deliver doesn't mean you're going to get anyone's attention.
Think of the pick-up artist who walks up to someone and says, "Hey baby, you want some of this?" Most of the time he's going to get shot down, but if he's persistent, he's going to, ahem, make a sale. It's going to be a quick transaction and he's going to burn a lot of bridges with a lot of people along the way.
Then think of romance done right. Learning the details about what makes your partner tick, giving just the right gifts at just the right time, and really making that person feel special, like the most important person in the world.
Both work from a sales and marketing standpoint, the difference being how much you're going to invest in someone is based on how much you're going to get back from them. High-end services come with perks, but they aren't cheap, off the shelf crap gets the job done with no frills, but it's cheap in more ways than one.
The thing about romance is that your prospect can fall in love. If you don't love them, whether you're a manipulative boyfriend or a profits minded corporation, you're likely to take advantage of that love.
Just as a battered girlfriend will make excuses for her deadbeat boyfriend, I've seen plenty of people defend a deadbeat product. That investment in romance is a two-way street, so a consumer of gadgets or love will feel committed to "seeing it through" even when the obvious conclusion is "he's using you."
I don't think most people realize how good corporate marketing is getting to make you fall in love and then trap you in a bad relationship. They seduce you with a phone and get you to commit to living with them for three years. They shower you in gifts, like little apps or free music, and then you find you've turned over your credit card to them and they keep running up little charges.
Like an abusive, controlling boyfriend, they charm you and then control your access to the outside world with things like App Stores (iStore, Kindle, onDemand video, wII store, the list keeps growing), managing your friend lists, your email accounts and more and more little hooks.
I'm just saying you're stronger than you think -- you can still buy music that isn't just loaned to you by Apple, you can keep your address book on your own, you can say "No" when someone asks to keep your credit card on file. You can look that corporate beauty in they eye and say, "I can do better."
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Be sure to see my blog over at Cloudenity. This week's topic:
Identity Isn't Just for Users Anymore