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As humans, We All Have Our Blindspots

June 10, 2011

I was reading Scott Barnes’s blog Riagenic, which had an interesting post on why he felt Microsoft did not get the mobile market and its phone was not been making huge in-roads as yet (but we don’t really know as Microsoft have not put out any figures yet).  But in the midst of all the tech-speak, this bit struck me as a bit off:

Consumers are morons, and are easily tricked if you have a brilliant strategy. Urban legend of Colgate guy wanting to increase toothpaste sales that tried everything but in the end all he did was increase the diameter of the hole in which toothpaste pours out of by 3mm in the end sent sales through the roof (given we used more toothpaste unwittingly). It is a story I was told in my days of Marketing 101 training, but it stuck with me for obvious reason(s) – hopefully.

Well Scott, you are a consumer too.  Sure when it comes to technology you’re a savvy and knowledgeable one – but what about DIY? Gardening products? Kitchenware? Financial products?  My guess is you have areas that you’ve not as savvy as you are with technology and so behave there, well, I’d say more on autopilot than moronic.  This is really well documented in the excellent book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (hat-tip to Games Brief for the recommendation).  What it shows is that we have to make desisions on so many things, so often and where there are so many variables – and unless we developed proxy means to help us decide what to do, we’d get nothing done and be stuck in a state of paralysis.  Marketing people can take advantage of this to sell things to us.  That’s not the same as us being morons, just people.

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