You had to click that link?

Even after you clearly read that it said “don’t click this link”

So you clicked the link, did you do it because you were tempted or because you were curious? Is there a way we can use this in our marketing?

Brands, of course, are masters of temptation. If marketing is defined as, “the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers,” then implicit in this practice is accentuating the positive aspects of what’s being sold. This technique is used not only in hawking goods but is also found in nature. Animals have been tricking each other by accentuating desirable traits for millennia. The process is called “super-normal stimuli” and it is a key to enticing action by creating the stress of desire.

Marketers tasked with increasing consumption of their company’s products have a difficult job; they are often charged with manufacturing desire. To do that, they need to find the customer’s problem, their pain, in order to alleviate it. Without a biological basis spurring our desire, there would be no sales. So marketers must at least accentuate, if not induce, a level of discomfort to make us crave their wares.

The products and services that provide immediate relief are those we come to depend upon most.

I suspect however that you really clicked the lin out of curiosity and not the temptation to, not do, as I requested.

George Loewenstein explains that curiosity arises when attention becomes focused on a gap in one’s knowledge. These information gaps produce a feeling of deprivation, which is an aversive psychological state (we don’t like feeling deprived!). We’re motivated to resolve this state by obtaining the missing information.

So you see, once you become aware of a link you became aware that there might be something on the other side of that link that you didn’t know about, and so you clicked.

This is the same way ‘clickbait’ titles are written, you let someone know that they don’t know something, and therefore you generate a better click-through rate because people have to ‘fill the gap’ in their knowledge.

So go on, armed with the theory of gap analysis, go and write a title that will tempt someone into clicking on one of your social media posts and reap the psychological marketing rewards.


on a final note, don’t click this link as it just links to the end of the internet

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