As a child growing up in America I enjoyed a lot of exciting activities. Whether it was my time on a baseball team, going to the park, playing board games, eating pizza at the local arcade or enjoying a video game at a friends’ house, I always seemed to enjoy myself. Those were some of the most precious moments from my childhood.
Looking back on those times, I wonder how I came up with the idea that those activities were fun. Perhaps it was out of the necessity to fit in with peers, or maybe I had to fill my time with something that would keep me interested. However, I have a suspicion that many of the activities I was involved in had something to do with the Marketing Problems from those who were less interested in my wellbeing as they were in my parents spending money on their products.
I still remember my Marketing professor drilling into my head the five P’s of marketing. For anyone that has not taken a Marketing class they include Product, Price, Promotion and Place. Each P represents a pillar of the Marketing Mix, which many businesses and organizations routinely follow when launching a product, setting a price on a product, advertising a product and showing a product to people.
Marketers are in every avenue of business today. We can see them in what we eat, what we wear, what we watch, what we touch, what we smell and even what we think. The question then becomes, “How do I escape the Marketing Problems on myself?” To get your answer you will need to find out why you purchase certain items, how you spend your time and where you shop for particular products.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics web site (bls.gov) provides a definition of the Market Research Analyst:
|“Market research analysts study market conditions in local, regional, or national areas to examine potential sales of a product or service. They help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price.”|
Because America has turned into a more consumer-driven economy the result has been growth in the employment of Marketing Analysts. To understand your shopping habits it would be in your best interest to become a Marketing Analyst for yourself. It may require a little bit of time to collect the necessary items, but in the end it can be a valuable experience for you and your wallet.
In order to perform research on yourself it is imperative that you find out about your own shopping habits. To do this you need to complete the following:
- Create a list of all your wants and needs for the next month in a spreadsheet
- Budget what items you can afford
- Collect all your receipts for the next month
- Write down every item purchased for the month
- Compare each item purchased with the items on the spreadsheet
- Determine the qualitative facts about your buying habits.
Performing market research on your own purchases can be enormously valuable to your own financial well-being. It will provide a holistic view of your financial dependence and plot your own wants and needs in a methodical process.
In retrospect, I never knew how much I was being marketed as a young child. In my mind, I thought the world was my oyster, and I was going to enjoy life to its fullest. My parents had to control the wants in my life. Unfortunately, many adults lack the self-control to handle these wants as they grow older. These same adults were inundated by marketers as young children and never fully learned that life requires self-control in order for it to be lived to its fullest.
Proverbs 25:28 warns us about a lack of self-control when it says, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” Every individual is likened to a city with walls that are meant for protection. If we give into our lusts and desires we often allow the enemy to ruin us. In the area of finances, when we allow our purchasing decisions to be handled by the marketers we are allowing them to destroy us completely.