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Why being busy makes you a target for Marketing

Marketing, like sales, is a science and an art. When it's done well, it encourages people to buy stuff. Buying stuff is a good thing. It's good for the economy, and it's good to have stuff, like food, clothing, that sort of thing. When people spend money, the economy grows.

Even if you haven't studied Marketing and Advertising, you have a basic idea of how it works. A pretty girl holds up the product, tells you about it, and you run out and buy it. It's one of the first things that you will see in a free market, the competition between sellers for the attention - and money - of potential buyers. And, at its best, that information can be helpful to us as buyers - reading about the differences between products, prices, service, reliability, that sort of thing. And, believe it or not, most advertisers are honest about their product. If they lie, they may get you to buy a product once, but never again. And you will probably tell everybody how unhappy you are with the product. Bad news travels fast.

As Marketing and Advertising gets more tricky, it's easy to fall into traps that are set - and the oldest one in the book is *being busy*. I've seen this work on unsuspecting people for all of my professional career, and it is by the far the most insidious. This is how it works -

• Advertising or Marketing, instead of explaining their product or service, targets you as *busy*. From as long as I can remember I've seen ads and articles that say, *You're a busy gal!* or *Too busy? Use our product*, that sort of thing.

• Consumers start to describe themselves as *busy*. When this starts to happen, the message goes, as they say today, *viral*. I cringe when I hear people say that they are busy, as it's the closest to mass brain-washing that the Advertising and Marketing community has managed to accomplish.

Once the Marketing people, and your friends who don't know any better, convince you that you are *busy*, you now have a target painted on your head. In the old days, it was called being a *sucker*. Busy people don't have time to inspect the product or service, they don't have time to see if the price is any good. And you can see that this is the magic of convincing people that they are busy - you can sell them anything, at any price. And while that may be good for the economy, and the sellers, it's not so good for buyers.

Fight back! Tell people that you aren't busy! That'll get 'em.