A large percentage of everything we buy are wants, not needs.
In my closet right now is a velvet jacket that I bought to wear to a Christmas party. I’ve worn it once and, unless I’m invited to another event that asks attendees to wear velvet jackets in the near future, that jacket will remain on its hanger until the day comes that I decide to get rid of it.
Obviously, I didn’t need that velvet jacket. I wanted it. (You just can’t show up to a Velvet Party in denim, right?) Just as, I’m sure you have items in your closet that you purchased out of desire, not out of genuine need.
Which lead me to the question: How did I end up with all this stuff?
Advertising. That’s how. Ads make us fill our closets.
The purchase of the velvet coat is a perfect example of how ads worked on me, and in this situation, how my need/desire drove my customer journey.
It looked like this. An invitation to a velvet party arrives. I accept the invitation and in so doing decide I need to buy a valet coat. I go online and search for a velvet coat. Just like that, I’m targeted. In the days that follow I’m served ads that feature velvet coats. After some comparison shopping, I find the jacket I want and order it.
This experience, and many others like it, lead to the creation of my Advertising Classification System. It is a structural analysis of how advertising has evolved. It also helps marketers better understand the practice of advertising personalization and how to market with greater precision. Here’s a high-level infographic that maps out the system. For a deeper examination go here: