Before talking about what tobacco campaigns are doing to capture most of the market, one should consider the changes that marketing strategies have undergone. After all, this will probably be able to explain how it happened that harmful tobacco is still on the market.
The fact is that the marketing that attracts attention to the product and its quality has disappeared. This is marketing 1.0 and as of today, we have marketing 5.0. Thus, marketing strategies have evolved significantly. Previously, marketing described the benefits of the product, then the feelings that this product gives, and later marketing made the product a ticket to certain social groups.
We live in a time where the most expensive resource is information. Marketing is no longer focused on groups of people, thanks to social networks and “big data” marketing has become quite personalized and processes, or rather manipulates everyone in particular. That is, today’s marketing is no longer an offer to customers, but their search and manipulation. In such circumstances, you can sell anything. Against the background of these manipulations, the harm from tobacco seems to be less harmful than the harm from marketing, and the amount of unnecessary and harmful products that people buy as a result of becoming victims of manipulation. To understand the scale of the tragedy, you need to know that today, a person who has access to at least 300 likes on Facebook knows more about you than you do.
That is why modern tobacco growers are not afraid of advertising bans. After all, modern marketing allows conveying the main messages by bypassing the legal framework, which does not have time to be updated in order to adequately resist the spread of tobacco advertising.
Despite the personalization of modern advertising, we can still consider certain areas that manufacturers set for their consumers. Rather, we can consider the main messages they communicate to everyone in particular so that recipients after the impact make the same conclusions.
It should be noted that most marketing companies divide customers into categories and depending on the category, the communicative method is chosen. There are categories of people who find smoking harmful. This kind of category will be attacked by covert messages that the fight against tobacco companies is like the quixotic fight against windmills. Accordingly, by imposing opinions on tobacco companies, it significantly reduces the number of enemies that can do them real harm.
There is a category of people indifferent to the tobacco industry. This category will receive messages that will incline it to a more loyal attitude. For example, protection of the rights of smokers who are allegedly oppressed because they cannot smoke cigarettes in public places, whether they will be in favor of abolishing or reducing the excise tax on tobacco products, etc.
If we talk about people who are smokers and are looking for alternatives to traditional cigarettes, they will be convinced that there is no alternative, but rather that it is always more harmful. Large tobacco corporations are trying to convince such people that even the best electronic cigarette poses a greater threat than the tobacco to which people are accustomed and know how it works. The idea that the best e-cigs will even be part of a conspiracy theory will be widely circulated.
And if this is not enough and yet this kind of client understands that he has already bought a vape to help him get rid of smoking in his mind will try to sow doubt so that he does not become a voice for promoting the best e-cigarettes (which can help quit smoking). So if a person can quit smoking, the big tobacco distributors will try to polarize the minds of those who have smoked and quit and those who still smoke, polarize them to the point that they do not have constructive dialogue when talking about smoking, but rather emotionally exchange accusations.
There is also a category of smokers, surprisingly, marketers do not ignore them. The fact is that an active smoker for them is an object that is able to promote cigarette smoking instead of themselves and, accordingly, do some of the work that should be done by marketers themselves. Moreover, such an agent is much more profitable for them than an ordinary marketer, because he enjoys a much higher level of trust in people who will promote tobacco smoking.
There is also the type of potential buyers for whom a cigarette may seem outdated. Marketers see this as a call for innovation. Accordingly, they are doing everything possible to present the present to the present as something rather cool new, as something that did not even exist ten years ago. And it’s not just words that tobacco companies will invest heavily in innovation, or engage in CSR to show the buyer how useful cigarettes have become to society in recent years. This kind of marketing company creates in the minds of customers a false conclusion that every cigarette benefits society and is not as harmful as a few years ago.
Given the potential of today’s technology, and especially the “big date”, manufacturers are able to sell anything. They are able to anticipate our actions, to influence them, and how scary it may sound to create the feeling that we are doing it because we want to and not because we have fallen victim to manipulation. Someone may think that not everything is so bad and that it is we who choose the products and not us. At least because not everyone smokes. However, from the point of view of logic and freedom of choice, it is difficult to explain the fact that over the past 5 years, the shares of the largest tobacco companies have shown a growth trend. This does not fit into the logic, at least for the reason that the state is trying to limit the sale and production of tobacco, the WHO publishes research on the irreparable harm of smoking, even looking at a box of cigarettes a smoker can read about the negative effects of smoking on human health. And yet, a product that kills half of its customers remains in demand.
The answer to this kind of challenge today can be only one – information hygiene. You need to be careful about which links you follow and what data the site owner collects about you. And if possible, you need to limit this data collection. If you can protect yourself from the collection of information about you by outsiders, then you can protect yourself from manipulation by outsiders. So take care of yourself and your information so that your choice is truly yours.