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The 5 Most Potent Ways to Market Anything, Anywhere



‘A budget tells us what we can’t afford,’ said American publisher, William Feather, ‘But it doesn’t keep us from buying it.’

If you are an entrepreneur struggling with sales even after you have created all kinds of ads and marketing campaigns to get  customers to buy your products or services, the problem may not be with the efforts you are making, but with the psychology behind how we, the consumers, buy.

Most psychologists agree that buying is 90 percent emotional and 10 percent logical.

While I won’t dabble into any numbers in this article, I have picked five of the most potent reasons why the consumer buys, so that you can build your marketing around any of these reasons that best suits your product or service, which will help you make that jump in sales you desire.

People buy out of fear.  A case in point is the hand sanitizer which simply hit astronomical levels in sales following the Ebola Virus Disease scare in the country.  The funny thing is, hand santizers are anti-bacterial, not anti-viral, yet somewhere around the start of Ebola in Nigeria, word had gone around and hand sanitizers were being used as a preventative measure for EVD.

What fears can your product or services assuage? Note them and create a marketing campaign that presents these fears that consumers might have, and present your product or service as a solution.


People buy smell. Good smell, that is. One of the reasons Mega Chicken restaurants are such a household name in the communities where they operate in the Lagos area, is because of the smell that hits you when you enter any of their outlets. Fragrances tend to trigger the parts of the brain responsible for decision-making in a far-reaching manner. This has now resulted in experts capturing and selling different types of smells to help improve buy-decisions in favour of their products. Abercombie & Fitch, McDonalds and Starbucks all market their products using fragrances. So, if you are starting a restaurant, you might want to get a fried steak fragrance and place it by your air conditioners to help your customers make buying decisions.


People buy controversy. Controversies keep us talking about them for days. About a year ago, some entrepreneur sold about 2,000 ‘My-Oga-At-The-Top’ t-shirts in the first few days after the interview in which NSCDC Commandant, Shem Obafaiye used the infamous phrase, ‘My oga at the top’. Linda Ikeji’s blog has become widely known and increasingly financially successful on the back of controversy. Controversy sells simply because it gets people emotional. You might want to try building some controversy around your product if it will suit it. But, be careful.

Subliminal Suggestions

Don’t continue reading…Never mind, that was a suggestion. Please continue reading. Subliminal suggestions are messages hidden inside other messages, whether they are visual or auditory. They make people buy. Because these messages go straight to the sub-conscious mind, they somehow ‘hypnotize’ you into making a buying decision. Many clothing shops abroad use subliminal suggestions. It could be suggestions like, ‘Won’t this dress look so hot on you?’ or ‘Spend more’ in the lyrics of the music playing in the store. Suggestions are so powerful in getting buyers to purchase products, that soft drink giant Coca-Cola, recently reversed a steady 20-year sales decline by putting a suggestion to share and random names on its bottles.

One bottle read: ‘Share this with John.’

Include more subliminal suggestions in your marketing and see how your sales turn out.

Brain Scanning

Yes! Brain scanning is probably the most potent way to market anything, anywhere—and probably, the most expensive. Through functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), entrepreneurs can now predict the sales success of their products and services by conducting scans on prospective buyers—in advance. The technology simply reveals brain activity when presented with a product or service, and can help predict whether consumers will buy or not prior to product roll out.

TV shows like Game of Thrones and House of Cards are so successful because of fMRI.

Marketing products and services in a very competitive world involves a lot more than just creating ads and putting out jingles. Learning how the consumer buys, and meeting them at that point is the new mantra for improving sales.

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Nehikhare Omotayo Igbinijesu is an Economist, Poet, and Social Entrepreneur. 'He is the author of The Code: A Simple Story About Raising Great Women' and 'Marriage: 12 Questions You Need To Ask Before You Say, “I Do”'. He lives in Lagos with his wife, Akudo and two sons. He is Co-founder of, a motivational resources company based in Lagos. You can email him via nehijesu [at]

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