I’ve been autistic since I can ever remember, and I learned to live with that, I adapted to basically any situation in life, but sometimes that feeling of being different comes around again.
That feeling resulted in researching if marketing techniques work on people with autism.
As from experiences and researches, we know that people with autism process the world differently, especially in cases that have to do with sensitive occasions. This research by William Skylark and his University of Cambridge colleagues George Farmer and Simon Baron-Cohen states that.
“People with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) show reduced sensitivity to contextual stimuli in many perceptual and cognitive tasks.”
This also means that people on the spectrum treat product marketing differently from ‘normal’ people who can be influenced by “decoys” and buy products they don’t need.
Ordinary people seem to get tricked into making rash decisions quickly when they’re bombed with information from a commercial or an online advertisement. Big companies use high-end tech and psychology analyses to determine how to get their product in people’s minds.
As the research found out, people with autism were less likely to fall for these distractions and were consistently buying the better products instead of the products with the “decoys.”
An example, let’s say there are two products to be marketed:
- Television A ($500, 58-inch).
- Television B ($750, 68-inch).
We can assume there are two groups of people, and one group will buy product A because it’s cheaper, and another group will buy product B because it is bigger/better despite the higher price. But let’s say product C comes around the block:
- Television C ($800, 64-inch).
The people who are willing to spend $750 to buy the giant television will do it anyway. Still, the people who first wanted to buy product A are now confronted with a new product that is better but also more expensive than product B, and this could result in a psychological realization that it would be a better deal to buy television B thinking that you’ve bought a big television for a reasonable price. Still, you must realize that you have just spent $250 more than you first intend to.
That probably doesn’t apply to people with autism because they go to the store to purchase the product they want, despite the deal.
Information Presentation By Businesses.
In marketing, the way of presentation of your information is the most important. A presentation can be a video, an infographic, or a slideshow. Still, as you create your presentation, you need to take into account that you probably can’t lure people with autism to buy your fancy shiny product because they’ve already determined if whether they will buy your product or another one’s based on the quality of the product and not on the appearance.
There are many people with signs of Asperger syndrome or another related condition, so it might be the right business decision to hire people on the spectrum to get an insight into how these people think and process marketing and make their decisions.
In these cases where people on the spectrum get hired, we are actually talking about autistic people with a high IQ that can help the company act as a translator to help the company out.
Giving people with autism an opportunity to work for society also helps to create jobs. A lot of autistic people find it rather difficult to find a position where they can function correctly.
Some essential skills such as an eye for detail, right concentration, determination, or pattern-finding are very welcome in the industry. You shouldn’t be afraid to take a new challenge if you’re challenged.
From personal experiences, I do get triggered by that kind of decoy deals. Still, I can also understand the point of view of autistic people, so I’d always be open to a role as a mediator for marketing companies helping them understand the minds of people with autism.
And personally, I think a lot more companies should hire people on the spectrum; we’re friendly people and would love to work in marketing/business.