What Is Social Engineering and How is it Related to Marketing?

What Is Social Engineering and How is it Related to Marketing?

How and Why Marketers Should Acknowledge Their Social Power

Social Engineering Related to Marketing

Marketers are in the business of being persuasive – this is common knowledge within our practice. But did you know that a century ago, thinkers and philosophers were already beginning to unpack the impact of widespread brand messaging on society? Edward Bernays, a pioneer in the world of public relations, considered marketers to be the elite craftspeople behind many social tastes, preferences, and attitudes. Bernays describes social engineering as a practice of tactically molding opinions and rendering the public reactive.


This is a power stance if I’ve ever seen one! In today’s marketing landscape, customers’ opinions, behaviors, and daily rhythms are as much a factor in the direction marketing takes as are the brands that serve up messaging, advertisements, and promotions. In its pure form, social engineering is no longer fully applicable to marketing. Still, the practices and outcomes various social engineers applied – from making social reform to managing workforces to using mass media as a moldable form of social manipulation – remain relevant in key ways. Social engineers in the mass media space took advantage of the coordinated layers of a person’s experience through media exposure to television, radio, and news. For effective, disciplined engineering to make its way into 20th-century marketing plans, experts needed to research their audiences and learn about their target customers’ psychology to discern the best ways to have an influence. 


Does this customer data-driven approach sound familiar to you? At ASTRALCOM, we’ve been deepening our knowledge about the feedback loops between customer behavior and effective marketing for decades. We bring decades of expertise working with restaurant clients. 


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