Maybe you’ve had the experience, maybe you’ve heard the theories…
Some people claim Facebook is listening to its users, literally via the microphone of smartphones and laptops. Users claim they were casually talking about a brand, and suddenly seeing ads for this brand all over. The only explanation, right? Not quite.
Psychology at play
We tend to underestimate how easily our mind is fooled. Enter the “Baader-Meinhof” phenomenon also known as “frequency illusion”. The theory states that once you talk about something specific, it suddenly pops of everywhere.
The phenomenon is caused by 2 processes:
- Selective attention: you unconsciously keep an eye out for things you’ve been talking about.
- Confirmation bias: convincing yourself that every sighting confirms your suspicion that Facebook is indeed sneaking up on you!
In short: Facebook probably isn’t using your mic to spy on you, it’s just Psychology at play.
Using the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon as a marketeer
As a marketeer, it’s often very useful top jumpstart this phenomenon. After all, when people talk about us or research us, we want to appear everywhere on their feeds. This is where remarketing comes in: showing your brand to people and lookalike audiences of people who’ve shown interest in your brand. Do it right, and you’ll gain a loyal customer.