Cracking the code of the human mind can seem like an impossible feat but when it comes to sales and marketing, it is really not that hard.
For the first time in my life, I have done some proper research before writing an article. The reason for this is simple — I am fascinated by the minds behind Wish and their marketing techniques. They have taken things to the extreme because they understood there is no other option if you want to become competitive (almost instantly) in a very crowded market dominated by fucking giants.
To understand how these masterminds made you click on those ads we must first understand what drives us as human beings. And before you dismiss this expert guide for going deep into biology and psychology make sure you understand how big of a role they play in online sales and sales in general.
No matter how successful or unsuccessful you may be in life, you will always be influenced by one or more basic human drives and needs. You don’t have to understand all of them, just the ones that are present in consumerism:
- The desire to stand out and be unique
Buying that edgy t-shirt that will make everyone stare at you while at the same time being an introvert and bitching about those people looking at you like that
- Esteem and Identity
The way you want the outside world to perceive you as a person. Think clothing and your physical appeal. If you look nice and act like everything is fine no one can tell that you are dead inside
- Safety and Security
Unnecessarily protecting your invaluable life with gadgets and safety measures so you can leave a bigger carbon footprint
Rewarding yourself with something expensive and nice for that one task you finished on Friday but started on Monday. You paused your procrastination for 15 minutes. Congratulations.
- Basic materialism
Buying all of that shit you think you need just to make yourself feel better because she left you and took the kids
- SEX Drive
That part of your caveman DNA that just won’t go away
Wish made sure you are reminded about all of these daily!
Disclaimer: This list is highly debatable. Different people have different opinions and this one is based on my own observation and research.
For years, online marketers have been exploiting these desires, drives and needs. AliExpress and Amazon were obviously the best at it, as their domination on the market would imply.
But, out of nowhere comes Wish with a slick new twist that gets the attention of millions. They went straight for the genitalia. It was a scumbag move but it was very effective.
“Hey, guys! You forgot to exploit their sex drive!!!”
They shouted into the void needlessly. No one was going to risk their reputation for a few cheap clicks.
No one but Wish that is.
What these bastards understood is that times are changing and people have less respect for brands now that we have easy access to information and more insight into their business practices. That is why Wish didn’t care about professionalism and reputation. Their ads were the boldest move online marketing has ever seen and it seems to me that professionals don’t see the beauty of it.
Sexy chicks were all over my Facebook feed, female audiences were getting ads with buffed alpha males in tight t-shirts from all directions, and in case your sex drive didn’t make you click, they added a bizarre factor as well.
Chokers, weird sexual accessories, masks for animals and shit you would only expect to see on the dark web. And what was the price of these items? Sometimes you just “pay for the shipping” and other times they cost $1. That is what the ad says at least…
I explained this technique in detail in my previous article. You can find it under the False advertisement, flash sales and made up discounts section.
Reverse Engineering The Marketing Campaigns
If you read one of my guides you should know by now that I am a big fan of reverse engineering. It is fast, reliable and most of the time provides measurable results. They aren’t very accurate but all of this information is free. Always worth the hassle.
If you go to their YouTube channel and scroll all the way down to the first videos you will see that they aimed for influencer marketing at the beginning. That is approximately when the campaign started.
The influencers weren’t very big names on YT but they had a significant following. This is also something that you can learn if you read my marketing guide.
It is very professional.
Influencers expressing their honest opinions for monetary compensation
Their YouTube channel will serve as a time machine for now so let’s move the needle forward a bit.
If you look closely you will find the exact point in time where the Wish marketing team said “Fuck these nobodies! People don’t have time to watch 10-minute videos about shit they don’t need!” and made a simple but very effective video that gathered 1.5 Million views to this day.
Make another trip to the future and you will notice that videos became shorter and a few influencer leftovers were still present but they will soon fade into nothingness.
The thumbnails look a bit better, don’t they?
Shortly after this Wish either strikes gold with these family-friendly ads or starts buying YouTube views from BlackHatWorld. Whatever it was it made YouTube start counting in millions.
Look at those fucking numbers for fuck sake!
Coincidentally, this is the time when Wish was known by every Facebook user in existence.
Erecting those visuals
It is obvious that Wish went all-in with this marketing campaign but their visual ads on Facebook were something else.
Some of them were creative
Some of them were bold
A lot of them made you think about sex
And in case nothing above worked here is something that should make you think “what the fuck?”
To be completely sure that you will click on that fucking ad they lied a lot.
A perfect mix of your needs, your desire to spend less-buy more, your craving to stand out and all those sexual fantasies that you are hiding in a very dark corner of your mind.
As a cherry on top, they exploited your basic human reaction to images that you don’t have a chance to see very often.
Those teeth may look bizarre but if these marketing experts were hackers, your curiosity would be an open port they could exploit by only using cmd.exe and a dial-up connection. That’s how fucking effective their visual ads were.
Invest — Profit — Reinvest
This will be the third and final time I will be mentioning that guide you still didn’t bother to read because this is a fantastic example of how you can apply the techniques we used to sell that shitty video game in online sales as well.
The Wish marketing team knew that this was coming. Professionals anticipate these things. This is why they took all the cash they made with the previous ad campaign and went as big as they can.
In one big swoop, they turned a bizarre laughingstock within the Facebook circles into a well-known online dropshipping platform that everyone uses. Even the biggest fucking names in soccer like Gareth Bale, Gianluigi Buffon and Neymar were on the Wish train.
Look how happy they all are for purchasing items produced by forced labor and poverty.
Why stop there? Become a sponsor of the La Lakers… Wish is on top of the world baby!
Their targeted audience was the working middle class and they knew how to talk to them.
Sometimes Facebook and sports are the only two things you need in life…
Analyzing the numbers
To measure the effects of this whole marketing machine would be almost impossible. There are a lot of variables that we can not know so the only way we can do it is to look at their current stats and evaluate the results.
It is safe to say that the campaign was a success because 72.5% of their traffic is coming from direct sources.
Google Analytics defines direct traffic as website visits that arrived on your site either by typing your website URL into a browser or through browser bookmarks. … Traffic from mobile social media apps.
This means that their app, backed with Facebook ads, is driving most of the traffic. From this, we can conclude that they have a lot of returning customers. That is essential for business models like this one.
To be extra sure you will be coming back, they added this annoying feature to their website.
You can’t browse the inventory without an account. It’s easy to set one up though. You can create it by using Gmail or Facebook in less than a minute. We might be spamming your inbox after that but we did save you a few seconds there, didn’t we?
It is also safe to say that their Facebook ads are a success to this day.
Facebook is their leading social media traffic source.
You are clicking on those big booty gals, aren’t you?
Compare this with AliExpress and what do you get?
Less traffic from direct sources but slightly more from search engines.
Both brands were established in 2010 but it seems like Wish had an epiphany only 3 years ago. Meanwhile AliExpress was focusing on SEO.
Look at all those keywords for a pair of brown shoes…
One more piece of evidence that Wish is dominating the Facebook audience with their crazy ads.
Only 23% of traffic that AliExpress gets from social media comes from Facebook and both brands are targeting almost the same audience.
So, what did we learn today?
If you read this just for the sake of reading then you probably learned nothing. If you paid attention to the details then you know that there is a lot that we can take from this small research:
- People have less and less attention to give so make sure that you are standing out
- Always find your competitors in the space and scope them out. There is no shame in stealing when you work in marketing
- Consumerism is a science.
- Going for their urges and drives will slowly become a standard. Take time to study psychology if you want to stay relevant in the space.
- When you start seeing positive results it is time to increase investment. You are doing something right so be sure to cash in on that.
And before we conclude this session let’s look at how much free exposure this ad campaign got them.
I will not go into the details this time though. Instead, I will show you this video that comes from a channel that has about 8 million subscribers. You would expect the best videos on that channel to be maxed out at 5–6 million views.
The video alone has almost 14 million
This is just one example. Do yourself a favor and do a YouTube search.
Then do the math…
And in case you are wondering "where are my billions that the title promised?" Forbes has your answer.