Subconscious Marketing Techniques: The implications for consumer regulations and the marketing profession
Brierley, Geraldene Louise
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The compromise of defending, advancing and embracing new opportunities in marketing communications creativity and new knowledge from neuromarketing, whilst maintaining integrity in law and protecting consumers is a challenging equilibrium. The fine line between leading and misleading consumers is increasingly blurred. Consumer expectations and repetitive behavioural familiarity warms the buying brain to being conveniently led to hone in on products in order to expedite shopping. Such behaviour can lead to confusing and misleading marketing communications to bypass consumer rationality. Similarly, the emotional excitement and expectation of fun driven luxury shopping can entice consumers to bypass misleading marketing clues. Information overload can lead to impulsive buying decisions, followed by post rationalisation with degrees of impaired freedom of choice. A dichotomy exists between consumer behaviour models used by legislators and real human consumer behaviour. This filters into the regulatory adjudicative process. Opening up insightful discoveries of consumer buying behaviour in relation to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (2008) exposing a fallible process. Using deep rich ethnographic tools of organic inductive data driven expert narrative, this research uncovers answers to question whether or not subconscious marketing techniques can go under the radar of consumer regulations. Multidisciplinary deep narrative findings reveal evidence that expert definitions and consumer perceptions can differ vastly. Average consumers and rational consumers are a myth built on false premises. Expert findings concluded that it was not possible to fully legislate against subconscious marketing techniques. In light of these findings, the research recommends new models, which are presented to re-evaluate methods through better frameworks, which can be devised along with a new subconscious neuro-marketing mix paradigm based on the new study area of subconsciology.
PhD Thesis - School of Management
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