Task Three: Field Manual for Change / Inform Deceptive Marketing Research Tactics

Inform Deceptive Marketing Research tactics

Market based trading, selling, buying and consuming has been around for thousands of years and the presence of a consumer society should not always be viewed in such positive way. Today’s current consumer society is a fluctuating continuous development that has spanned over a period of centuries. During this time we have witnessed the growth of the market base trading in manufacturing; distributing and selling consumer goods.

It is only when the trading of production, communication, sales and consumption increased involving large companies and institutions; the study of behavioural and psychological investigations of these activities began.

The study of marketing behavioural investigations claims to uncover and reveal the expressed needs of consumers, which is partly or even false most of the time. It is common excuse used by companies and institutions to enable producers of goods to dispose of their excess productivity, increase sales and profit. This process of management of demand involves constructing products around a strong selling point that is associated with product design features, packaging, performance and sales strategy including advertising. A popular strategy used to enhance sales is recruiting a loyal band of customers by introducing brand recognition and brand loyalty. With this specific strategy, managers of demand produce a comprehensive, repetitive and compelling communication of advertisements to its customers.

The consequence of this is that while goods are becoming more and more abundant to consumers through clever advertising sales and purchases. Consumers do not seem to be aware of these strategies that are targeted in pushing sales schemes. According to further market research, people who become consumers constantly end up wanting more. Although it’s fair to say not all market research is part of scheme and without any of this persuasion by the market there would be less of a tendency to consume, that would create problems for the industrial system which relies on the expenditure of a constant proportion of income on commodities.

However, it is the quality, not the quantity of the research that is concerned about in this. Market research studies consume like fishermen study fish rather than as marine biologists, and with this micro level of perspective in consumer needs as research are seen as insufficient and false considering the marketers claim that the research is to be conducted to develop and enhance consumer’s products and the marketer’s services.

Marketers usually intend to ‘hook’ consumers by offering a product or service that meets those needs of the consumer without the true understanding of the consumers needs which to them is really secondary.

Today, the emergence of internet, smart phones, social media, applications and data processing computer technologies offers marketers ever more power, and build sophisticated ways of deceiving their prospects and targets. As deceptive marketing strategies and tactics become more evident in today’s market place, this will gradually create negative impact on our society shaping and reducing the standards and values that determine social conduct, not to mention the environmental and the consumption of natural resources issues.  It is for these reasons that deceptive marketing practices must be brought to our attention.

These concerns are not only limited to marketing and its practice, but are also relevant to the type and form of the research process, such as the way the research information is conducted or to what level, does these information gain access to companies to distribute? and does this not breach the individual’s privacy?  In fact, marketing researches and its range of tactics are now so sophisticated that we are completely unaware of its existence, leaching data from phones, computers, internet, social media, TV’s, Game consoles, cars etc.

Although many of the issues of marketing research have been around, it has received relatively little attention from academics in psychology and the general public. Despite the fact that the growing coverage of privacy issues in the establishment of professional guidelines and governmental regulations prohibiting unethical marketing tactics, collection and distribution of personal data without the owner’s consent, relatively little information appears regarding the implications of data collection and deception for marketing practitioners, consumers, and regulatory agencies.

So then how can we stop and apply change to deceptive practices so that it is conducted in a method that is ethically and morally correct? To achieve this,

(1)  Clarify what deception is and the circumstance under which its use may be justified

(2)  to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms and process that underlie its effects on individual consumers, the field of marketing, and society in general.

To achieve justice to the wealth of topics affecting to deception in marketing research and marketing practice would require a whole list of steps that clarify and establish professional guidelines that protect and prohibit the use of deceptive market tactics in our markets today.

Therefore, the intent here is not to provide a solution to stop market practices, but to clarify deception to alert and educate the consumers whom are lost in the false hood of marketers such as the use of deception in the marketing of alcohol and tobacco products, influence tactics used in marketing products to children, brand confusion, and so on.

Rather, the intent of this movement is to serve as a large part of an introduction and starting point, especially in terms of raising the topic of deception, protecting our privacy rights as consumers, to propose promising directions for further research and consideration that can eliminate deceptive marketing for good.

 

References

Desmond, John, Consumption Behaviour

Gay, Paul Du, Consumption and Identity at work

Kimmel, Allan, J, Psychology & Marketing

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mar.1024/pdf

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