Marketing’s Impact on Consumers Summary Response

Marketing’s Impact on Consumers, edited by Diane and Norbert Schmitt, discusses an important relationship between marketing and consumerism. The article points out that marketers are responsible for directing consumer thoughts and actions, whether it be what and who a consumer finds attractive or how we as consumers feel about issues such as recycling. The Schmitt’s article highlights popular culture—highly trafficked music, movies, sports, and books—as not only a marketing product but also an inspiration for marketers.
Product placement in TV shows and movies affects us as consumers because we connect with characters and feel the need to be more like them. The article makes a point to identify the fact that consumers are inundated with spokes-characters (Ronald McDonald, representing McDonald’s restaurants, for example) who become more recognizable than former presidents of the country. Brand loyalty is tied to personal image in this article. It is pointed out that consumers of Nike (for example) sometimes go out of their way to buy that brand in order to make a lifestyle statement.
The argument is that consumers are making choices based on how they wish to look or feel; there is much more to a product purchased than the functionality of the product itself. In addition to four basic strategies that marketers use to attract consumers mentioned in the article, the development of the global consumer is introduced. This is the result of world-wide marketing aimed at claiming dedicated consumers for individual products all over the world. Marketing is moving in a direction which engages multiple cultures at once in order to attract consumers on a grander scale than ever before.

Response: The relationship between marketing and consumerism introduced in Marketing’s Impact on Consumers didn’t surprise me both because I am a consumer and because I have observed marketing affect me and the people around me throughout my life. I feel like television, for example, has become so inundated with product placement and commercial advertisements that it is simply not as enjoyable to watch anymore. However, twenty-five years later, the spokes-characters with which I grew up are still a large part of how I connect with people my age—we find commonality in aspects of marketing that we remember.
Purchasing to define one’s image and the four strategies aligned with product relationships are also things mentioned in the article that I can appreciate and agree with. On a college campus it is easy to see a great variety of styles, but it often appears that people who spend time together dress and act in similar ways. This suggests marketers could be reaching particular groups of people, not just individuals. Finally, nostalgic attachment is a strategy that is also particularly familiar to me.
For example, I purchase particular foods that remind me of home when I don’t feel well. I think the article presents good supporting points to hold up arguments made. Examples of ways marketing can affect consumers are given in the first paragraph and spokes-characters are named in the fourth paragraph. The overall organization of the article was well-structured, beginning with explanations about marketing on a small scale, and leading up to and ending with discussion of marketing on a global scale.

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