Chapter

5. 5. Marketing as Surveillance: Assembling Consumers as Brands

Jason Pridmore and David Lyon

in Inside Marketing

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199576746
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191724916 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199576746.003.0006
5. 5. Marketing as Surveillance: Assembling Consumers as Brands

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This chapter suggests that surveillance is at the heart of marketing practice — the exemplar par excellence of contemporary surveillance. By drawing in and on a proliferation of personal data, contemporary marketing better discerns the needs, desires, and trends of consumer behavior and shapes these behaviors by subtle and less than subtle means. This is accomplished by a purposeful, routine, systematic, and focused attention to personal details, allowing corporations to manage and/or influence their consumers. By focusing on loyalty marketing, this chapter demonstrates how digitizing consumer information and assembling this into representations of consumers renders these consumers as transparent “brands.” This chapter argues that this practice of making consumers known and placing upon them certain valuations is indicative of how contemporary surveillance operates as a means for analysis and assessment. The surveillance exemplified by marketing is now the basic building block and the defining practice of all modern organizations, regardless of type.

Keywords: loyalty marketing; surveillance; consumer profiling; consumer branding

Chapter.  9458 words. 

Subjects: Marketing

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