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Successful marketing requires proper understanding of the target consumers or customers. A marketer involves knowledge about the social, culture, economic and consumption behavior about the target market before introducing a product or launching a campaign in the market. It is crucial to profile the market appropriately in a manner that gives a clear image of the market, which reflects the demand and nature of the buyers for the organization. Marketing ensuring visibility and creating awareness for the product with the aim of increasing sales and consumption of the commodity or service. The definite necessity is to understand its dynamics by looking at the behaviors and why the market possesses the kind of action which it has. Consequently, failure to understand the community and the social environment is likely to impact the outcome of marketing.
The lectures about consumer Ethnography, Can consumers escape the market? Consumer Emancipation and the Burning Man and Marketing Ethics and visual communication are essential lecturers who made me develop a comprehensive understanding of the core marketing concepts and how they should be implemented in practice. Understanding the community, culture, social environment and ethical considerations of the market is the central argument in the lectures or themes where successful marketing needs a proper understanding of the business environment. Most importantly is finding appropriate ways of changing the consumers’ perception about the product and their environment and ensuring that they accept it and develop brand loyalty for the commodity or service. This reflection, therefore, describes the key findings or themes which I got from the three lectures and how I can use them critically in promoting a product, campaign, or services in the market.
The topic of ethnographic methods is about describing people in terms of their culture, habits, customs, and mutual differences. This approach is crucial in understanding the socio-cultural environment of the market by understanding their ways of operations and finding the best approach and products which can sell in the market. One important observation I made from the lecture is that ethnography is much more than sitting down on peripherals to observe the social environment but extends into analyzing the findings with the main aim of getting appropriate and essential facts from the observation, images, and videos captured in the market. From the lecture, the key concern is finding appropriate ways in which one can be part of the market as the most reliable approach, which can provide accurate information about the market and getting deep into the occurrences. Dedication to be part of the community is the key to achieving the best from the market because it creates an opportunity where one can learn from a community targeted by the marketing approach.
The lecture made it clear that ethnographic methods are qualitative approaches which are essential in carrying out qualitative inquiry. In this regard, inquiries about the sociological and cultural aspects are much more important than the normal video and image approaches, which are the general perception of ethnography as a method. Just like any other research, participation and documentation play a central role in understanding the fundamental concepts of the ethnographic findings (Henry & Agafonoff, 2006). More importantly, understanding the reason behind the market research and the objectives will define whether to choose on covert or overt as a methodology. It is crucial to understand the core objective of the ethnography, which in turn describes the approach and essential factors to consider when coming up with an approach that is practical and crucial in getting the best information for defining the market and consumers. In this regard, the lecturer, other than showing fundamental methods outlines the critical concept, which makes it essential to include participants other than concentrating more observation.
It is important to remember that having critical approach determines the findings and outcome of the ethnographic research methodology. In application, I discovered that the researcher needs to balance between the non-participant approach and the participant approach so that the outcome balances between subjective and objective approaches. The non-participant method defines an ethnographic approach where the researcher uses video recordings, images, and observations to come up with the findings while participant approach involves making inquiries on the behavior, culture, customs, and habits about the market. The choice of method is likely to depend on the nature of qualitative information required and how the market researcher is going to use it to improve on the general marketing approach of the product. The key objective is to have a comprehensive definition of the target consumers and market environment.
Understanding the critical approaches is vital in having a clear roadmap which the researcher should follow in coming up with the best description for the market. The best outcome should rely on both participant and participant to give the researcher an opportunity to observe by himself or herself and also seek clarification or inquiry about the consumer habits in the market. The lecture contained comprehensive information which takes an individual away from the normal thinking that ethnographic research involves only videos, images and observations and described the importance of carrying out qualitative inquiries, documenting the findings and analyzing them to come up with the best social, cultural, habitual and customary profile of the people in the target market. These are crucial information in preparing for market research, carrying out the fieldwork, and presenting the findings ready to be used for implementing the marketing approach.
Markets influence general society and consumers. It defines the behavior and choice of the consumers, behavior, culture and the market habit of the buyers. A market is a physical place where goods and services are sold. It provides an appropriate platform in which transactions take place. That is, buyers meet sellers and transact among themselves. The lecture was about testing whether the consumers can be distanced from the market using the Burning Man approach. The approaches which it touched on distancing the consumers from the market involved discourse, community supports, alternating exchange practices, and positioning consumption as self-expressive art. The findings of the lecture outline how markets are essential due to the communal nature of the consumers. In this regard, it provides an analysis of whether consumers can be liberated from the market or not and hurdles that are there when freeing the consumer from the dictates of the market.
From the lecture, it became easier and more practical to relate the community with market. In this case, the market plays a vital role in the community and ensures that everybody gets access to both the product and the market information. The fundamental relationship in the market is transactional-based (Kozinets, 2002). The primary aim of the market is, therefore, to simplify the critical notion of sharing with insiders. One of the things I understood from the lecture is the close relationship between the market and the community and how the presence of the market reduces the complexity of communal exchanges. In this case, it portrays the image of interrelated entities which exist between the market and community.
Similarly, the factor which I learned from the market is the idea that it suppresses the self-expressive capability of the consumer and therefore making it necessary for the consumers to have some freedom of choice rather than relying on the information about the market. The market is crucial in homogenizing the demand of the market and generalizing the taste hence making it difficult to understand what an individual requires. It is more of concentrating on the perception of the majority based on their culture, habit, social, and behavior of the majority of the market. In this regard, markets are crucial in generalizing consumers and denying individual consumer opportunity to make an appropriate decision which is against the general market demand. Similarly, it outlined the importance of understanding an individual consumer instead of concentrating on the general nature of the community.
From the lecture, it is clear that the community and the market are interrelated and, therefore, difficult to separate or single out an individual consumer. Market suppresses individual consumer self-demands and preferences. In this regard, it is a difficult task to single out an individual consumer and determine what they want. A community defines how someone thinks and the taste he develops in this regard, markets are essential for giving information about the products, and therefore separating consumers from the market might not help the consumer much though it can save the consumer from the suppression.
Images are essential in contemporary marketing communication because they give a visual impression of the product and its usage. Images are necessary for analyzing and comprehending the central content of the advertisement or the product. The principal pictures which are mostly used in the marketing include celebrities, ordinary users, spokespersons and endorsers among others. The lecture is about how to use visual communication in an ethical manner where it describes the importance of using an image for marketing. The main aim of using pictures to help the consumer have a clear perception of the identities of the people world and places and find better ways in which they can identify with on the product. It is a lecture that described in detail the ethical considerations when using image and how visual identities of the corporate and product helps in luring consumers into consuming the product.
Some of the critical ethical considerations mentioned in using visual communication in marketing learned from the lecture are largely atheoretical which includes shock advertising, sexual appeals, stereotyping, deceptions, inaccuracy about the product information or claims and target of vulnerable consumers with the images such as children (Borgerson, & Schroeder, 2005). The lecture outlines these unacceptable behaviors, which should be considered and the ones which ought to be avoided so that the visual communication in marketing achieves the target and also provide appropriate information. Critical information is the lecture is that information-based marketing is a strategic conduit for reaching the consumers. In this regard, the ethical considerations are important. The nature of information and visual aspects used should also be in line with the information expected to reach the consumers.
Moreover, it is notable from the lecture that visual communication play critical role in influencing consumers towards consuming product and also in shaping their behaviors. In this case, negative visual communication might have an adverse impact on the behavior of consumers. In engage one’s senses and uses persuasive rhetoric thereby making it extremely easy to change the behavior of viewers or audience more so when they like the product. Consequently, majority of the consumers might not understand that the images are not real and therefore change their perception about the world by following the image. I, thus, realized that image should not make the consumers the illusion about the products by believing what it is not.
Though visual communication is suitable for marketing and persuading consumers, a lot of care needs to be taken to ensure that it does not mislead or erode the culture and customs of the society by introducing undesirable behavior and illusions. Most importantly, images make the information contained in the advertisement realistic and therefore convince the consumers to use the product. Similarly, communities and their norms play a critical role in defining the nature of marketing and visual communication, which applies to the community and preserves the overall value rather than using unethical ones, which imposes negative perceptions about the world.
The three lectures, Marketing Ethics and Visual Communication, Can Consumers Escape the Market? Consumer Emancipation and the Burning Man and Consumer Ethnography are all critical in understanding the general environment and nature of advertisement or marketing, which the corporate should employ. All addresses the issue of culture, customs, social, habit and behavior among others, to determine the market factors and ability to consume the product. From the lectures, I realized that it is crucial to understand the community, market, and related values because they define the nature of marketing, which can persuade the consumers to use the product and also change their perception about the product. However, the same values would be maintained, and no advertisement ought to erode the original value nor shift the perception and make consumers fall in illusion due to the rhetoric of the marketing.
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