You Are What You Know: the Savvy Consumer, Myth or Fact?

Andy Barker,
Research International,
Sue Haynes,
Clerical Medical,
and
Clive Nancarrow,
Bristol Business School, UWE

INTRODUCTION

Amongst the eclectic bricolage which is contemporary research discourse, one insight seems to endure and it is that consumers are more savvy than they used to be. They are more knowledgeable, more demanding, more confident, more powerful, more cynical, more sceptical.

This is an enticing notion, especially as it means, amongst other things, that researchers can engage consumers with the marketing problem. After all consumers are now marketing and advertising experts; post-modern advertising can make free and open use of filmic, literary and reflexive references because consumers are in on the wink. It is also more fun for everyone involved and has an edge of danger about it consumers are regaining ground, marketers, advertisers and researchers need to invent, innovate, reinvigorate in order to stay one step ahead or to creatively engage with savvy consumers far more interesting than business as usual.