Putting the person into context

This article criticises the tendency of marketers to think in terms of linear cause and effect, assuming that they are in control and consumers are their 'targets'.

Putting the person into context

Anthony Tasgal

This article derives from a seminar looking at the implications of neuromarketing. Like so many false dawns, neuromarketing tends to obscure the messy whole by drawing attention to one piece.

But I want to explore the assumptions we make when we look at 'consumer behaviour' and ask 'why?'

Let us start with two titans of modern philosophy: William James said that 'Cause is an altar to an unknown god.' Mary Poppins, on the other hand, claimed 'I never explain anything.'


We are, as a species, 'pattern-seekers', searching out meaning, causality and explanation....

Not a subscriber?

Schedule your live demo with our team today

WARC helps you to plan, create and deliver more effective marketing

  • Prove your case and back-up your idea

  • Get expert guidance on strategic challenges

  • Tackle current and emerging marketing themes

We’re long-term subscribers to WARC and it’s a tool we use extensively. We use it to source case studies and best practice for the purposes of internal training, as well as for putting persuasive cases to clients. In compiling a recent case for long-term, sustained investment in brand, we were able to support key marketing principles with numerous case studies sourced from WARC. It helped bring what could have been a relatively dry deck to life with recognisable brand successes from across a broad number of categories. It’s incredibly efficient to have such a wealth of insight in one place.

Insights Team
Bray Leino

You’re in good company

We work with 80% of Forbes' most valuable brands* and 80% of the world's top top-of-the-class agencies.

* Top 10 brands