Review Discussion of Chris Hackley Chapter One

Chris Hackley (2013) Marketing in Context 10


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Marketing in Context by Chris Hackley (2013) demonstrates howperfect marketing does not merely concentrate on the personalconsumer psychology, but works on a cultural level. The bestmarketing structure alternatives work in a manner that makes itimpossible for the consumer to become knowledgeable that theirpurchasing decisions are being controlled. Hackley demonstrates howmarketing ought to set the scene and determine the wider culturalframework to influence clients triumphantly. Large-scale marketingdoes not focus on convincing individuals to buy decisions, but worksby influencing choices, which makes buying decisions disused.Marketing that concentrates on the consumer’s personal psychologytakes into consideration their larger background, surrounding and wayof life.

There are numerous marketing texts written by different authors.Each author has their unique way of introducing marketing to readers.The same applies to Hackley. In this review and discussion, the focusis on chapter one Setting the Marketing Scene. The reviewmakes a comparison of the chapter, to chapter ones of other marketingtexts.

Chapter One: Setting the Marketing Scene

Key Arguments

Hackley begins the chapter by introducing marketing and itsdiffering context. It is apparent that the meaning of marketingdepends on the contexts individuals encounter. The book argues thatit is impossible to comprehend marketing as a different entity fromits cultural context. Marketing employs the melodramatic metaphor ofmise-en-scene in the development of its account of marketing, wheredecisions to purchase become redundant. Redundancy derives fromalready framed consumer decisions due to cultural contextmanipulation. The author notes that perfect marketing involvessetting the scene, thus conduct becomes framed and probably cued, yetnot conditioned. Hackley endeavors to come up with a sense ofmarketing as an issue, which may be productively explored throughderiving on perspectives that deviate from the normal cognitivescience as well as behavior models, by endeavoring to sketch severalpractical inferences of using notions from for instance, cultural,literary, urban and movie research.

The eclectic approach of marketing develops from a management view,but there exists greater inferences for policy, also evaluated in thechapter (Sheth&amp Sisodia 2006, p.11). In specific, the bookinsists on how perfect marketing results in an interpretive openspace for the customer. The author attempts to drift from the usualcontrol marketing paradigms, to demonstrate how effective marketingworks, which is through activation of the customer’s thoughts. Sucha view on marketing overplays consumer agency becoming a creative andinvolving marketing. This is because marketing thinking has driftedfrom the usual sales analogy within the convergent media setting tonative content. Creative marketers aim at activating, as well asengaging and not persuading customers to purchase products. Thenotion that the most efficient marketing works at a culture levelinstead of a cognitive one is not an advent concept. From the 1980s,a few figures of the academics from business schools have depicted torich accounts of marketing, in addition to consumption, which may beavailed via anthropological and socio-cultural outlooks (Kenny&amp Marshall 2000, p.121).

From the chapter, it is apparent that organizational marketing worksin a larger framework, not just of consumer culture, rather diverseorganizational roles. When connecting to the internal organizationalfunction, marketing interconnects with exterior fields of knowhow aswell as practice. Assertions on marketing are made and obtained inthe framework of different knowhow, and marketing insight (Kenny&amp Marshall 2000, p.123). This might appear ascommon sense to practitioners that work on a daily basis within thecustomer interface. The practitioners frequently face a hard task ofcommunicating to sell their views to major board members or differentsenior internal stakeholders. As a result, market as well as consumerstudy presumes an acutely political function in companies,rhetorically validating management verdicts. Marketing practice ismajorly perceived as a plan of informed examination, instead of agroup of normative principles. It comprises of numerous sciencebases, where none is capable of informing on how to conduct marketingwithin a specified context.

In actuality, science views marketing as a laboratory examination,where the marketing consumer is a robot. This resonates to a failureto consider the most relevant factor of marketing, which is theconsumer culture context. As a result, researchers have been seekingscientific marketing (Luo&amp Seyedian 2003, p.99). The book derives on theadvertising logic as well as brand planning in setting out an outlookof marketing as a procedure entrenched in cultural framework. Thismeans that everything in marketing is conditional. Hackley deviatesfrom the widespread assertion that the environment has an impact onconduct, and argues that marketing impacts can merely be properlycomprehended through contemplating them in a dynamic as well asrelational consumer cultural framework.

The mise-en-scene correlation highlights the aesthetic as well asemotional trait of customers’ activation in marketing. It as wellhighlights the function of the marketing professional, not inregulating environmental stimuli, rather setting the scene to perfecteffect to draw the commitment, as well as activate the emotions ofthe marketing audience, who is the consumer. It is apparent thatHackley’s objective does not lie on the generation of an adventtheory, rather an attempt on reflecting the sensible, fluid, as wellas nuanced manner through which marketing is comprehended by majoradvertisers and brand planners. The argument is that appreciating theconsumer cultural context results in a greater account of marketingcontrol.

Clarity of the Text

The text is clear in explaining the cultural context of marketing.Hackley makes it clear that his marketing context covers the totalcultural as well as material context where marketing functions, andvia which consumers move. His view is that when broadly evaluated,marketing frames and permeates our daily life experiences (Hackley,2013, p.2). Hence, the author clearly articulates the role ofmarketing as setting the scene in such a manner to trigger individualemotions and engage consumer passions. He views contextual marketingperception as fluid as well as holistic, creative and focused oncommunication (Hackley, 2013, p. 2). Thus, typical business schoolhypothesis fails in accounting for the framework in which we facemarketing, due to an over-dependence on instrumental methods, as wellas reductionist cause-impact strategies, what Hackley refers tocue-ball marketing theories (Hackley, 2013, p. 2). The authorprogresses to make his argument clear by noting that many individualsdeclare themselves as experts that retail their anecdotes viaacademic settings, and individual narrative without a doubt containan educational value. However, Hackley (Hackley, 2013, p. 3) statesthat the anecdotal strategy has a main failing. This is becauseexperts are frequently not good in explaining their work. The skillsare intuitive and founded on experience, as well as pragmatic issuesolving. This means there is minimal to say on marketing, exceptlearning from experience.

The chapter endeavors at explaining how appreciating consumerculture context provides a greater and more constructive account ofmarketing impacts, which inform the practical management of marketingas well as the comprehension of its impacts. The context approachcontemplates marketing issues concerning a Gestalt, totality,containing inter-reliant sections moving in the structure (Hackley,2013, p. 3). The argument presented by Hackley is reinforced by theuse of illustrations. For instance, he uses the illustration ofwalking via the Las Vegas Strip, where every angle sight comprises ofneon spectacle. As a mise-en-scene, the strip may be unsubtle,despite being a surrounding, which has a manner of drawing the viewerto the consumption spirit in Vegas, as well as using ones money viaan invisible compel. The illustration explains the consumptioncontexts, as spatial surrounding, which are formulated, to someextreme, as manifestation having a persuasive intention. Therefore,marketing becomes the art of situating the consumer scene tocaptivate and convince, in addition to frame the consumptionexperiences contexts (Hackley, 2013, p. 3).

Author’s Contribution to Marketing

A major contribution by Hackley to the marketing context is theemployment of the metaphor mise-en-scene. It is a French phrase,which implies placing something in the scene (Hackley, 2013, p. 8).It regards to the manner in which the outward space of a theatrestage, or movie set, may be employed in narrative a story throughpassing on degrees of emotion, factors of characterization ordifferent aspects of narrating. The metaphor is mainly linked withmovie scenes, which hang on for a specific period on set, and itsimpacts arise from the articulate organization of actors, light andcinematography or placing of actors, not as personal aspects rather aGestalt, which distils and communicates significance in dynamicassociation (Hackley, 2013, p. 8). Mise-en-scene is a work of artcontaining color, set design, camera movement, light as well asframing. The metaphor is concerned to the manner space is used and itpermits the viewer to find things, in place of directing the viewer’sconcentration closely via rapid editing.

To be capable of playing with the senses, as well as viewer’sfeelings, the film director is expected to intimately comprehend theviewer and its social framework, and the skill of making films.Hackley views the mise-en-scene, as the method a movie director willnarrate an intricate narrative via powerful economy, employing allthe scene’s factors. The authors links the metaphor to marketingbecause marketing conditions seem to be a progressive flux, whereas amovie set appears motionless, up to when the director commences theaction. Additionally, movie audiences have a single outlook becausethey are motionless, while consumers frequently traverse viamarketing sets. The metaphor applies regardless of whether theaudience is motionless, since people face and react emotionally to ascene, which explains the applicability of the metaphor to marketing(Hackley, 2013, p. 9). What the chapter contributes to marketingthrough the metaphor is the comprehension of marketing, which derivesfrom an articulate evaluation of all the aspects of the client scenein inter-action, in involvement with audiences.

Marketing is strongly incorporated in popular culture, and isprogressively hard to determine where marketing concludes and popularculture commences. Some may view the marketing merger, as well asbranding through entertainments and communicating to masses, as anexploitative culture. Marketing fails in attaining the level ofmanipulative regulation, which is frequently claimed (Hackley, 2013,p. 10). Marketing borrows from well-known art, as well as culture innot dictating cultural significance, but form spaces towardscreative, postmodern explanation. The metaphor acts as a manner ofenvisioning the enthusiasm and theatricality of marketing conditions,which have the capability of activating, involving and indulgingaudiences by applying any merge of aspects in the sensory surrounding(Hackley, 2013, p. 10).

Comparison to Other Texts

Mike (2005, p.52) defines contextual marketing as marketing thathappens within the framework of when an individual is more probableto demonstrate interest in the product. An illustration is pagesponsorship, which may be termed as contextual since the viewerdecides to see the page and presuming the sponsorship belongs to aproduct linked to the page content. A different illustration is textadvertisements, which are applicable to the content in a website.These include the programs run through search engines, which haveadvertisement reliant on key search terms. Cavallini (2012, p.90)notes contextual marketing progresses to become synonymous topurchasing thus, individuals question if contextual marketing iscommercially practical, or accepted in culture. In marketing,invasiveness is viewed as a flaw however, there exists a disparityamid sending a message to consumers, and availing a gain or service.It also resonates to the requirement to enhance the significance thatcalls for comprehension of issues. Issues refer to the comprehensionof what is taking place around us and which we relate to, whichimplies comprehending the context. Both authors’ argument resemblesthat presented by Hackley. The main argument is on the relevance ofviewing marketing within the culture context. When viewed in theculture context, it results in a greater relation of marketinginfluence.

Different authors have also evaluated the effectiveness of themise-en-scene metaphor. Kubacki (2015, p.305) conducts a study, whichaccesses the effect of positive emotions, as well as phase ofcharacter-brand association on consumer reaction to the placement ofbrands. Based from the experiments carried out, the author concludesthat consumers within a positive emotional condition are moreprobable to react favorably to brands when the character associationin the brand is low. Conversely, with high plot involvement as wellas character’s emotional involvement within the brand of aplacement series, the scenario altered. In the case of happy emotionconditions, consumers depicted no attitude alterations as objected tointerest emotions. Leiss (2013, p.573) notes that the metaphortackles the main anxiety on how to ensure individuality despitepressure from market forces. Advertising is seen as the narrative,which influences the consumer to purchase a product. Advertisers arecapable of becoming attentive towards the judgment of consumers, bybecoming sensitive to tastes. The outcome is that the advertisementsappeal to the taste of consumers indirectly. The consumers associatewith the plot, which is the story behind the advertisement, becauseit is within their culture context. In the similar manner thatHackley explains the effectiveness of marketing as a culturalcontext, Leiss, argues that advertisements, which focus on thecultural context by appealing to consumer tastes are more effective.


The chapter is an illustration of the shifting marketing approachtowards a cultural context. By appreciating the culture context ofconsumer’s, the results is more effective marketing, becauseproducts and services appeal more to the culture needs of consumers.Hackley employs a metaphor in enhancing understanding of contextualmarketing. What the chapter contributes to marketing through themetaphor is the comprehension of marketing, deriving from anexpressive evaluation of all the aspects of the client scene ininter-action, in involvement with audiences.


Cavallini, R, 2012, Omnipresent: communication where we came fromand where we are going. New York: Lotus Press.

Hackley, C.E, 2013,&nbspMarketingin context: Setting the scene.Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

In Kubacki,K, 2015,&nbspIdeasin marketing: Finding the new and polishing theold: proceedings of the 2013 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) annual conference :Monterey, CA, USA, May 15-18, 2013.

Kenny, D., &ampMarshall, J. F, 2000, Contextual marketing: the real business of the Internet.&nbspHarvardBusiness Review,&nbspvol.78no.6pp.119-125.

Leiss, W, 2013, Social Communication in Advertising: Consumptionin the Mediated Marketplace, New York: Routledge.

Luo, X., &ampSeyedian, M, 2003, Contextual marketing and customer-orientationstrategy for e- commerce: an empirical analysis.&nbspInternationalJournal of Electronic Commerce,&nbspvol.8 no.2 pp. 95-118.

Mike, S, 2005, Marketing and Sales, New York: Lotus Press.

Sheth, J. N.,&amp Sisodia, R. S. (Eds.) 2006,&nbspDoesmarketing need reform?: Fresh perspectives on the future.ME Sharpe.