Marketing communication and automatic consumer responses: a context dependency perspective

Maria Leonora Fransen

    Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

    172 Downloads (Pure)


    Brands, advertisements and persuasive messages have become part of our daily lives. It is almost impossible to spend a whole day without being exposed to a multitude of marketing expressions trying to inform, persuade, and seduce us into buying all kinds of products. The present dissertation examined if and how consumer responses might be affected by external marketing communications without the consumer being aware of this influence. It is argued and showed that marketing communications such as brands, slogans, and persuasive messages can evoke automatic goal pursuit and unconsciously affect evaluation processes. Moreover, it was found that these automatic processes are context dependent, such that they operate and manifest themselves in interplay with situational and individual variables. The effects of these automatic processes were subsequently demonstrated to affect consumer responses varying from consumer attitudes, choice, behavioral intentions, and actual behavior. In Chapter 1 we provide a brief overview of research on automaticity both inside and outside the field of consumer behavior and we elaborate on the role of marketing communications in automatic consumer processes. Chapter 2 describes three experiments demonstrating that the mere presence of marketing communications in various contexts may elicit automatic goal pursuits that subsequently shape consumer responses. Chapter 3 extends these findings by presenting a series of four experiments showing that automatic marketing communication effects may depend on the interplay between the context in which consumers are exposed to marketing expressions and the context in which evaluations and choices are made. Chapter 4 describes four studies in which it was found that automatic effects of marketing communications may also depend on the interplay between the marketing communication context and the individual context of the consumer. Finally, Chapter 5 concludes that the occurrence of automatic marketing communication effects often depends on the interplay between marketing communications and context variables that may pertain to both the situation and the consumers themselves. Marketing communications do not always seem to evoke the same responses in all situations for all consumers at all times.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Twente
    • Pruijn, Adriaan Theodorus Hendrikus, Supervisor
    • Fennis, B.M., Co-Supervisor
    Award date19 Dec 2008
    Place of PublicationEnschede
    Print ISBNs978-90-365-2741-5
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2008


    • IR-60281


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