Whose blog is this?


What qualifies you to tutor us on these issues?’ I hear some of you ask. That is an excellent question and one that requires an answer. I have spent two decades researching the various social, psychological and technological processes that have given rise to this weird covenant between consumers and providers – affording the title Professor of Consumer Behaviour. For twenty years I’ve also taught people how to understand the consumer and be ‘good’ marketers, how to probe and know the mind and behaviour of the buyer. I’ve worked with multinational companies whose very existence requires you to be complicit. I know their methods. Indeed, I have helped them refine their methods. Am I poacher turned gamekeeper, or maybe gamekeeper turned poacher (the order should be dictated by your own politics, not mine)? I assure you that I don’t want to preach; well, maybe a bit. I’d rather be seen as a slightly-drunk-loner-in-the-pub-who-traps-you-into-a-debate-about-something-and-makes-more-sense-the-longer-you-drink than a preacher, if that’s okay with you. I’d like to chew over some of the anomalies, mechanisms and structures that sustain our perpetual quest for more and better objects and things. This blog could be seen as akin to a manual for bomb disposal. Such manuals are equally useful to the prospective bomb-maker. In this vein, the sub-title for this blog might read ‘How to make people buy stuff’. This two-faced function is entirely healthy and a reminder that you should never trust authors of this kind of blog (or anyone else for that matter – particularly random guys in pubs). So, Idiotconsumercom is designed to help you do various things, for example:

a] understand a lot more about the marketers’ methods, so that you can become a slightly less idiotic consumer or

b] blag your way through an interview with a market research company or

c] scrape a pass in a first-year undergraduate marketing exam or

d] abandon modern life and live in a manner that would use all those skills you’ve gleaned from watching too many Bear Grylls shows or

e] any combination of the above or something else I haven’t thought of.

A Sensible Resume:

This blog belongs to Professor Andrew Smith BSc MSc PhD. He currently works at Nottingham University Business School as chair in consumer behaviour and director of the newly established Neo-demographic Laboratory for Analytics in Business (N-LAB). He is also an associate of The Horizon Institute for Digital Economy Research.
He has published in a many leading journals on various aspects of consumer decision making and behaviour, customer loyalty schemes and data privacy issues relating to them, behavioural data analysis, and retailing. He is currently the principal investigator (PI) on a two year Research Council (RCUK) funded project entitled ‘Neo-Demographics: opening developing world markets by using personal data and collaboration’ (value £620,000). This project examines the use of big data analytics in retailing and service provision in the UK, Tanzania, China & Malaysia. He is also a co-investigator (CI) on the EPSRC grant: ‘From Human Data to Personal Experience’ (2015) – value £4,062,954. This funds the Horizon Institute (Digital Economy Research). He is also the PI on a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant examining financial transaction mapping in east Africa (value $100,000).

His research has entailed the analysis of transaction data for over 50 million consumers worldwide, hundreds of depth interviews with consumers and marketers, and the analysis tens of thousands consumer survey responses and behavioural experiment outcomes. He has taught thousands of undergraduates, postgraduates, executives and managers how to understand and market to consumers and he has supervised several PhD projects examining consumer psychology and behaviour. He is a member of the International Association for Research in Economic Psychology and The American Marketing Association.

Prof Smith has collaborated with and consulted for various commercial organisations, multinationals & NGOs – who – for the sake of discretion –  will remain nameless.