Do we live in a “Consumer-Empowered Marketing World”?

By Jane Atkinson Student ID: 213438614 WordPress User Name : jmatkins68

They say it’s a consumer marketing world where consumers shape the products and services they want. But is it?

What about the services we as rate and tax payers expect our governments to provide?

Do governments really interact with the consumer to ensure we get what we paid for in taxes, voted for or are these just phony marketing promises to get us to vote for them?

The Project

Sky Rail Project

The Victorian State Government has announced a “Sky rail” solution on Pakenham-Cranbourne line for the Level Crossing Removal project.

As initially reported by the Seven News, the “Sky Rail” was a proposed solution by the Government who confirmed the communities (consumers) affected would be consulted prior to making a decision.

The Marketing Error

The government in their infinite wisdom made a critical marketing error by commencing with the project without conducting the required research of the targeted market segments; and identifying and understanding the consumer wants and needs of that target segment. There was none of the promised pre-consultation with the consumer, nor the consumer empowerment to ‘buy-in’ to the “Sky Rail” solution.

A “Change for the better for ever” as announce by Daniel Andrews the Victorian State Premier.

The Consumer Behaviour


There is no argument that the consumer wants these level crossing removed, but the consumer’s expectation of the pre-purchase offered, was that these level crossings would go underground and not be elevated.

This has sparked a fierce response from the coHerald Sun Satirensumers with rally’s, protests and even a creation of an anti “Sky rail” Facebook page called “No Sky rail”, as well as a ‘’ petition site for consumers to vote against the “Sky rail”.

The mainstream media seemingly supporting this consumer prote
st by reporting on the “lack” of consumer consultation. This unmistakably left the Government on the back foot , into damage control and scrabbling to start engaging the consumer, which was a little late, considering the perceptions of the consumers had been already been ingrained.



The Government ‘marketing’ launch of this project was flawed.  They did not involve the consumer to the decision-making process of this high-involved purchase, which is paramount.

With these types of purchases it is widely known that a successful marketer should ensure consumer involvement and focus on providing the consumer with information, so they can be well informed, enabling them to make a cognitive decision that what they are purchasing is appropriate for them.   With having less information, “information uncertainty”, increases the overall difficulty of the consumer to make a decision.


Moreover, consumer perception is equally important, consumers are discriminatory in their attention to what stimulates them.

 It is evident that the consumers strong attitudes and beliefs towards the project’s visual presence has been one of the most significant perceptions it’s an eye sore” “it will divide the community like the Berlin Wall”, “never in a million years is this going to be pretty”


Thie Big Sell

The Government clearly did not expect this animosity and anger expressed, as they failed to understand the perceptions of the consumer towards the “Sky rail” project.

The Conundrum

A conundrum remains if the government did initially engage with the consumer in the decision-making process with the “Sky rail” project would it change their behaviour or perceptions?

Maybe or may not. But at the very least they may have felt engaged and empowered.

So do we live in a “consumer-empowered” marketing world?


  1. Iacobucci, D., 2014. Marketing Management, 4th ed. Mason: South-Western, Cengage Learning, 2014, pp. 14-16
  2. Broniarczyka & Griffin, S.M. & J.G, 2014. Decision Difficulty in the Age of Consumer Empowerment.Journal of Consumer Psychology, [Online]. Volume 24 Issue 4, 3. Available at:[Accessed 27 March 2016].

4 thoughts on “Do we live in a “Consumer-Empowered Marketing World”?

  1. Great blog Jane! However I’m not sure if this was a marketing error in not consulting with the constituents. think it was quite deliberate! The state government would have many consultants who would have suggested this approach. Personally, although its been a sham consultation process in this respect (Think recent history with East West Link and the absolute stuff up there by the previous government), I think we need to get on and build this. Yes, I feel for the residents, however if one backs onto a rail line, there is inevitably going to be change at some point. The joys of living in a large, and ever sprawling (sprawl is a topic for another time)!


    • Absolutely agree it was deliberate…but still a marketing error in a good marketers eyes… have a look at this “Lessons Learned” they knew this may not be the best option but I believe it was chosen due to cost. But the question remains will it be the cheapest option in the long run? They have to buy homes along the rail corridor as well as pay our compensation claims to residents affected by noise and the like. Typical government thought process which is short term they never think of the long term affects this might have.


      • Agree. Not to mention a quip from the Transport Minister when asked whether they need to increase from 2 to 4 tracks.. I’m paraphrasing, but the comment was along the lines of, well that’s for a future government to decide. Unbelievable!

        Liked by 1 person

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