Marketing As Bioproduction: the Customer Database As New Means of Production

This study uses data collected in ethnographic interviews with database marketers and data analysts to elucidate the relationship between consumer surveillance, database technology, and ‘new marketing’. We argue that the emergence and proliferation of the customer database has given rise to what we call bioproduction, ie. techniques and competences aiming at the administration and exploitation of all of consumer life. Bioproduction radicalizes other forms of new marketing because the electronic surveillance of all of consumption transforms every transaction into an act of co-creation, providing the material for the production of customers as customized good. Bioproduction posits the popular notion of customer co-creation as the most advanced form of consumer exploitation.


Detlev Zwick and Janice Denegri-Knott (2007) ,"Marketing As Bioproduction: the Customer Database As New Means of Production", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8, eds. Stefania Borghini, Mary Ann McGrath, and Cele Otnes, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 8--8.


Detlev Zwick, York University, Canada
Janice Denegri-Knott, Bournemouth University, United Kingdom


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8 | 2007

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