Understanding the Conscious and Unconscious in Marketing Human decision-making (i.e. purchasing) does not take place at only the conscious level, as marketers often assume. Unconscious mental processing is at least as important, and conscious and unconscious values are often out of sync.
Unconscious mental processes are primal and basic, hard-wired in our brains, like the sex drive and security, which are both core unconscious values. Conscious processes represent higher-order values, such as caring for others and finding meaning in life.
Why Marketers Can’t Just Ask People believe that they know what moves them to act; marketers seem to agree. The long-held belief has been that to learn what people think and feel about a product or a message, we just need to ask them. So marketing research relies on questionnaires, surveys, and focus groups.