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ANALYZING CONSUMER MARKETS 6 C H A P T E R LEARNING OBJECTIVES After reading this chapter, students should: Know how consumer characteristics influence buying behavior Know what major psychological processes influence consumer responses to the marketing program Know how consumers make purchasing decisions Know how marketers analyze consumer decision making CHAPTER SUMMARY Consumer behavior is influenced by three factors: cultural (culture, subculture, and social class); social (reference groups, family, and social roles and statuses); and personal (age, stage in the life cycle, occupation, economic circumstances, lifestyle, personality, and self-concept). Research into all these factors can provide marketers with clues to reach and serve consumers more effectively. Four main psychological processes affect consumer behavior: motivation, perception, learning, and memory. To understand how consumers actually make buying decisions, marketers must identify who makes and has input into the buying decision; people can be initiators, influencers, deciders, buyers, or users. Different marketing campaigns might be targeted to each type of person. The typical buying process consists of the following sequence of events: problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and postpurchase behavior. The marketers’ job is to understand the behavior at each stage. The attitudes of others, unanticipated situational factors, and perceived risk may all affect the decision to buy, as will consumers’ levels of postpurchase product satisfaction, use, and disposal and actions on the part of the company. Consumers are constructive decision-makers and subject to many contextual influences. Consumers often exhibit low involvement in their decisions, using many heuristics as a result. DETAILED CHAPTER OUTLINE The aim of marketing is to meet and satisfy target customers’ needs and wants better than competitors. Marketers are always looking for emerging customer trends that suggest new marketing opportunities. Successful marketing requires that companies fully connect with their customers. Adopting a holistic marketing orientation means understanding customers 198
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Chapter-by-Chapter Instructional Material – gaining a 360-degree view of both their daily lives and the changes that occur during their lifetimes so that the right products are marketed to the right customers in the right way. WHAT INFLUENCES CONSUMER BEHAVIOR? A consumer’s buying behavior is influenced by cultural, social, and personal factors. Cultural factors exert the broadest and deepest influence. 13. Cultural Factors Culture is the fundamental determinant of a persons’ wants and behaviors. Each culture consists of smaller subcultures that provide more specific identification and
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