For example a consumer on the move can eat whilst

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Unformatted text preview: increasing trend reveals how consumers can gain discretionary time by decreasing non-discretionary time expenditures through the purchasing of goods and services. A 70 good example is a consumer that recharges her cell phone account, draws money and buys snacks for the kids, whilst having her car washed after filling up with petrol at a garage [Churchill & Peter, 1998:32]. An increasing trend is that of polychronic / dual time usage – combining activities simultaneously, thus allowing consumers to accomplish several goals at the same time [Cateora & Graham, 1999:130]. For example, a consumer on the move can eat whilst driving and listening to a financial news report on the radio. The last consumer resource category to be inspected, deals with cognitive issues. Whilst the backbone to this fragment has already been discussed in the section handling perception, memory and learning, a few important issues need to be addressed. Cognitive resources represent the mental capacity available for undertaking various information-processing activities. Capacity is a limited resource as consumers are able to process only a certain amount of information at a time and must therefore be selective (as mentioned in section 2.3.1) in allocating their efforts. Some stimuli will gain attention whilst others will be ignored. This attention will vary in direction and instensity [Burgess, 1998:30; Hawkins et al., 2001:294; Arens, 1999:132; and Bearden et al., 1997:144]. In exemplifying this, consider a child staring at a television set whilst her father talks to her. She may miss her father’s message simply because she was too engrossed with watching television. Many products are simply not noteworthy enough to consumers to warrant a “large” investment of their limited cognitive resources. These products can be called lowinvolvement products. In many respects, consumers are “cognitive misers” as they find acceptable rather than optimal solutions for many of their consumption needs [Hawkins et al., 2001:505]. As information overload is discussed in detail in the decision-making process, it can however, be mentioned that research suggests that consumers may be unable to stop short of overloading themselves when faced with a sufficiently rich information environment [Keller & Staelin, 1987:200]. 71 Now that internal and external influences on consumer behaviour have been discussed, it is also important to focus on the decision-making process because of its ability to help explain the manner in which consumers act in the market place. 2.7 The decision-making process The decision-making process consists out of a sequence of five steps (which will be dealt with latter on in this section) as illustrated in figure 2.13. Figure 2.13: Steps of the decision-making process Problem recognition Information search 1 2 Prepurchase alternative evaluation Purchase Post purchase evaluation 3 4 5 Source: Adapted from Kotler, P., 2000, Marketing Management, Millennium edition, New Je...
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