The textbook covers a few of these factors, such as motivation, perception, learning, and beliefs and attitudes (see pp. 209–212). Marketers need to understand what motivates people to act the way they do. For example, why do people keep buying expensive sport utility vehicles (SUVs) when it is known that they damage the environment and are not as safe as was originally thought? Marketers need to understand how people select, organize, and interpret the information that is accessible to them. Many believe that in marketing, what is important is not what the firm does or says but how people perceive the firm’s actions. This stresses the importance of consumer perception as a determining factor in the success or failure of a firm’s marketing programs. Learning is defined in the textbook as “changes in an individual’s behavior arising from experience” (p. 211). Marketers are working daily to generate positive changes in people’s behavior that lead to the purchase of their products or the adoption of their ideas. Attitudes are defined as “a person's consistently favorable or unfavorable evaluations, feelings, and tendencies toward an object or idea” (textbook, p. 212). When such evaluations are favorable, marketers need to reinforce them, and when they are unfavorable, marketers need to take actions to change them. Note, however, that changing unfavorable attitudes may be a costly and lengthy process. In summary, many marketing actions, especially promotional actions, aim at influencing these psychological factors in order to maintain or increase consumer demand. 3. Participants in the buying process in consumer markets: Remember that consumer markets consist of “all of the individuals and households that buy or acquire goods and services for personal consumption” (textbook, p. 197). In some cases, the buying unit is the household, and many of its members play a role in the purchase decision process. The usual roles encountered in the household setting are users, influencers, buyers, and deciders. For example, children are generally influencers and users of products such as toys, games, and cereals, while the buyers and deciders for these categories of products are parents. Knowing who does what in the buying process can help marketers to selectively target specific groups within a buying unit. For example, cereal producers often target children, although parents are the buyers. Reviewing the Concepts LO1 Understand the Consumer Market and the Major Factors that Influence Consumer Buyer Behavior. The consumer market consists of all the individuals and households that buy or acquire goods and services for personal consumption. Consumer behavior should be viewed as an ongoing process that starts long before the consumer purchases a product or service and continues long after he or she consumes it. This extended definition of consumer behavior means that marketers must be aware of a number of issues before, during, and after purchase in order to build brand loyalty and lasting relationships with their customers.
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