A need can also be triggered by external stimuli. For example, an advertisement or a discussion with a friend might get you thinking about buying a new car. At this stage, the marketer should research consumers to find out what kinds of needs or problems arise, what brought them about, and how they led the consumer to this particular product.
The Buyer Decision Process Information Search An interested consumer may or may not search for more information. If the consumer’s drive is strong and a satisfying product is near at hand, he or she is likely to buy it. If not, the consumer may store the need in memory or undertake an information search related to the need. For example, once you’ve decided you need a new car, you will probably pay more attention to car ads, cars owned by friends, and car conversations. Consumers can obtain information from any of several sources. These include personal sources (family, friends, neighbors), commercial sources (advertising, salespeople, dealer Web sites, displays), public sources (mass media, consumer rating organizations, Internet searches), and experiential sources (handling, examining, using the product).
The Buyer Decision Process Generally, the consumer receives the most information about a product from commercial sources which controlled by the marketer. Commercial sources normally inform the buyer, but personal sources evaluate products for the buyer. A recent study found that word of mouth is the biggest influence in people’s purchases. As more information is obtained, the consumer’s awareness and knowledge of the available brands and features increase. A company must design its marketing mix to make consumers aware of and knowledgeable about its brand.
The Buyer Decision Process Evaluation of Alternatives Consumers use information to arrive at a set of final brand choices. How does the consumer choose among alternative brands? Marketers need to know about alternative evaluation , that is, how the consumer processes information to arrive at brand choices. Unfortunately, consumers do not use a simple and single evaluation process in all buying situations. Consumers go about evaluating purchase alternatives depends on the individual consumer and the specific buying situation. In some cases, consumers use careful calculations and logical thinking. At other times, the same consumers do little or no evaluating; instead they buy on desire and rely on perception. Sometimes consumers make buying decisions on their own; sometimes they turn to friends, online reviews, or salespeople for buying advice.
The Buyer Decision Process Suppose you’ve narrowed your car choices to three brands. And suppose that you are primarily interested in four attributes (styling, operating economy, warranty, and price). By this time, you’ve probably formed beliefs about how each brand rates on each attribute. Clearly, if one car rated best on all the attributes, the marketer could predict that you would choose it.
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- Spring '14