Generally marketing deals with buying and selling a products or services. And consumer behavior is a branch of marketing deals with the process that the consumer purchase or do not purchase the products and services (Quester, Pettigrew, & Hawkins, 2006). For the retailers and all other businesses consumer behavior is analyzed for identifying key successful marketing strategy. Marketing strategy is the combination of product, price, promotion, channel of distribution and market segmentation (Quester, Pettigrew, & Hawkins, 2006). There are various factors that affect the consumer behavior for buying a product or services. And for making good strategic marketing decisions any firms or organizations need to understand those factors like cultural, individual, organizational etc (Quester, Pettigrew, & Hawkins, 2006).
Analyzing consumer behavior become very important for this competitive world. For gaining competitive advantage it’s important to give more value to the customer than the competitors (Quester, Pettigrew, & Hawkins, 2006). According to Quester, Pettigrew and Hawkins (2006), customer value means the differences between the benefit they get from the products and the cost that they spend for acquiring those products. Quester, Pettigrew and Hawkins (2006) emphasize that giving best customer value mainly requires the firms to react immediate to consumer needs more quickly than rivals. This essay is based on a case study with three questions. And these three questions will be discussed simultaneously.
First question is based on describing the situational influences that would affect the customer decisions for buying a products and services. Second question is based on the case that Kate wants to purchase a gift for her boyfriend’s birthday and identify the three situational influences that affect the Kate’s purchasing decisions. And the third question is describing the key marketing strategy by which a marketer might be able to utilize the situation to a market specific type of products or brands.
Question 1: Answer
As states before that this question is based on describing the situational influences that affects the customer decisions for purchasing products. Any organizations or companies have to understand that which situations is affecting the customer buying decision of their products or services and how the marketers could serve the best when those situations arise (Quester, Pettigrew, & Hawkins, 2006). Marketers activities should be designed in the context of the situation the consumer faces which influence the customers for purchasing the product when
MKT510: Consumer Behavior
M. M. Tamim 2 ID: 11511633 they face such situation (Foxal & Yani-de-Soriano, 2005). A consumer’s choices are affected by various personal influences such as mood and if there is limitation of time for purchase etc. Now-a-days people are using electronic source for the initial information for purchasing the products (Solomon, Dann, & Russel-Bennett, 2007). Relating to consumer behavior a number of attempts have been made to classify the situations and the classification has been made by Russel Belk (Belk, 1975). According to Belk there are five types of situation that influence customers’ decisions. They are physical surroundings, social surroundings, temporal perspective, task definition and antecedent states (Quester, Pettigrew, & Hawkins, 2006).
Physical surroundings include the location of the store, interior decoration, smell, sound system, lighting, visible surroundings of the materials to the stimulus object (Quester, Pettigrew, & Hawkins, 2006). Those surroundings can significantly influence consumption of the customer and can convince to coming the store repeatedly. (Solomon, Dann, & RusselBennett, 2007). Social environment also affects customer motives for purchasing products or usage of products. In a consumer environment if there are large number of people present then it could increase arousal levels. For example, in a store if there are huge number of people present then automatically arouses another consumer for buying products from that store (Solomon, Dann, & Russel-Bennett, 2007). Temporal factors is the time constraints for a customer. Sometimes consumer could situation for buying with limitation of time that also affects the consumer buying decision.
Relative to past or future event for the situation time may also be measured (Quester, Pettigrew, & Hawkins, 2006). Task definition includes the intention regarding purchase the products or requirements to select the store or products. For example, consumer behaves differently when they buy products for gift compared to purchasing for themselves (Solomon, Dann, & Russel-Bennett, 2007). For evaluating the purchase of products customer mood or physiological conditions at the time of purchase may have huge influence for making decisions (Solomon, Dann, & Russel-Bennett, 2007). Among those five influences let’s elaborate on two situational influences.
They are temporal factors and task definition. Temporal factors are situational influences which deal with time that available for purchase. The availability of time for purchasing the product has a big impact to the customers (Quester, Pettigrew, & Hawkins, 2006). In that context, the information search will be short if the time is limited and the use of short information will be made some suboptimal purchase (Sim & Goh, 1998). As a situational influence time has a bug impact to the customer buying decision.
MKT510: Consumer Behavior
M. M. Tamim 3 ID: 11511633 For example, the consumers are less like to visit any departmental store if they have limited time but if they are not time pressured they would like to visit more (Kenhove & Wulf, 2000). The number of product alternatives would be smaller for the time constraints. For this the brand loyalty might be increased for many customers. (Quester, Pettigrew, & Hawkins, 2006). Some corners store and convenience store are the successful considering this time factors as a situational influences. Task definition means the reason for purchasing a product or influences the buying decision. The reason may vary to different buyers and user roles performed by the individual (Quester, Pettigrew, & Hawkins, 2006).
For example, gift giving is general reason but gift giving in occasion is specific reason that influence the behavior of the purchasing a product (Ruth, Otnes, & Brunel, 1999). Generally people increase their purchase in specific occasions. Best marketers understand these patterns of situations in which people more tend to buy (Solomon, Dann, & Russel-Bennett, 2007). For example, in promotional activities bookstores invest heavily for the lead up to Christmas because many people are tend to buy books as Christmas present and to stock for reading them during summer holidays (Solomon, Dann, & RusselBennett, 2007).
Question 2: Answer
Kate is struggling to make a decision and wants to buy her boyfriend a smart phone to his birthday and she was running out of time. The three situational influences that affect Kate’s purchasing decision are task definition, temporal factors and social surroundings. Task definition as told before is the reasons that influence the customer to buy a product or services (Solomon, Dann, & Russel-Bennett, 2007). And the reason could be general and specific like gift giving in a occasion in which also influence the buying patterns (Ruth, Otnes, & Brunel, 1999). In this case the task is specific which the birthday of Kate’s boyfriend. However people feel their needs of products or services for reason whether it’s general or specific.
In this case, Kate feel need for buying a product for giving gift to her boyfriend in his birthday. So according to Ruth, Otnes and Brunel (1999), the task was specific for Kate for purchasing the smart phone. Temporal factors as situational influences include the availability of time for purchasing any product (Quester, Pettigrew, & Hawkins, 2006). Here Kate had very limited time for making decision though the birthday of her boyfriend was very near. She had two options that
MKT510: Consumer Behavior
M. M. Tamim 4 ID: 11511633 whether to buy iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy SIII. As given before that less time gives less information for making decision (Belk, 1975). So Kate had to make a decision so she couldn’t consider the information very well and she had to choose smart phone randomly from the given two options. Last situational influences that affect the Kate’s decision is social surroundings which means the presence of other people who could have an influence on the individuals consumer’s behavior (Quester, Pettigrew, & Hawkins, 2006). Considering behavior social influence is very significant since the individuals behavior is visible and they tend integrate with group expectations (Quester, Pettigrew, & Hawkins, 2006).
In this case Kate has limited time for making decision that she had two options that iPhone 5 which is recommended by her boyfriends’ childhood friend who knew John’s personality very well as well his character and another option is Samsung Galaxy SIII which is recommended by the salesmen who is expert in smart phone. Shopping and consuming goods in public is highly visible activity which has several social influences others (Shim & Eastlick, 1998). Though the buying patterns of Kate was not so highly visible activity like shopping and consuming goods in public rather it was individual buying decision. Though Kate had limited time to decide whether what to buy then she asked for recommendation in two people one was sales person and another was friend of John which they have influences for buying smart phone.
Question 3: Answer
In modern competition marketers need to give more value to the customer compare to the competitors (Quester, Pettigrew, & Hawkins, 2006). Customer value is the difference between the advantage they get and the costs they spend for getting that advantage. So considering the situation marketers need to serve best to the consumer for purchasing product (Solomon, Dann, & Russel-Bennett, 2007). Marketing Strategy is the combination of product, price, distribution and promotion which emphasize a particular group of customers (Quester, Pettigrew, & Hawkins, 2006).
So using these key marketing strategies a marketer can utilize the situation to market a specific brand and product type by understanding consumer behavior. Lets describe the three key marketing strategies that how a marketer might be able to utilize situation for a specific type of product. Product type and quality is very important for the marketer. However, thousands of new products are introduced in the marketplace annually. So marketer need to satisfied customer
MKT510: Consumer Behavior
M. M. Tamim 5 ID: 11511633 by their products for successful business (Quester, Pettigrew, & Hawkins, 2006). Also marketer needs to analyze and understand the needs and requirements of potential customer by which marketer can give the required product in such situation to the potential customer (Quester, Pettigrew, & Hawkins, 2006). Price is another important marketing strategy and marketing mix as well. A marketer needs to understand consumer behavior in order to structure it properly (Quester, Pettigrew, & Hawkins, 2006). For example a company desiring high quality brand and for this the price should be high. So, if the target customer believes that price-quality relationship. So considering the target market situation price might be structured (Quester, Pettigrew, & Hawkins, 2006).
Promotional activities are another important term for the product. By high quality campaign consumer might be convinced for buying that product. And also at any occasion or festival marketer could bring new promotions for the consumer that might influence the buying process (Foxal & Yani-de-Soriano, 2005). For example, any gift shops or bookshops spend more in promotional activities before Christmas that lead the people for purchasing products or books for gift as they intend to buy (Solomon, Dann, & Russel-Bennett, 2007). So considering task definition as a situational influences marketer could use these promotional activities.
Understanding of consumer behavior could make the long term success for the products (Quester, Pettigrew, & Hawkins, 2006). And to be successful it’s very important to understand the customer behavior considering the various situational influences (Belk, 1975). In this essay the theories of situational influences that affect their buying decision is discussed and after three of the situational influences is described in case of Kate who was struggling to make the best buy. And in last question how marketer might be able to utilize situation in aspects of using key marketing strategy is described. It is easy to understand that how situation could influence the buying decision process by this essay.
MKT510: Consumer Behavior
M. M. Tamim 6 ID: 11511633
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