Psychological Factors and Consumer Behavior in Marketing

In marketing; psychological factors that influence on one’s consumer behavior are: (1) motivation, (2) perception, (3) learning, (4) beliefs and (5) attitudes (Kotler 1999 p.93). (1) Consumer behavior is motivated when detecting a need (problem recognition) and aspire to satisfy and fulfil it (Baker and Saren 2010 p.

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124-125; Kotler 1999 p.93). Thus, to motivate, market offering must reflect target’s wants and desires (both physiological and/or psychological) to generate motivation to take action behavior to satisfy them (Baker and Saren 2010 p.124). Although marketers do not create needs (see page.

), needs can be made aware through marketing messages that in addition; presents solution and required behavior if one wishes to fulfil it (purchase, use of product/service) (baker and Saren 2010 p.125). Based on protection motivation theory (Rogers 1983 in Baker and Saren 2010 p.126), in certain cases when target’s motivation (of change behavior) may be lacking, the use of fear appeals is mostly employ (especially for social advertisement; see page: ) as it possess persuasive effects on audiences (Baker and Saren 2010 p.124) whereas it motivating target audiences to take protective actions and/or change unfavorable consequences’ behavior (such as; stopping smoking to avoid negative health issues or driving sober to avoid sever accidents). Even if motivation is triggered, it is one’s (2) individual’s perception of the situation that influences the way action will be held toward an object (Kotler 1999 p.94). Perception toward the same object differ from one individual to another as is shaped also on the basis of past experience and prior learning (Baler and Saren 2010 p.126) and which each individual interpret information differently due to the three perceptual processes of (i) selective attention; degree of consumer’s attention obtained toward stimuli, and which is more likely to be archived when information is anticipated/expected (e.

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g.: right advertisement placement), represents consumer’s current need and/or that exhibit exceeding deviations of what is normally expected (e.g.: extreme price differentiation) (ii) selective distortion; degree of which personal attitudes or beliefs influences consumer’s own interpretation of the information receive and (iii) selective retention; degree to which information is likely to be forgotten/retain when lacking/reflecting consumer’s attitude and beliefs) (Kotler 1999 p.94-95). Thus, marketers must consider and scrutinize individual’s/overall target segment’s perception as it plays a determining reaction to every new marketing phenomena (such as product/service’s launch, packaging, advertisement campaign) (Baker and Saren 2010 p.126-127). As behavior is triggered through (3) past learned-experience, marketers may determine why, when, where and how individual may respond (Kotler 1999 p.95). In turn, learning may shape (4) beliefs (e.g.: opinion of a brand, nationality bias) and (5) attitudes that influence and leads to next behaviors (Kotler 1999 p.95). Much harder to modify than belief, attitude refers to the positive/negative level-evaluation-response of an individual toward a physical or abstract object (idea) (Eagly et Chaiken 1998 in Barker and Saren 2010 p.134), influencing its behavior and which is more likely to be consistent (Kotler 1999 p.96): a company would be well advised to fit its product into existing attitudes rather than to try to change people’s attitudes ” Kotler (1999 p.96). Attitude is structured throughout affective (feelings/emotions), behavioral/cognitive (beliefs/knowledge) and conative (intentions influencing behavior) components (ABC model of attitudes theory) (Rajecki, 1990 in Baker and Saren 2010 p.134). These attitudes play a role to the (i) utilitarian (behavior held to maximize reward/minimize punishment from others), (ii) ego-defensive (actions taken to protect one-self), (iii) knowledge (meaning of life, beliefs) and (iv) value-expressive (how individual express its own values to others) of an individual (Katz 1960; McGuire 1969 in Baker and Saren 2010 p.134). With an understanding of these four’s individual functions can aid to understand consumer behavior (such as satisfaction, trust, brand preferences, customer loyalty, promotional effort’s efficiency) (Solomon 2008 Barker and Saren 2010 p.134) (Baker and Saren 2010 p.121-122; Kotler and Zaltman 1971 p.4-5) and with the use of appropriate research methods and accurate measurements of its attitudes can predict its future behavior (Louis Thurstone 1928 and Rensis Likert 1932; Fazio, 1986; Kraus, 1995 in Baker and Saren 2010 p.136). In accordance to other phycologists (Ajzen and Fishbein 1980; Fishbein and Ajzen 1975 in Baker and Saren 2010 p.136), it is throughout a consideration of one individual’s intention (estimative behavior probability) that its behavior can be more accurately predicted. Followingly, planned behavior theory (Ajzen 1991 in Baker and Saren 2010 p.136-137) postulates that one’s individual behavior (to perform or not to perform) toward a particular attitude object (person, place, thing, or idea) can be rightly predicted when considering its intention and which in marketing practice and research it model has successfully predicted purchases for a wide variety of product and service categories [] and other consumption activities (Ajzen, 2008; Sheppard et al. 1988 in Baker and Saren 2010 p.138). In planned behavior theory, intention is believed to be shaped by the individual’s (i) attitude toward act or behavior (beliefs that future behavior is making a positive/negative contribution to the individual’s life; evaluating consequences of possible future act) (ii) Subjective norm (extend to which one individual behavior is influenced by its social network, values and norms), (iii) Perceived behavioral control (extend to which the individual believes on its ability to perform the behavior). Finally, the theory states if all of the three constructs are positive, the intention to act is high and so the probability for the behavior to be held. In contradictory, the less of these constructs are positive the weaker probability for the individual to perform the behavior (in marketing it would refer to perform the seek desired response). (Baker and Saren 2010 p.)Other than understanding consumer behavior’s influential factors, marketers must as well understand stages of behaviors that leads to individual’s decision making. The human cognitive processes help to provide insight to human consumption, that in marketing, is conceptualized as a series of decision-making stages that enable; decision to consume, selection of brand and product’s category spending, buying behavior and lastly product disposition and usage (Baker and Saren 2010 p.129). Decision making depends on the type of buying decision (complex buying behavior, dissonance-reducing buyer behavior, habitual or variety-seeking); In general, complex and expensive purchases are likely to involve more buyer deliberation and more participants. (Kotler 1999 p.96-97). The decision-making phase generally starts from (i) problem recognition (triggered by internal or external stimuli such as social relations, marketing dominance and public sources) followed by (when the problem had been recognized and interest toward an object have been triggered) (ii) information search which refers to an individual increasing its receptiveness to supplemental information stimuli received (heightened attention) or to an individual that seek additional information about the object (active information search) throughout one or various sources (such as commercial, experiential, public and/or personal, the last being the most influential of them all). For this reason, marketers must identify and implement additional appealing-information about the object across most effective and utilized information’s sources used by consumers. During this stage, consumer learns about other competitive alternatives (awareness set); some meeting initial buying criteria (consideration set) and which few will be strongly considered (choice set) during the (iii) evaluation of alternatives stage; usually, comparing and evaluating each objects’ attributes, contributing for the consumer to evaluate each product’s benefits sought, necessary to satisfy its needs. Subsequently, consumer develops for each selected brand a set of beliefs, image and attitude; contributive to the overall perceived value toward each object (see page 20) and developing during the (iv) purchase decision’s stage, a brand preference from the choice set. Thus, an understanding of consumer preferences and needs help marketers to identify and group markets into segment that cares for similar object’s attributes, meet their expectations, persuade to reflect and give attention to other attributes in which the brand’s product stand out for and so, influencing consumer’s buying decision. Although at fourth stage the consumer may have formed a buying decision and an intention to buy toward the preferred brand, these two (buying decision and purchase intention) may be interfered by attitudes of others’ factor (effecting on consumer’s attitude when another person’s preference-opinion differ from the consumer, and, the extend of consumer’s motivation to align with other person’s judgement) and/or unanticipated situational factors. Perceived risk plays as well, an important part to the consumer’s purchase decision, and which, marketers must identify all factors to better influence and support consumer’s final (buying) decision, made at the end of it stage. Consumer buying process ends with (v) post-purchase behavior stage as this one reveals many crucial information about postpurchase satisfaction (see page 20), post-purchase action (influencing consumer’s next behavior), postpurchase use and disposal (how, when, why the product is being consumed and where, to whom is disposed), contributing to develop further effective and satisfactory to the consumer’s marketing program, influencing consumer’s buying decision (Kotler 1999 p.98-103). – Products and Services

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Psychological Factors and Consumer Behavior in Marketing. (2019, Aug 20). Retrieved from

Psychological Factors and Consumer Behavior in Marketing

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