Analyzing Consumer Markets
Since marketing starts from the customer, it is of primary importance to understand the psyche of the customers and their buying motives. This chapter talks about the various behavioural patterns that govern the decision making process of a customer. A marketer needs to understand these factors affecting the customer’s purchase decisions so as to design an appropriate marketing strategy.
Factors affecting Consumer Buying
1. Cultural Factors
a. Culture – Frames traditions, values, perceptions, preferences. E.g. Child learning from family & surroundings.
b. Sub-culture – Provides more specific identification and socialization. Include nationalities, religions, racial groups and geographic regions. c. Social Class – Homogeneous and enduring divisions in a society which are hierarchically ordered. Members share similar tastes and behaviour. 2. Social Factors
a. Reference Groups – Have direct or indirect influence on person’s attitude and behaviour. Primary groups: regular interaction, e.g. family, friends, neighbours. Secondary groups: religious, professional, trade union groups. Aspirational Groups: ones that a person hopes to join.
Dissociative groups: whose values or behaviour and individual rejects.
b. Family – Family of orientation: parents and siblings. Acquires orientation
towards religion, politics and economics, sense of personal ambition, self worth and love. Family of procreation: spouse and children. More direct influence on buying behaviour.
c. Roles and Status – Role consists of activities a person is expected to perform. Each role carries a status. Marketers must be aware of the status symbol of each product.
Chapter 6 – Analyzing Consumer Markets
3. Personal Factors
a. Age and Stage in the Life Cycle – Tastes are age related.
Markets should also consider critical life events or transitions.
b. Occupation and Economic Circumstances – Economic Circumstances like spendable income, savings, assets, debts, borrowing power etc affect consumption patterns.
c. Personality and Self Concept – Personality, set of distinguishing characteristics that influence his/her buying behaviour. Consumers match brand personality with their ideal self concept instead of their actual self concept.
d. Lifestyle and Values
4. Psychological Factors
a. Motivation: Freud’s theory of id, ego and super ego; Maslow’s need hierarchy theory; Herzberg’s two factor model.
b. Perception: Process by which we select, organize and interpret information inputs. In marketing, perceptions are more important than reality. c. Learning – Induces changes in behaviour arising from experience. Marketers can build demand by associating the product with positive drives. d. Memory – Short term and long term memory. Build brand knowledge and brand recall as node in memory.
The Buying Decision Process
Problem Recognition – Customer recognises a need triggered by internal or external stimuli. Marketers need to identify circumstances that trigger needs.
Information Search – Two levels of involvement – Heightened attention when person becomes more receptive to information about the product. At next level consumer may enter into active information search, looking for reading material, phoning friends etc.
Evaluation of Alternatives – Factors influencing a particular choice over the other include attitudes, beliefs and expectancy value.
Purchase Decision – Between purchase intention and purchase decision, 2 intervening factors come into play- Attitudes of others and Unanticipated situational factors. Marketers should understand that these factors provoke risk and should provide information to reduce it.
Post purchase Behaviour – Marketers must monitor postpurchase satisfaction, postpurchase actions, and postpurchase product uses.
Chapter 6 – Analyzing Consumer Markets
Level of customer involvement
Differences in Brands
1. Complex Buying Behaviour: When a customer purchases something for the first time.
2. Variety Seeking: Consumers will keep switching varieties just out of boredom. Eg- Biscuits. Marketer should keep introducing new products and
display the product prominently.
3. Habitual: Buying the same thing out of habit and not out of loyalty. Distribution network should be excellent in this case. Maintain consistency in product and advertising.
4. Dissonance Reducing: In case of repeat purchase of same product.