Model of Consumer Behavior

 
 
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Model of Consumer Behavior

Assignment

Let’s take the Model of Consumer Behavior for a spin. Consider a time you purchased a nice dinner at an upscale restaurant.

  • What was your choice of restaurant? Provide a link to the restaurant, if possible. 
  • Go through all the variables outlined in the first two columns of the model, environmental factors, and consumer factors, and identify the factors that influenced your decision. Note how they resulted in your purchase decision. (Hint: You might have to read ahead for more thorough explanations of each factor.) 

Be sure to view classmates’ posts and see how your classmates are influenced by the same factors, or not. 

As illustrated in Figure 3.2 in the main text, there are six steps in a consumer decision-making process. It looks like quite a bit of work considering the number of purchase decisions we make in the course of a week. So consumers have developed a shorthand for making purchases, which we have categorized into types of consumer buying decisions based on the level of involvement. The course readings explain the role of involvement in decision making, and refer to those readings to get a better understanding of routine, complex, and limited problem solving. 

  • What was your decision-making behavior in the restaurant purchase? Was it a routine, complex, or limited problem-solving situation? Identify which behavior and explain how the level of involvement played into your decision.

TOPIC 2: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – Personal Application

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is the model for studying the psychological factors that affect decision making. Review the model and take a shot at identifying at which stage you are currently located (fortunately, our stage changes over time). Essentially, your stage affects your consumer decision making. 

Based on the stage you are in, what types of purchases have you been making that are consistent with this stage?

For example, have you switched to buying only organic food because you are mostly concerned with fulfilling your social needs? Or, are you still searching for the lowest-priced foods because you are still filling your basic need for food? Or, do you find yourself donating time or money to charities because you are trying to reach self-actualization? 

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 PLEASE REVIEW THE RESOURCES DOWN BELOW AND ALSO THE ATTACHED DOCUMENT!!!

1.  Model of Consumer Behavior

Consumer behavior is essentially the psychology of buying. Also, the thought processes that go on in a consumer’s mind are frequently referred to as the “black box.” Why?  Because so little is fully understood about what actually takes place in the mind of the consumer. 

There are a few models that have been researched and have stood the test of time.  These are the models that you will learn this week.  Be sure to check out and study the model of consumer behavior found in Figure 3.1 in the main text. The most important point of this chart is to note that of all the influences on consumer behavior marketing really only has influence with the marketing mix it offers. The marketing mix can be modified based on those other influences the marketer thinks will be important to the consumer. 

Influences are a really important area of research. Many times we think about celebrity endorsements or social media influencers.  However, research by Wilson, MacDonald & Baxendale (2015) emphasizes the importance of peer influence to the consumer.

What about the role of data and analytics in marketing?  Does it apply here?

Much has been written about big data and how it will transform marketing.  Indeed, the application of data analytics to marketing (called, marketing analytics) has been helpful.  Data helps us understand much more about what the consumer did, when, where and how.  However, data is not helpful to understand why the consumer did something.  That’s the psychology of consumer behavior.  Marketers need both data and people to deliver what the customer wants and needs (Mela & Moorman, 2018).

2.  The Consumer’s Decision-Making Process

As illustrated in Figure 3.2 in the main text, there are six steps in a consumer decision-making process. It looks like quite a bit of work considering the number of purchase decisions we make in the course of a week. So consumers have developed a shorthand for making purchases, which we have categorized into types of consumer buying decisions based on the level of involvement. The course readings explain the role of involvement in decision making, and refer to those readings to get a better understanding of routine, complex, and limited problem solving. 

Now think about a recent purchase you have completed. Did it meet your expectations, making you a satisfied customer? Or did it exceed your exception, making you a delighted customer? Or did it not meet your expectations, making you a dissatisfied customer? Did you experience cognitive or post-purchase dissonance, that feeling in the pit of your stomach that you wish you had made a different choice, but now it’s too late to do anything about it?

3. Situational Factors that Affect People’s Buying Behavior

Our study of consumer behavior is all academic unless we know how to use this information to actually influence a purchase. 

Check out this March 9, 2012, blog post by Peep Laja, “Nine Things to Know about Influencing Purchase Decisions,”

Laja presents some practical tips for influencing consumers and pays particular attention to the role of social media. You might also find it interesting to click on the links regarding some famous research studies such as jam tasting and the story of two chickens.

4.  Personal Factors that Affect People’s Buying Behavior

Listen to the following audio clip file, an interview with Joy Mead, associate director of marketing for Procter and Gamble. Learn about the approach P&G takes to understand its customers

 and enter the blog site. Does the blog make you more or less inclined to purchase an Osprey backpack? Did any of the marketing messages on the site relate to any of your own personal or social factors that influence your decision-making?

5. Psychological Factors that Affect People’s Buying Behavior

Maslow and his hierarchy of needs is the model for studying the psychological factors that affect decision making. Review the model and take a shot at identifying at which stage you are currently located (fortunately, our stage changes over time). Essentially, your stage affects your consumer decision making. 

Based on the stage you are in, what types of purchases have you been making that are consistent with this stage? For example, have you switched to buying only organic food because you are mostly concerned with fulfilling your social needs? Or, are you still searching for the lowest-priced foods because you are still filling your basic need for food? Or, do you find yourself donating time or money to charities because you are trying to reach self-actualization?

6. Social Factors that affect People’s Buying Behavior

Do celebrity endorsers influence your consumer decisions?

Check out a global survey of the influence of celebrity power on global consumer behavior. 

Learn more about the impact of celebrity endorsement, particularly on different generational groups from this blog.

Recap of Week 3 Learning Activities

Consumer behavior is so important to marketing that UMGC has an entire course devoted to it. If you are a marketing major, it is a required course. For nonmarketing majors, the big takeaway for this week is that marketers need to know as much as they can how their customers think, and the primary way of finding out is through marketing research. 

Unfortunately, since a lot of consumer decision making is irrational, there are no guarantees that no matter how precise the marketing mix is designed to meet consumers’ needs and wants based on the way they make decisions, there are no guarantees of sales success.

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