1. Consumer Behaviour. Types of Consumer Buying Situation
2. Factors influencing a consumer’s behavior
3. Buyer Decision Making Processes
4. Implications for Marketing Strategy
An important part of the marketing process is to understand why a customer or buyer makes a purchase. Without such an understanding, businesses find it hard to respond to the customer’s needs and wants. Marketing theory traditionally splits analysis of buyer or customer behaviour into two broad groups for analysis – Consumer Buyers and Industrial Buyers Consumer buyers are those who purchase items for their personal consumption. Industrial buyers are those who purchase items on behalf of their business or organization.
The purposes of this report is to display an understanding of the theoretical framework of buyer behaviour, to appraise the links between marketing communications and buyer behaviour theory and to discuss the impact of the major variables influencing buying behaviour.
Consumer Behaviour. Types of Consumer Buying Situation
We are not perfectly rational, sensible buyers. We do not always choose goods and services solely on price, performance and availability. The truth is that many purchases are influenced by a whole host of emotional reasons like esteem and image. Many of these non-rational reasons are hidden deep in our subconscious.
In-depth research probes into the darker depths of our unconscious. Some research presents such bizarre explanations that many marketers reject the findings.
Research helps find the real reasons why we buy what we buy. This requires time, money and expertise. Surprisingly many other organisations don't really know exactly why their customers buy or don't buy from them. Yet understanding customers is at the heart of marketing. Once the reasons why people buy or don't buy are discovered, the marketing mix can be changed to suit the buyer's needs and wants.
Buyer behaviour involves both simple and complex mental processes. Marketers cannot capture human nature in its entirety but we can learn a lot about customers through research, observation and thinking. Here's Professor Theodore Levitt:
I think it is a process of trying to think your way through why people behave in certain ways. Or if not why, then what that behaviour is likely to be given certain kinds of products, certain kinds of... just stop to think.
A customer's approach to purchasing a product or service is influenced by their situation - whether they have money and how important, frequent, risky or urgent the purchase is to them in their situation.
Customers make more of an effort, and become more involved, if the purchase is relatively important to them - particularly if they have no previous experience of buying such a product or service.
On the other hand, if the item being purchased is low value and frequently bought, like a jar of coffee, it follows that the buyer will spend less time and effort and will have less involvement with the purchase.
These frequent, inexpensive purchases generally have little risk, and require less information. These kind of purchase situations are referred to as 'Low Involvement Purchases'. In these situations, consumers can fall into a routine purchasing pattern which requires little thought and even less effort.
Whenever the need is stimulated - a particular brand is automatically purchased. This is called 'Routinised Response Behaviour.' You can visit the Hall Of Fame later to see the gurus explain how brands influence routine purchases.
Alternatively, an expensive high risk infrequent purchase like your first computer will require a lot of detailed information and careful analysis before deciding which machine. This is called 'High Involvement'. Here the consumer goes through an extensive problem solving process - searching and collecting information, evaluating it and eventually deciding on a particular choice.
There is a third type of buying situation. This is where the customer has had some experience of buying a particular type of product or service before. There is less risk attached and less information is required. This is called 'Limited Problem Solving'.
Customers require different marketing mixes in different buying situations. For example, a routinised response purchase, like a can of cola, doesn't require much supporting product literature but perhaps it needs wide distribution and easy availability. An extensive problem solving Type of Purchase, on the other hand, would require detailed product literature and trained sales people.