A MODEL OF CONSUMER DECISION MAKING
The process of consumer decision making has 3 stages: input stage, process stage and output stage. The input stage influences the consumer’s recognition of a product need and consists of 2 major sources of information: 1) the company’s marketing efforts (product, price, promotion and price) and the external sociological influences on the consumer (family, friends, neighbours other informal and non-commercial sources, social class and cultural and subcultural memberships). The firm’s marketing activities are a direct attempt to reach, inform, and persuade consumers to buy and use its products. The marketing mix consist of the product itself including the package, size, and guarantees; mass media advertising, direct marketing, personal selling and promotional efforts; pricing policy and the selection of distribution channels to move the product from the manufacturer to the consumer. (i)The impact of the firm’s marketing efforts in large measure is governed by the consumer’s perception of these efforts. Thus, marketers do well to remain diligently alert to consumer perceptions by sponsoring consumer research. (ii) the second type of input, sociocultural environment, also exerts a major influence on consumer for example, the comments of a fiend, an editorial in the newspaper, usage by a family member, an article in Consumer Report or views of experienced consumers participating in a special-interest discussion group on the internet are all non-commercial sources of information. The influences of social class, culture, are impact input factors that are internalized and affect how consumers evaluate and ultimately adopt or reject products. the unwritten codes of conduct communicated by culture subtly indicate which consumption behaviour should be considered “right” or “wrong” at a particular point in time. Therefore, the cumulative impact of each firm’s marketing efforts, the influence of family, friends and neighbours and society’s existing code of behaviour are all inputs that are likely to affect what consumer’s purchase and how they use what they buy. The process stage of the model focuses on how consumers makes decisions. The psychological factors represents the internal influences in each individual (motivation, perception, learning, personality and attitudes) that affect consumer’s decision-making processes (what they need or want, their awareness of various product choices, their information gathering activities and their evaluation of alternatives. The act of making a consumer decision consists of three stages (i)consumer’s need recognition,(ii) prepurchase search for information and (iii) evaluation of alternatives. (i)The need recognition is likely to occur when a consumer is faced with a “problem”. Ex. Need of laptop when u are on the move. Among consumers, there seem to be 2 different need or problem recognition styles. Some are actual state types; who perceive that they have a problem when a product fails to perform satisfactorily (eg.if phone does not have clear line); in contrast, other consumers are desired state types, for whom the desire for something new may trigger the decision process. Eg. Dave. (ii) Prepurchase search begins when a consumer perceives a need that might be satisfied by the purchase and consumption of a product. The recollection of past experiences might provide the consumer with adequate information to make the present choice. On the other hand, when the consumer has no other prior experience, he will engage in an extensive search of the outside environment for useful info on which to base a choice. Past experience is considered an internal source of info. Many consumer decisions are based on the combination of past experience (internal sources) and marketing and non-commercial info (external sources). In high risk perceived situations, consumers are likely to engage in complex and extensive info search and evaluation; in low risk situations, they are...
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