Consumer behavior is the how, what, when, and why people buy, a blending of psychology, sociology and economics. Attempting to understand a buyer's decision-making process both individually or in groups can at times be impossible. Understanding peoples wants and needs to transform those into marketing a product the consumer wants and needs is what product, price, promotion and place are all about.
Defining Consumer Behavior
Consumer behavior is defined by Hawkins et al. (2004): "As the study of individuals, groups, or organizations and the processes they use to select, secure, use and dispose of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy the needs and the impacts that these process have on the consumer and society."
Product, Price, Promotion, and Place
Product, price, promotion, and place the four P's of the marketing mix. This mix recognizes that marketing is customer focused and products are developed to meet the desires of groups of customers. Management of the product and product marketing are the specification of the goods or service and how it meets the customer's needs and wants. What product does the company sell? The answer to the question should speak about a customer desires and wishes not what research and development have come up with (Armstrong & Kotler 2005)
Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs helps a marketer understand the significance of what an individual needs to what customer behavior is. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is triangular. Moving up towards the top of the triangle fewer satisfy high-level needs. At the bottom of the triangle is physiological needs, this is air, food, water and the basic needs to survive. Then second is security needs, humans have a place to live and protection from the elements and predators. The third level is social needs, this is were marriage, and friends come into play plus the state of being comfortable and accepted in a place or community. These last two levels are the levels that fewer...
References: Armstrong, G., & Kotler, P., (2005). Marketing Management (7th ed.) [University of Phoenix
Custom Edition e-text]. Upper Saddle River: New Jersey. Retrieved July 20, 2006 from University of Phoenix, Resource, MKT/421 Marketing Website; https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/resource/resource.asp
Maslow, A (1943) A Theory of Human Motivation. Originally published in Psychological
Review, 50,370-376. [Christopher Green, York University, Toronto, Ontario, 2000, Classics in the History of Psychology] Retrieved October 1, 2006 from http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Maslow/motivation.htm
Hawkins, D, Best, R. & Coney, K. (2004). Consumer Behavior (9th ed.) [University of
Phoenix Custom Edition e-text]. McGraw Hill, New York, NY. Retrieved September 27, 2006 from University of Phoenix, Resource, MKT/463Marketing Website; https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/resource/resource.asp
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