In our ever-increasing global market, attention needs to be paid to the global consumer in order to identify who they are. Marketers and consumer behaviour researchers are constantly attempting to determine the similarities and the differences of the multifaceted global consumer.
Some general theory about the sociological and psychological influences on consumer behaviour may be common to all Western cultures, but there are still strong regional consumption trends.
Consumer behaviour as it pertains to the marketplace is concerned with the manner in which consumers purchase and use products and services, and how these goods are incorporated into their lives. Researchers use various techniques to determine the features of consumers. These techniques include categorisation by the use of descriptive characteristics, such as demographics and psychographics.
Individual consumers are part of a larger society with common cultural values and beliefs, which can be further segmented into smaller groups, or subcultures. There are regional differences between consumers from different European countries, despite their being part of the larger European community. Marketers use market segmentation strategies to adapt their communications to meet the varied needs of a diverse target market.
Consumer behaviour is good business! Marketers who understand their customers' needs and wants do better than their competitors.
The essential component is deciding who to target and how. Marketers do this by defining markets and then dividing these markets into smaller chunks, or segments. A segment is based upon the demographic and psychographic aspects of the targeted population.
The consumer's response is the ultimate test of whether or not a marketing strategy will succeed. However, initial consumer testing is not an absolute science. Sometimes a product can fail its initial test marketing and still go on to be highly