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