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WHAT IS CONSUMER BUYING BEHAVIOUR?

The study of consumer behaviour deals with why people buy the products and services they do and explains why two or more people behave differently or similarly. Since organizations cannot control consumers, it is essential that they understand them so that they can adapt their strategies to consumers' thinking and behaviour.

Such study has shown that purchase decisions are primarily based on four major influences: psychological, personal, social, and cultural. Collectively, these factors present a dynamic situation that marketers must understand.

HOW DO CONSUMERS MAKE BUYING DECISIONS?

The consumer decision-making process involves five distinct stages: problem recognition, information search, evaluating alternatives, the purchase decision, and post-purchase behaviour. A consumer doesn't necessarily follow all of these stages each time he or she buys something. Factors such as the cost of the purchase (less expensive or expensive) often dictate how much time and effort a person puts into the decision-making process.

HOW DOES KNOWLEDGE OF CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR INFLUENCE MARKETING STRATEGY?

This chapter discussed the dynamics of consumer behaviour and illustrated how marketing organizations can use behavioural information to advantage when developing marketing strategies. Various behavioural influences were considered.

Psychological influences include needs and motives, personality and selfconcept, and attitudes and perceptions. Personal influences include lifestyle considerations, age and life cycle, how consumers adapt to technology, and economic circumstances faced by individuals. Social factors embrace reference groups, family, and social class circumstances. Cultural influences embrace Canadian culture as a whole while considering various subcultures based on ethnic background, values and language differences.

For the marketer it's a matter of knowing what's going on in the customer's mind. Marketing organizations possessing knowledge of the influences on behaviour are adept at developing target-market profiles and using these profiles to prepare marketing strategies that trigger a response from the target markets.