Consumer behaviour: is the actions a person takes when purchasing & using products &
Purchase decision process: the stages that a consumer passes through when making choices
abt which products and services to buy.
1. Problem recognition is the initial step in the purchase decision, occurs when a person
realizes that the difference between what he or she has & what he or she would like to
have is big enough to actually do sth abt it.
In marketing, advertisements or salespeople can activate a consumer’s decision process
by showing the shortcomings of a consumer’s cellphone and the advantages of owning a
2. Info search 1 , internal search: they scan their memory for knowledge of or previous
experiences w/ products or brands
2 , external search; this is especially needed when one does NOT
have much past experience or knowledge, the risk of making a bad
decision is high, and the level of interest in the product is high.
The primary sources of external infoPersonal sources: e.g., relatives & friends who the
Public sources: e.g., Google searches on
the internet, including various product-rating organizations such as Consumer reports or
Marketer-dominated source: e.g., info
from sellers that include advertising, company websites, salespeople, and point-of-purchase
displays in stores.
Internet is one of the primary info-gathering and search tools used by Canadian consumers.
Consumers are relying on social media for info on products & are paying attention to what
others are saying abt various brands on these social media sites
3. Alternative evaluation evaluative criteria, which represent both the objective attributes
of a brand and the subjective ones you use to compare different products and brands.
This criteria determine the brands in your evoked set-the group of brands that a
consumer would consider acceptable from among all the brands in the product class of
which he is aware
4. Purchase decision
• Effects of technology on purchases behaviour
Internet is making it much more convenient to purchase certain products and
services. E.g., purchasing vacation Expedia.ca but not a travel agent.
5. Post-purchase behaviour after buying a product, the consumer compares it w/ his
expectations and is either satisfied or dissatisfied.
• Satisfied buyer tell 3 other ppl abt their experience
• Dissatisfied buyer tell 9 ppl Consumers who are NOT finding satisfaction when a problem occurs are starting to take thins
into their own hands internet.
' Cognitive dissonance: feeling of post-purchase psychological tension or anxiety. To
alleviate it, consumers often attempt to applaud themselves for making the right
choice. (e.g., choose buy BlackBerry, you may think should I buy iPhone?) So, after
purchase, you may seek info to conrim your choice by asking friends Q like “what do
you think of my new BlackBerry?” OR look for negative features abt the brand you
Involvement and problem-solving variation
Consumers don’t engage in the 5-step purchase decision process, instead they skip or
minimize one or more steps depending on the level of involvement.
Involvement a consumer has in a particular purchase depends on the personal, social, and
economic consequences of that purchase to the consumer.
• Soft drink OR toothpaste low level of involvement for consumers that they may
skip or minimize 1 or more steps in the process
• High-involvement purchase have 3 characteristics:
1) Purchased is expensive
2) It is bought infrequently
3) Could reflect on one’s social image.
For these, consumers engage in extensive info search, consider many product
attributes and brands form attitudes and participate in word-of-mouth
Marketers who sell high-involvement products (car, home, and computers) must
understand the info-gathering & evaluation process of consumers.
▯ Routine Problem Solving Typically the case for low-priced, frequently purchased
products. (Product such as table salt and milk, consumers recognizes a problem, make a
decision and spend little effort seeking external info and evaluating alternatives.)
▯ Limited Problem Solving characterized by low consumer involvement BUT
significant perceived differences among brands. (consumer rely on past experience more
than external info BUT they pay attention to new carieties shown in advertising and
Consumers might use limited problem solving when choosing a pair of jeans, deciding on a
restaurant for dinner, and making other purchase estuations in which they have little time or
effort to spend researching options.
▯ Extended Problem Solving exists in high-involvement purchase situations for items
such as automobiles, houses, and financial investments.
Low Consumer Involvement High Situational influence
5 situational influences have an impact on your purchase decision process:
1. The purchase task is the reason for engaging in the decision in the first place. Info
searching and evaluating alternatives may differ depending on whether the purchase is a
gift, which often involves social visibility, or for the buyer’s own use. (e.g., some
consumers may be frugal shoppers when it comes to purchasing products for
themselves, BUT may spend lavishly if the product is a gift for a friend.)
2. Social surroundings including the other ppl present when a purchase decision is made,
may also affect what is purchase. E.g., 2 women shop together spend more time in the
3. Physical surroundings such as décor, music and crowding in retail stores may alter
how purchase decisions are made. Crowding is a 2-edged sword. E.g.,Apple.
4. Temporal effects such as time of day or the amount of time available will influence
where consumers have breakfast and lunch and what is ordered.
5. Antecedent states include the consumer’s mood or the amount of cash on hand, can
influence purchase behaviour and choice. (e.g., a consumer who procrastinates buying a
gift may choose one in a hurried state but may regret the purchase. If that consumer did
NOT wait to the last moment, a more satisfying product may have been purchased
Psychological influences on consumer behaviour • Motivation and Personality
Motivation is the energizing force that stimulates behaviour to satisfy a need.
Ppl take care of their lower-level needs 1 and then are motivated to satisfy
their higher-level needs
1) Physiological needs are basic to survival and must be satisfied 1
2) Safety needs involve self-preservation and physical well-being
3) Social needs are concerned w/ love and friendship
4) Esteem needs are represented by the need for achievement, status,
prestige, and self-respect.
Self-actualization needs involve personal fulfillment.
Personality refers to a person’s character traits that influence behavioural
Personality characteristics are often revealed in a person’s self-concept,
which is the way ppl see themselves and the way they believe other see them
Men are becoming more concerned abt their self-concept when it comes to
body image and grooming.
• Perception an individual selects, organizes, and interprets info to create a meaningful
pic of the world
Selective perception the avg. consumer operates in a complex, info-rich
environment. The human brain organizes and interprets all this info w/ a process
called selective perception, which filters the info so that ONLY some of it is
understood or remembered or even available to the conscious mind. Selective exposure: occurs when ppl pay attention to msg that are consistent
w/ their attitudes and beliefs and ignore meg that are inconsistent. Selective
exposure often occurs in post-purchase stage of the consumer decision
process, wen consumers read advertisements for the brand they just bought.
Selective comprehension: involves interpreting info so that it is consistent w/
your attitudes and beliefs.
Selective retention: means that consumers do NOT remember all the info
they see, read, or hear, even minutes after exposure to it. This affects the
internal and external info search stage of the purchase decision process.
Perceived Risk represents the anxieties felt b/c the consumer CANNOT anticipate
the outcomes of a purchase BUT believes that there may be negative
The greater the perceived risk, the more extensive the external search is likely to
Examples & Strategies that make consumers feel more at ease abt their purchases
Obtaining seals of approval
Securing endorsements from influential ppl
Providing free trials of the product
Providing warranties and guarantees
• Learning refers to those behaviours that result from repeated experience and reasoning.
Behavioural Learning is the process of developing automatic responses to a type
of situation built up through repeated exposure to it. 4 variables are central to how
one learns from repeated experience:
1. Drive is a need, such as hunger, that moves an
individual to action
2. Cue is a stimulus or symbol that one perceives
3. Response is the action taken to satisfy the drive
4. Reinforcement is the reward
Marketers use 2 concepts form behavioural learning theory
1) Stimulus generalization: occurs when a response brought abt by 1
stimulus (cue) is generalized to another stimulus. (Using the same brand
name to launch new products is one common application of this
2) Stimulus discrimination: refers to one’s ability to perceive differences
among similar products. Consumers may do this easily w/ some groups
of products, such as automobiles. (low-involvement purchases,
advertisers work to point out the differences.)
Cognitive Learning learn without direct experience-through thinking, reasoning
and mental problem solving, involves making connections between 2 or more ideas
or simply observing the outcomes of others’ behaviours and adjusting your own
accordingly. Firms also influence this type of learning. Brand Loyalty is a favourable attitude toward and consistent purchase of a single
brand over time. Brand loyalty results from positive reinforcement. If a consumer
is satisfied w/ a product, he reduces his risk and saves time by consistently
purchasing that same brand
• Value, Beliefs, andAttitudes
Attitude: is a “learned predisposition to respond to an object or class of
objects in a consistently favourable or unfavourable way.” Attitudes are
shaped by our values and beliefs, which we develop in the process of
growing up. Personal values affect attitudes by influencing the importance
assigned to specific product attributes, or features.
Beliefs: one’s perception of how a product or brand performs on different
attributes. Beliefs are based on personal experience, advertising, and
discussions w/ other ppl. Beliefs abt product attributes are important b/c
along w/ personal value, they create the favourable or unfavorable attitude
the consumer has toward certain products and services.
Attitude Change marketers use 3 approaches to try to change consumer attitudes
toward products and brands
1. Changing belief abt the extent to which a brand has certain attributes
2. Changing the perceived importance of attributes
3. Adding new attributes to the product,
• Lifestyle is a way of living that is identified by how ppl spend their time and resources
(activities), what they consider important in their environment (interests), and what they
think of themselves and the world around them (opinions). The analysis of consumer
lifestyles called psychographics.
Social-Cultural Influences on Consumer Behaviour
Social-cultural influences, which evolve from a consumer’s formal and informal relationships
w/ other ppl, also have an impact on consumer behaviour. These include personal influence,
reference groups, family, culture, and subculture.
• Personal influence
Opinion Leadership individuals who have social influence over others.
Opinion leaders are more likely to be important for products that provide a
form of self-expression.
Automobiles, clothing, and club memberships are products affected by
opinion leaders, BUT appliances usually are NOT.
Word of mouth ppl influencing each other during conversations
Word of mouth is perhaps the most powerful info source for consumers, b/c it
typically involves friends or family who are viewed as trustworthy.
The power of personal influence has prompted firms to make efforts to
increase positive and decrease negative word of mouth. The power of word of mouth has been magnified by the Internet. The online
version of word of mouth is called VIRAL MARKETING
• Reference Groups is a group of ppl who influence a person’s attitudes, values, and
Membership group: one to which a person actually belongs, including fraternities
and sororities, social clubs, and the family. Such group are easily identifiable and
are targeted by firms selling insurance, insignia products, and vacation packages
Aspiration group: one that a person wishes to be a member of or wishes to be
identified w/. an example is a person whose dream it is to play in the NHL/ Brands
such as Gatorade and Nike frequently rely on spokespeople or settings associated
w/ their target market’s aspiration group in their advertising.
Dissociative group: one that a person wishes to maintain a distance from b/c of
differences in values or behaviour
• Family influence family influences on consumer behaviour result from 3 resources:
1. Consumer Socialization: the process by which ppl acquire the skills,
knowledge, and attitudes necessary to function as consumers is
2. Family life cycle: consumers act and purchase differently as they go
through life. The family life cycle concept describes the distinct
phases that a family progresses through from formation to retirement,
each phase bringing w/ it identifiable purchasing behaviours.
3. Family decision-making: 2 decision-making styles :
a) Spouse-dominant are those for which either the husband or the
wife ahs more influence in the purchase decision.
b) Joint decision-making most decisions are made by both
husband & wife.
Joint decision-making increases w/ the education of the spouses.
Roles of individual family members in the purchase process are
another element of family decision-making. 5 roles exist:
i. Information gatherer
iii. Decision maker
Family members assume different roles for different products and
• Culture and subculture
Culture: the set of values, ideas, and attitudes that are learned and shared among
the members of a group
Subcultures: subgroups within the larger, or national, culture w/ unique values,
ideas, and attitudes. Subcultures can be defined by regions, by demographic groups, or by values.
The most prominent types of subcultures are racial and ethnic and many of
these exist within the Canadian mosaic of ppl
• Global Cultural diversity
Cross-cultural analysis: which involves the study of similarities and differences among
consumers in 2 or more nations or societies
Values represent socially preferable modes of conduct or states of existence that
tend to persist over time.
Customs are what is considered normal and expected abt the way ppl do things in
a specific country or culture. Customers are significantly from country to country.
Cultural Symbols are objects, ideas, or processes that represent a particular group
of ppl or society. Symbols and symbolism play an important role in cross-cultural
analysis b/c different cultures attach different meanings to things.
Language English, French, and Spanish are the principal languages used in global
diplomacy and commerce. BUT the best language w/ which to communicate w/
consumers is their own.
Experienced global market use BACK TRANSLATION, where a translated
word or phase is retranslated back into the original language by a different
interpreter to catch error.
E.g., Kit Kat Japanese “Kitto Katsu,” which mean I will win.
Info presents itself to companies in 2 ways
1. Amarketing info system
2. Market research studies
Many companies have a marketing info system(MIS), which is a set of procedures and
processes for collecting, sorting, analyzing and summarizing info on an ongoing basic.
MIS collects information on elements such as: market conditions, competitive marketing
actions, and local sales figures, and then analyzes it to provide a current market assessment.
What is market research?
Market research is defined as the process of planning, collecting, and analyzing info in
order to recommend actions to improve marketing activities.
It provides managers w/ facts that can be used to make sound decisions.
Market researchers use methodical approaches to ensure that research results are as accurate
and cost efficient as possible.
Market research provides marketers w/ info that can be used in different ways. Market
research can help identify consumer needs, assess future opportunities, evaluate new ideas,
and determine purchase intent.
Market research is a tool that clarifies marketing problems and opportunities and provides info for marketing decision-making.
Market research can be classified in to 3 basic areas:
1) Exploratory research preliminary research that clarifies the scope and nature of a
It provides researchers w/ a better understanding of the dimensions of the marketing problem
B4 focusing on areas that require further research
It also provides research projects w/ clear direction and identifies where biz problems and
opportunities may lie.
It often conducted w/ the expectation that subsequent & more conclusive research will follow.
2) Descriptive research research designed to describe the basic characteristics of given
population or to clarify its usage and attitudes
Descriptive research the researcher has a general understanding of the marketing problem and
is seeking more conclusive data that answers particular Q.
Magazines, radio stations, and television stations almost always conduct descriptive research
to identify the characteristics of their audiences in order to present it to prospective
3) Causal research research designed to identify cause-and-effect relationships among
Exploratory and Descriptive research precedes causal research.
W/ causal research there is usually an expectation abt the relationship to be explained,
such as predicting the influence of a price change on product demand.
Causal research studies examine elements such as the effect of advertising on sales, the
relationship between price and perceived product quality, and the impact of package design
The 6-steps market research approach
• Step 1: Define the problem/issue/opportunity the 1 step in the market research
process is to clearly define the problem, issue, or opportunity, and to clarify the
If objectives are too broad the problem may NOT be tangible
If objectives are too narrow the value of the research may be questionable
Objectives: are specific, measurable goals that the decision maker seeks to achieve.
Common research objectives are to discover consumer needs and wants, and to determine
why a product is not selling.
• Step 2: Design the research plan is to identify which approach will be taken to
complete the project. This include identifying what info is needed, how it will be
collected, and whether a sampling plan is needed
Collection methods: in order to collect data in an organized fashion, it is
important to have a data collection plan. There are mathematical considerations
and operational issues that the researcher must consider.
Researchers can purchase data from a pre-existing study, or conduct their own research using a variety of data-collection methods such as in-depth personal interviews, focus
groups, telephone surveys, central location surveys, personal questionnaires, or mail
surveys. The internet also provides numerous online tools that facilitate the gathering of
Sampling: is the process of gathering data from a subset of the total population,
rather that from all members of that particular group
A properly selected sample should be representative of the population being researched,
HOWEVER, sampling errors can occur, and thus the reliability of the data is sometimes
There are 2 basic sampling techniques:
1. Probability sampling involves precise rules to select the sample so
that each element of the population has a specific known chance of
2. Non-probability sampling involves the use of arbitrary judgment by
the market researcher to select a sample so that the chance of selecting a
particular element of the population is either unknown or 0
The research may decide to follow this non-probability sampling approach in
the interest of time and to maintain costs.
In fact, non-probability samples are often used when time and budgets are
limited, OR for exploratory research purposes when conclusions are mostly
directional and may require further research.
• Step 3: Conduct exploratory and qualitative research if researchers decide to
conduct exploratory research, they have 2 avenues from which to glean data:
1 avenue: is to collect exploratory secondary data, which is already available
through internal company documents or external online and offline published
2 avenue: researchers creating their own data, exploratory primary data, through
options such as focus groups, in-depth interviews, online communities online
bulletin boards, and social listening research.
Qualitative research focus group research, in-depth interviews, online
communities, online bulletin boards, and social listening are forms of
Qualitative research provides insightful and directional info to the
researcher, w/ the understanding that although the data is NOT gleaned
from a large consumer base, it provides useful direction to the research
study and may in fact thoroughly answer the Q’s at hand.
Qualitative research may NOT be enough to draw firm conclusions
and will be used instead to provide insights and direction for a more
detailed quantitative research study.
Secondary Data: secondary data can help illuminate further data
Disadvantages: Secondary data may be out of date and the definitions OR categories may NOT be right for the project and the data may not be accurate
or specific enough for the study
1. Internal data exists within a company and includes data such as sales
reports, profitability data, and costing info
2. External data comes from published sources outside the organization
Primary data: is data that is original and specifically collected for the
project at hand
Secondary data is lower in cost and easier to obtain than primary data.
Focus groups are an informal interview session in which 6~10 ppl
are brought together in a room w/ a moderator to discuss topics
surrounding the market research problem.
In-depth interviews (another exploratory research technique used to
obtain primary data involves the use of in-depth interviews) detailed
individual interviews where the researcher discusses topics w/ an
individual at length in