Marketing - 4 major factors that influence consumer buyer behaviour

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*   I. Buying Behaviour - definition

*   II. A consumer’s buyer behaviour is influenced by four major factors

*   III. Decision process – 5 stages

*   IV. Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs (The original hierarchy of needs five-stage model) in 1943


I. Buying Behaviour - definition

Definition of Buying Behaviour:
Buying Behaviour is the decision processes and acts of people involved in buying and using products.

Need to understand:

*   Why consumers make the purchases that they make?

*   What factors influence consumer purchases?

*   The changing factors in our society.

Consumer Buying Behaviour refers to the buying behaviour of the ultimate consumer.


II. A consumer’s buyer behaviour is influenced by four major factors

1) Cultural,

2) Social

3) Personal

4) Psychological.

These factors cause consumers to develop product and brand preferences. Although many of these factors cannot be directly controlled by marketers, understanding of their impact is essential as marketing mix strategies can be developed to appeal to the preferences of the target market.

III. Decision process – 5 stages

When purchasing any product, a consumer goes through a decision process. This process consists of up to five stages:

*   Stage 1: problem recognition,

*   Stage 2: information search,

*   Stage 3: evaluation of alternatives,

*   Stage 4: purchase decision

*   Stage 5: post purchase behaviour.

The length of this decision process will vary. A consumer may not act in isolation in the purchase, but rather may be influenced by any of several people in various roles. The number of people involved in the buying decision increases with the level of involvement and complexity of the buying decision behaviour.

Consumer’s buyer behaviour and the resulting purchase decision are strongly influenced by cultural, social, personal and psychological characteristics. An understanding of the influence of these factors is essential for marketers in order to develop suitable marketing mixes to appeal to the target customer.

1. Cultural factors

CULTURAL factorsinclude a consumer’s culture, subculture and social class. These factors are often inherent in our values and decision processes.

2. Social factors

SOCIAL factors include groups (reference groups, aspirational groups and member groups), family, roles and status. This explains the outside influences of others on our purchase decisions either directly or indirectly.

3. Personal factors

PERSONAL factors include such variables as age and lifecycle stage, occupation, economic circumstances, lifestyle (activities, interests, opinions and demographics), personality and self concept. These may explain why our preferences often change as our `situation' changes.

4. Psychological factors

PSCHOLOGICAL factors affecting our purchase decision include motivation (Maslow's hierarchy of needs), perception, learning, beliefs and attitudes.

Other people often influence a consumer’s purchase decision. The marketer needs to know which people are involved in the buying decision and what role each person plays, so that marketing strategies can also be aimed at these people. (Kotler et al, 1994).


IV. Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (The original hierarchy of needs five-stage model) in 1943

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (often represented as a pyramid with five levels of needs) is a motivational theory in psychology that argues that while people aim to meet basic needs, they seek to meet successively higher needs in the form of a pyramid.

Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs (The original hierarchy of needs five-stage model)

1. Biological and Physiological needs - air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.


2. Safety needs - protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.


3. Love and belongingness needs - friendship, intimacy, affection and love, - from work group, family, friends, romantic relationships.


4. Esteem needs - achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect, respect from others.

Maslow posits esteem needs take two forms: (a) a need for strength, achievement, mastery and competence; (b) a need for reputation, status, recognition and appreciation. Fulfilment of these needs leads to a sense of self-confidence, worth, and value to the world.


5. Self-Actualization needs - realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.