Consumer Behavior and Marketing Strategy

Essay by robdado2University, Ph.D.A+, February 2005

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Consumer Behavior and Marketing Strategy

The study of consumers helps firms and organizations improve their marketing strategies by understanding issues such as how

* The psychology of how consumers think, feel, reason, and select between different alternatives (e.g., brands, products);

* The the psychology of how the consumer is influenced by his or her environment (e.g., culture, family, signs, media);

* The behavior of consumers while shopping or making other marketing decisions;

* Limitations in consumer knowledge or information processing abilities influence decisions and marketing outcome;

* How consumer motivation and decision strategies differ between products that differ in their level of importance or interest that they entail for the consumer; and

* How marketers can adapt and improve their marketing campaigns and marketing strategies to more effectively reach the consumer.

Understanding these issues helps us adapt our strategies by taking the consumer into consideration. For example, by understanding that a number of different messages compete for our potential customers' attention, we learn that to be effective, advertisements must usually be repeated extensively.

We also learn that consumers will sometimes be persuaded more by logical arguments, but at other times will be persuaded more by emotional or symbolic appeals. By understanding the consumer, we will be able to make a more informed decision as to which strategy to employ.

Lars Perner's marketing and consumer behavior teaching materials

The "official" definition of consumer behavior given in the text is "The study of individuals, groups, or organizations and the processes they use to select, secure, use, and dispose of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society. (p. 7)." Although it is not necessary to memorize this definition, it brings up some useful points:

* Behavior occurs either for the...