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MM 05: CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR AND MARKETING RESEARCH UNIT 1AN INTRODUCTION TO CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR AS MARKETING DISCIPLINE: The term

Consumer Behaviour can be defined as the behaviour that consumers display in searching for, purchasing, using, evaluating, and disposing of products and services that they expect will satisfy their needs. The study of consumer beh aviour is the study of how individuals make decision t o spend their available resources (money, time, efforts) on consumption related items. It includes the study of what they buy, why they buy it, how they buy it, when they buy it, where they buy it, and how often they buy it. Theanswers to these questions can be found through consumer research and provide the manufacturer withimportant input for product scheduling, design modification, and promotional strategy.In addition to studying consumer us e and post purchase evaluation of the product they buy,con su mer res ea rchers are also interest ed in how individuals dispos e of their onc e-new purchases. Th eans wer to this question is important to market ers b ecause th ey mus t match their production to thefrequency with which consumers buy replacements. But it is also important to society as a whole, becausesolid wast e disposa l has become a major envi ronm ental problem that market ers must address in their development of products and packaging.As students of human behaviour, it is important for us to understand the internal and externalinflu ences that impel individuals to act in certain consumption relat ed wa ys. Consum er behavi our issimply a subset of the larger field of human behaviour. As marketers and future marketers, it is importantfor us to recognize why and how individuals make their consumptions decisions so that we can make better strategic marketing decisions. Without doubt, marketers who understand consumer behaviour have agreat competitive advantage in the market place. CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR PRINCIPLES IN STRATEGIC MARKETING There are numbers of reasons wh y the study of consum er b ehaviour developed as a s eparatemarketing discipline. Marketing scientists had long noted that consumers did not always act or react, aseconomic theory would suggest. The size of c onsumer ma rket in this country is vast and constantlye x p a n d i n g . C o n s u m e r p r e f e r e n c e s a r e c h a n g i n g a n d b e c o m i n g h i g h l y d i v e r s i f i e d . A s m a r k e t i n g researchers began to study the buying behaviour of consumers, they soon realized that despite overridingsimilarities, consumers were not alike. Despite a sometimes Me too approach to fads and fashions, manyconsumers rebelled at using the identical products everyone else used. Instead, they prefer differentiated products that they feel reflect their own special needs, personalities, and life-styles.To better meet the needs of specific groups of consumers, enlighten marketers developed the policy of market segmentation, which called for the division of their total potential markets into smaller,homogeneous segments for which they could design a specific product and / or promotional campaign.They also used promotional techniques to vary that image of their products so that they were perceived as better fulfilling the specific needs of certain groups of consumers--a process now known as positioning In addition to the fast pace of n ew product introduction, other factors that contributed to thedevelopm ent of c onsumers behaviour as a marketing discipline include shorter prod uct life c yc les,environmental concerns, increased interests in consumers protection and public policy registration, the growth of servic es ma rketing and non-profit marketing, the growth of international markets, and thedevelopment of computers and sophisticated method of statistical analysis. CONSUMER ORIENTED VIEW OF MARKETING STRATEGY:THE MARKETING CONCEPT The philosophy that marketing strategies rely on better knowledge of the concept is known as the marketing concept. The marketing concept states that marketers must first define the benefits consumersseek in the marketplac e and gear, ma rketing strategi es accordingly. Acc eptance of this concept has provided the impetus for studying consumers behaviour in a marketing context.First formulated in the early 1950s, the marketing concepts seem so logical today thatw e m a y w o n d e r w h y m a r k e t e r s d i d not turn to it sooner. There are two reasons. F i r s t , m a r k e t i n g institutions were not sufficient ly develop ed before 1950 to accept the marketing concept. Consumer behaviour research was in infancy. Moreover, advertised and distributive facilities were more suited to themass production and mass-marketing strategies of that time. The implementation of the marketing conceptrequires a diversity of facilities for promoting and distributing products that meet the needs of smaller andmore diverse market segments. This diversity in marketing institutions did not exist before 1950. Instead,the emphasis was on economies of scale of production and marketing.The second reason the marketing concept was not accepted until 1950s is that prior to that time there was no economic neces sit y to do so. During the Depres sions, there was little purchasing power to spur an interest in the consumer behaviour. During World War-II and immediatelyafter, scarcities were prevalent. There was no competitive pressure to discover consumers motives or toadjust product offerings to consumers needs. Manufactures could sell whatever they made. During 1953this orientations changed. Different marketers brought out similar lines of products but now they foundconsumers reluctant to buy. Consumers had becom e more selective in their purchasing habits. Theecon om y exp eri enced its first true buyers market. For the first time, supply exc eeded demand, andinventories built up in the face of consumer purchasing power.Some marketers reacted by intensifying the old strategies: pushing theexisting line, heightening the selling efforts, repeating selling themes, and pushing excess inventories onu n w i l l i n g d i s t r i b u t o r s a n d d e a l e r s . O t h e r s r e a c t e d w i t h m o r e f o r e s i g h t b y r e c o g n i z i n g t h e r i g h t com bination of product benefits would influence reluctant consumers to purchase. These manufacturersresearched the market to identify the consumers needs and to develop products to fit those needs. Thisnewer approach resulted in an expanding set of product offerings. It also caused advertising strategy toshift from the repetitive campaigns design ed to maintain brand awaren ess to m ore creative, divers ecampaigns designed to communicate product benefits. Marketers began talking in behavioural terms. Int h i s n e w c o n t e x t , a p r o d u c t m u s t b e p o s i t i o n e d t o d e l i v e r a s e t o f b e n e f i t s t o a d e f i n e d s e g m e n t o f consumers.

Advertisings goals are to communicate symbols and images that show how the brand deliversthes e benefits, to creat e a favourable attitude toward the brand, and to induce trial. Advertising is als ointended to reinforce the consumers choices to influence them to re-purchase There are two broad approaches to the study of consumer behaviour. Amanagerial approach views consumers behaviour as an applied social science. It is studied as an adjunctto a basis for developing marketing strategies, a holistic approach views consumer behaviour as a purerather than applied social science. In this view, consumer behaviour is a legitimate focus of inquiry in anof itself without necessarily being applied to marketing although it may appear that the first view has themost credence for marketers, in reality, a holistic approach also provides a useful perspective to strategy inmany cases.The growing sophistication of consumers combined with such factors as changingsocial mores and increasingly aggres sive c ompetition dictate that an ongoing effort at knowing thec onsumer is no lon ger a casual matter. E ven a loca l independent retai ler oft en cannot adequatelychara cteri ze its key competitor. Everyone has expectations as to how p eop le wou ld act under variouscircumstances, and most people even engage in predicting the behaviour of those in whom they have aninterest. Of course, these behavioural propositions are not used only for predicting behaviour; they alsocan be used as an aid to the planning of actions.Tucker, in Foundations of a Theory of Consumer Behaviour attempted to calla t t e n t i o n t o t h e f a c t t h a t a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f c o n s u m e r b e h a v i o u r m u s t s t a r t w i t h a f u n d a m e n t a l ap preciation of consumer actions on a micro level. Therefore, in a very real sense, to expect even a limitedsuccess in coming to understand consumer behaviour at this stage, each student must consciously decide to be more observant of his or her own behavioural patterns as well as those of others. This must be donewhile keeping in mind not to make broad generalizations. DEVELOPING A CONCEPTUAL BASIS FOR THE STUDY: Although consumer behaviour is complex, the identification of a few basic relationships that capture theessence of modern social science theory can serve to introduce the subject. Further more, since consumer behaviour is a part of all human behaviour, any th eory of consumer b ehaviour must be consistent with what is basic to human behaviour.Lewin offers a conceptual view that summarizes the essence of contemporarythinking and portrays human behaviour as the resu lt of the interaction among compon ents of what isviewed as ones life space. This can be represented as followsB = f (life space)Or stated another way,B = f ( P, E). The life space consists of the total facts that psychologically exist for an individual at a given moment.The life space is really the totality of individuals world as he or she perceives it, and in such a context, athing exists only if it has demonsratable effects upon behaviour.

In the latter formula, (B) represents behaviour, ( f ) function , (P) person, and (E) environm ent. Thisexpression states that an individuals behaviour is the result of the interaction between the individual andhis or her environment. The behaviour that is being referred to is broad and involves all human actions,i n c l u d i n g b u y i n g b e h a v i o u r s . T h e ( P ) p e r s o n i n t h e f o r m u l a i s c o m p o s e d o f a t l e a s t t w o d i s t i n c t dimensions. One is heredity; that is, to a large extent individuals are genetically determined entities. Some physical characteristics that may set very real limits on ones activities are inherited and cannot be altered.However, at birth humans also begin to acquire information and, thus, learning is another major dimensionof the (P) person in the Lewins model. The (E) environment component recognizes the influence of boththe near physical and social settings on behaviour.The life space has also been called a persons psychological field. Lewinianformula offers another means of conceptualising what it is that shapes human behaviour.

A person is moved by basic needs that are internal and exist largely apart frm his environment. In t h i s s e n s e , m a n i s s i m i l a r t o m a n y a n i m a l s . H o w e v e r , a s a h u m a n b e i n g h e h a s a considerable capacity to call upon past experiences and observations as well as to anticipate the future. Inaddition, man as a social being is profoundly influenced by the other people and, of course, is affected bythe physical environment, as are other forms of life.By perceiving a person as being subject to compound and sometimes-conflicting motivational determinants, it is possible to recognize the complexity of the forces underlying behaviour. Each individual must adapt to his unique psychological field, and to him, this field is reality.He will establish forms of behaviour that permit a workable and meaningful pattern of adaptation to his perception of the world. Despite individual weakness and the complexity of the forces that affect people,and orderly study of human behaviour is possible. CONSUMER ANALYSIS IN MARKETING: Marketing thought has undergone dramatic changes because of the post World War-II infusion of behavioural science concepts, and many of the earliest views of buyer behaviour have had to yield to newinformation. As a result, contemporary thought is a blend of old and the new. It is helpful to discuss boththe traditional viewpoint, because of its historical contributions, and the more recent modifications At an early date there were two separate and distinct groups interested in consumer behaviour: (i) Marketing practitioners and (ii) Social scientists. Each group had dissimilar orientations tothe subject, used different means to stud y, and sought results that were consistent with their s eparate perspectives. Figure-1.2 identifies the variation just described.The early marketing practitioners were essentially pragmatic in their study. Theym ost oft en focus ed in variables that had a high degree of face va lidit y in their predictive capacity. For instance, there was generally little disagreement with the proposition that favourable attitudes and selecteddemographic characteristics influenced buyer b ehaviou r. Studies were initiated to demonstrate suchrelationships and to use these results to predict behaviour as well as to aid in strategy development. Thesestudies were not ordinarily tied to any conceptual framework, but were more or less carried on in serialfashion--one after another as a problem arouse.