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2: Consumer Behaviour and Marketing Management

Consumers are often studied because certain decisions are significantly affected
by their behaviour or expected action. For this reason, consumer behaviour is said to be
an applied discipline. Knowledge of consumer is helpful for the management at two
different levels of analysis. The macro perspective applies knowledge to aggregate level
problems faced by large groups or society as a whole. The micro perspective seeks
application of this knowledge to problems faced by the individual firm or organization
(Kotler, 2008).
Consumer behaviour theory like all theory is a simplified, abstract representation
of reality. Consumer behaviour like other human behaviour is complex, and the more
simplified picture of consumer provided by theory helps us enormously in understanding
consumers. It not only helps us think about consumers but also provides us with a
language to talk about them. Having this language is very useful for being effective in an
organisation one has to persuade others to accept their ideas. In fact, lacking this
language has been one of the greatest weaknesses of modern marketers. Effective
business managers realise the importance of overall marketing functions in general and
an understanding of the consumer behaviour in particular to the success of their firm. In
this context, marketing can be defined as, the process of planning and executing the
conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create
exchange that satisfy individual and organisational objectives. It is important to note that
this definition encompasses services and ideas as well as products. A sound
understanding of consumer behaviour is essential to the long run success of any
marketing plan. In fact it is seen as a cornerstone of the marketing concept, an
important orientation or philosophy of many marketing managers. The essence of
marketing concept is captured in three interrelated orientations:
1.2.1: Consumer Wants and Needs
The intention of the firm is not seen as merely providing goods and services.
Instead wants and needs satisfaction is viewed as the purpose and providing products
and services as the mean to achieve the end.
1.2.2: Company objectives

Consumers wants and needs are numerous therefore, a firm that concentrate on
satisfying a small portion of all desires will most effectively utilise its resources.
Company objectives and any of its special advantage are used as criteria to select the
specific wants and needs to be addressed.

1.2.3: An integrated Strategy

An integrated effort is most effective in achieving the firms objectives through
customers satisfaction. For maximum impact, this requires that marketing effort be
closely co-ordinate and compatible with each other and with other activities of the firm
(Hoskisson, 2007).