Application of Consumer Behaviour Knowledge in Marketing30/05/2020
Consumer behaviour principles are applied in many areas of marketing as discussed below:
Analysing market opportunity: Consumer behaviour study helps in identifying the unfulfilled needs and wants of consumers. This requires examining the trends and conditions operating in the marketplace, consumers’ lifestyles, income levels and emerging influences. This may reveal unsatisfied needs and wants. the trend towards increasing number of dual income households and greater emphasis on convenience and leisure have led to emerging needs for household gadgets such as washing machine, mixer grinder, vacuum cleaner and childcare centres etc. Mosquito repellents have been marketed in response to a genuine and unfulfilled consumer need.
Selecting target market: A review of market opportunities often helps in identifying distinct consumer segments with very distinct and unique wants and need. Identifying these groups, learning how they behave and how they make purchase decisions enables the marketer to design and market products or services particularly suited to their wants and needs. For example, consumer studies revealed that many existing and potential shampoo users did not want to buy shampoo packs priced at Rs. 60 or more and would rather prefer a low priced sachet containing enough quantity for one or two washes. The finding led companies to introduce the shampoo sachet which became a good seller.
Marketing-mix decisions: Once unsatisfied needs and wants are identified, the marketer has to determine the right mix of product, price, distribution and promotion. Here too, consumer behaviour study is very helpful in finding answers to many perplexing questions.
- Product: The marketer designs the product or service that whould satisfy unfulfilled needs or wants. Further decisions regarding the product concern to size, shape and features. The marketer has also to decide about packaging important aspects of service, warranties and accessories etc. Nestle first introduced Maggie noodles in masala and capsicum flavours. Subsequently, keeping in view the consumer preferences in some regions, the company introduced garlic, Shambhar and other flavours.
- Price: The second important component of marketing mix is price. Marketers must decide what price to charge for the product or service. These decisions will influence the flow of revenue to the company. Should the marketer consumer price sensitive and would a lower price stimulate sales? Should there be any price discounts? Do consumers perceive lower price as being indicative of poor quality? To answer such questions, the marketer must understand the way the company’s product is perceived by consumers, the importance of price as a purchase decision variable and how different price levels would affect sales. It is only through consumer behaviour study in actual buying situations that the marketer can hope to find answers to these important issues.
- Distribution: The next decision relates to the distribution channel, that is, where and how to offer products and services for sale. Should the products be sold through all the retail outlets or only through selected ones? Should the marketer use only the existing outlets, which also sell competing brands, or should new exclusive outlets selling only the marketer’s brands be created? Is the location of retail outlets important from consumers’ point of view? Should the company think of direct maketing? The answer to these question are furnished by consumer behaviour research.
- Promotion: Promotion is concerned with marketing communications to consumers, The more important methods are advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, publicity and direct marketing. The marketer has to decide which method would be most suitable to effectively reach the consumers. Should it be advertising alone or should it be combined with sales promotion? The company has to know the target consumers, their location, what media do they have access to and what are their media preferences, etc. In most cases of industrial products there is very little or no advertising. Brochures containing technical specifications are often posted to the clients and the salespeople make follow-up visits. Consumer products get the maximum share of advertising. Pharmaceutical industry exclusively use personal selling for prescription drugs. Insurance companies use both advertising and personal selling.
Use in Social and Non-profits Marketing: Consumer behaviour studies are useful to design marketing strategies by social, governmental a not-for-profit organisations to make their programmes such as family planning, awareness about AIDS, crime against women, safe driving, environmental concerns and other more effective. UNICEF (greeting cards), Red Cross and CRY etc. make use of consumer behaviour understanding to sell their services and products and also try to motivate people to support these institutions.