Buyers and Users: A Managerial & Consumer perspective01/09/2022 0 By indiafreenotes
Marketer’s, marketing plan is driven by their perception of why and how do consumers behave as they do and how they are likely to respond to the various marketing mix elements. But in reality, in most of the markets, buyers differ enormously in terms of their buying dynamics. So the marketer has got a mammoth task of identifying these complex differences. For, if one were to consider the consumer markets, buyers typically will differ in terms of their age, income, educational levels and geographical locations.
Apart from this, the more fundamental differences will be in terms of their personality, lifestyles and their expectations. Despite these complexities, it is imperative that the marketing manager understands the dynamics of the consumers buying process; otherwise the costs and competitive implications of failing to do so would be very high. Under the marketing approach, organisations were engaged in carrying out market researches to identify the consumer’s underlying needs and develop product or service offerings to match those needs. Apart from a wider product range, the advertising and media managers were required to work on diverse campaigns and be more creative in communicating the product benefits.
Now since the entire marketing efforts are focused on the ‘consumer’, the talking also involves using behavioural terms. In this context, the product or service is positioned to deliver a set of benefits to a specific (defined) segment of consumers. The advertising manager aims at communicating symbols and images to indicate how the brand delivers these benefits and create a favourable attitude towards the brand and thereby induce trial among the customers. It is also possible, through advertising to influence consumers to go for repurchase of products or services.
Implications of Managerial Approach
Managerial perspective on consumer behaviour tends to be more micro and cognitive in nature. The term micro is used because the manager is focusing on the individual consumer his or her attitudes, perceptions and lifestyle and demographic features.
Further, the external factors influence in terms of the reference groups, the family, social class and culture are studied in order to know how they influence the individual consumer. The cognitive nature emphasises on the thought processes of individual consumers and the factors which influence their decision-making processes.
From the marketing manager’s perspective, it is necessary to satisfy the needs of the individual consumer through suitable product or service offerings. Hence, the necessity to gather information on the consumer’s needs, thought processes characteristic features. Such information will be useful in segmenting the target market on the basis of various parameters.
However, the manager has to be vary of a few risks associated with the managerial approach:
- It would not be correct to go by a strictly cognitive approach. This is because, the consumers may not always adopt a systematic decision-making process, especially when purchasing products on impulse or habitual basis (buy toothpaste, tooth brush etc.) Such products have symbolic value and do not require the consumer to be involved in a systematic information processing.
- It would be incorrect to overlook the dynamics of environmental factors influencing the consumers decision-making process. For instance, gifts purchased for ritual purposes would have to be culturally derived. This reason may be overlooked if only a micro view is taken, where the focus is exclusively on the individual consumer.
- Another risk could arise if the managers were to focus more on the purchase aspect rather than on consumption. While trying to work on the consumer satisfaction level managers have realised that this can be understood by looking at the post purchase behaviour or the consumption front and not merely the purchase experience. It is for this reason that marketing managers are entering into relationship based marketing with their consumers. Moreover, to a great extent this relationship marketing will depend on the consumption experience.
Thus, it will be more helpful if the marketers were to adopt a ‘holistic approach’ to the study of consumer behaviour. For this, marketing managers will have to make efforts to understand the environmental context of the consumer’s actions, the cognitive processes involved in their decision-making process and then work out suitable marketing strategies accordingly.
Consumers Perspective on Consumer Behaviour
Above, we have discussed the manager’s perspective on consumer behaviour, now we will try to view it from the consumer’s eye. Both, the managerial and consumer perspectives differ on three accounts.
(a) Managers seek product information so as to come out with product offerings, which will work as vehicles of influences. Whereas, consumers tend to evaluate information for the purpose of making better decisions on purchase choices.
(b) Marketing manager’s workout strategies which are product or brand specific. While the consumers have the tendency to evaluate various brands before actually purchasing products. Further, the consumer’s choice, although may not appear to be related but in reality could be a reflection of their desires and lifestyle. Such behaviour could be visible in their buying food items (eating Pizza, Burgers), wearing Ruf-n-Tuf jeans and Reebok shoes and owning a Blackberry cellular phone could be a reflection of the individual consumer’s lifestyle and desires.
(c) Managers may view competition as a threat. Whereas, for the consumer, availability of more brands (i.e., more competition) will work as an opportunity to compare, have more choices and get a few products at lower prices too.
For managers, study of consumer behaviour will help to offer good quality products and acquire the necessary accurate information to ensure the building up of a loyal customer base in the long-run.
As consumers, the study of consumer behaviour will provide them insights into their own consumption-related decisions and thereby enable them to become better and wiser consumers.