Understanding Consumer Behaviour

The laws of advertising are the same as Newton’s Third Law of Motion which is ”To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction”.

In order to get great measurable results from advertising, I think there needs to be a great offer in the ads. To acheive this, I think it’s important to get a stronger understanding of consumer behaviour.


1. Problem/Need Recognition

It could be that your DVD player stops working and you now have to look for a new one, all those DVD films you purchased you can no longer play! So you have a problem or a new need.

2. Information search

Consumer often go on some form of information search to help them through their purchase decision. Sources of information could be family, friends, neighbours who may have the product you have in mind, alternatively you may ask the sales people, or dealers, or read specialist magazines like What DVD? to help with their purchase decision. You may even actually examine the product before you decide to purchase it.

Given that internet usage amoungst Calgarians is around 80%, my personal belief is that the majority of consumers will perform an internet search to learn more about the products they’d like to buy. There are two important metrics for measurement here.

Website traffic – number of people visiting your site, what pages they’re visiting, how long are they visiting for etc.

web conversion – how many people asked for more information either by email, being added to your database or calling in

3. Evaluation of different purchase options

Consumers allocate attribute factors to certain products, almost like a point scoring system which they work out in their mind over which brand to purchase. This means that consumers know what features from the rivals will benefit them and they attach different degrees of importance to each attribute.

4. Purchase decision

Through the evaluation process discussed above consumers will reach their final purchase decision and they reach the final process of going through the purchase action

Post Purchase Behaviour

Ever have doubts about the product after you purchased it?
Manufacturers of products clearly want recent consumers to feel proud of their purchase, it is therefore just as important for manufacturers to advertise for the sake of their recent purchaser so consumers feel comfortable that they own a product from a strong and reputable organisation

Factors influencing the behaviour of buyers

Culture is one factor that influences behaviour. Simply culture is defined as our attitudes and beliefs
Reference groups are particular groups of people some people may look up towards to that have an impact on consumer behaviour
Opinion leaders are those people that you look up to because your respect their views and judgements and these views may influence consumer decisions.
The economical environment also has an impact on consumer behaviour; do consumers have a secure job and a regular income to spend on goods?
Marketing and advertising obviously influence consumers in trying to evoke them to purchase a particular product or service

4 Types of buying behaviour

Complex buying behaviour is where the individual purchases a high value brand and seeks a lot of information before the purchase is made.
Habitual buying behaviour is where the individual buys a product out of habit e.g. a daily newspaper, sugar or salt.
Variety seeking buying behaviour is where the individual likes to shop around and experiment with different products
Dissonance reducing buying behaviour is when buyer are highly involved with the purchase of the product, because the purchase is expensive or infrequent

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