Friday, 5 June 2015

Communication and the Nature of Consumer Decision Processes

Title : Communication and the Nature of Consumer Decision Processes
Name : Teh Khalida Binti Mohd Nasir
Matrix No : SX120609HAFS04


An understanding of how consumers buy and choose between alternative products is an essential basis for creating a marketing mix which efficiently and effectively matches a product offering and a buyer's needs. The analysis of consumers' buying behaviour allows the marketer to know not only the relevant product attributes and benefits to promote, but also the most effective communication channels to use during the promotion process.

Individual research findings on aspects of consumer behaviour must, however, be placed within a conceptual framework if worthwhile generalisations are to be drawn, and the response of consumers to marketing stimuli predicted.

Decision Making and Communication Strategy

 Marketing and promotional campaigns are based on assumptions about the nature of the persuasion process, such as the objectives that must be achieved if consumers are to move from a state of unawareness about a product, to acquiring positive beliefs and feelings about the product which will prompt action. However, there is increasing debate amongst consumer behaviourists as to whether the common assumptions which guide the setting of campaign objectives, or the measurement of campaign success, can be justified. Not only is the generally accepted process of decision making being attacked, but research is casting increasing doubt about the nature of consumer information collection and usage, and the role of marketer controlled information sources. The implications of this for management are likely to be of major importance, necessitating a fundamental reevaluation of our accepted generalisations.

Consumer Behaviour Explanations of Choice

The present dominant conceptualisation explaining consumer behaviour is one founded in cognitive psychology which perceives individuals as rational information seekers and users who actively and purposefully purchase products as ways of solving consumption problems.

Two distinct views have emerged which can be classified into the high-involvement vs. the low-involvement model. (Involvement is defined as ego involvement, the arousal of the individual's commitment or stands.) Each of these models draws different conclusions about the type of advertising claims that are likely to be most effective, the channels of influence that should be used, and the research methods relevant to test campaign effectiveness.

Search during the Decision Process

Information-processing theorists have focused mainly on the internal mechanisms by which information is attended to, interpreted and incorporated into existing knowledge. While such a micro focus is helpful for a theoretical understanding, it has limited direct relevance to the media decisions that have to be made regarding the selection of suitable channels, or the timing of suitable messages for maximum effect.


Marketers should not place too great a burden on the advertising element of the marketing mix. In both high and low-involvement situations, the objectives it can achieve are limited to creating awareness and comprehension. In the high-involvement situation, this may lead to the increased salience of brands, or attributes of those brands, which may influence attitude formation and later purchase. In the low-involvement situation, continual repetition of an advertisement may cause changes in our perceptions of a brand or product, but in ways that fall short of persuasion or attitude change. Persuasion or attitude change will take place in this situation either through actual trial of the product or from some other easily obtained/trusted source, such as friends and neighbours, or personal inspection.



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