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A consumers buyer behavior is influenced by four major factors cultural social personal and psychological factors These factors cause consumers to develop product and brand preferences Although many of these factors cannot be directly controlled by marketers understanding of their impact is essential as marketing mix strategies can be developed to appeal to the preferences of the target market When purchasing any product a consumer goes through a decision process This process consists of up to five stages problem recognition information search evaluation of alternatives purchase decisions and post purchase behavior The length of this decision process will vary ranging from a shorter routine response behavior to limited problem solving and a more comprehensive extensive problem solving A consumer may not act in isolation in the purchase but rather may be influenced by any of several people in various roles The number of people involved in the buying decision increases with the level of involvement and complexity of the buying decision behavior Consumers buyer behavior and the resulting purchase decision is strongly influenced by cultural social personal and psychological characteristics An understanding of the influence of these factors is essential for marketers in order to develop suitable marketing mixes to appeal to the target customer CULTURAL factors include a consumers culture subculture and social class These factors are often inherent in our values and decision processes SOCIAL factors include groups reference groups aspiration groups and member groups family roles and status This explains the outside influences of others on our purchase decisions either directly or indirectly PERSONAL factors include such variables as age and lifecycle stage occupation economic circumstances lifestyle activities interests opinions and demographics personality and self-concept These may explain why our preferences often change as our situation changes PSCHOLOGICAL factors affecting our purchase decision include motivation perception learning beliefs and attitudes Other people often influence a consumers purchase decision The marketer needs
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