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Consumer Behaviors

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“Consumer Behaviors”

M6.3 Situational Influences and Consumer Decision-making
Module 6 Learning Pathway

Welcome to Module 6: Consumer Decision-Making Process

In the last module, we concentrated on the attitudes of customers and how those attitudes impact purchasing decisions. In this module, we will focus on the consumer decision-making process. We will explore in detail how consumers walk through the decision-making process so that we can better understand how to reach our customers based on how they make their purchasing decisions.

M6.1 Required Readings

During this module you will:
Textbook: Hawkins, D., & Mothersbaugh, D. L. (2016). Consumer behavior: Building marketing strategy (13th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Chapters 13 & 14
Module notes
Module 6 PowerPoint (SEE ATTACHED)
Video: Consumer Decision-Making Process  (Links to an external site.)[Video file][14 min 06 sec]

M6.2 Module Notes: Consumer Decision-Making Process

During Module 6, we will explore the consumer decision-making process. While it seems like buying something would not be that complicated, the truth is that before we make a purchase, there are several steps we take and several issues we consider. If marketers understand this process, they can better reach their target market.

As we have learned in previous modules, consumers are influenced by many things. “Situational influences are the factors that influence current behavior, but are independent of the individual attributes of the consumer.” (Hawkins & Mothersbaugh, 2013, p. 464). Based on this, there are four main categories of situations to consider: the communications situation, the purchase situation, the usage situation and the disposition situation (Hawkins & Mothersbaugh, 2013). Consumers will behave differently depending on their situation. All behavior, including purchasing behavior, takes place within the context of a situation; therefore, behavior will not only vary between consumers, but the same consumer will exhibit different behaviors from one situation to the next.
Situations have been classified into a scheme of five objectively measured variables, all of which can influence purchasing behavior (Hawkins & Mothersbaugh, 2013). These five variables are: physical surroundings, social surroundings, temporal perspectives, task definition and antecedent states. Physical surroundings include things like décor, music, aromas, lighting, and so on. Social surroundings deal primarily with other people present who could have an impact on the individual consumer’s behavior. This can be a positive or negative influence (Hawkins & Mothersbaugh, 2013). Temporal perspectives deal with the effect of time on consumer behavior. This dimension of a situation may be specified in units ranging from a day to a season of the year. Task definition deals with the purpose or reason for engaging in the consumption behavior. The task may reflect the different user roles anticipated by the individual (Hawkins & Mothersbaugh, 2013). Finally, antecedent states are features of the individual that are not lasting or enduring characteristics, but are momentary moods or conditions. Moods can be states of high excitement or depression. They can trigger desires for certain foods or entertainment, and marketers can harness this and encourage certain products to become associated with these moods (Hawkins & Mothersbaugh, 2013). Marketers can use all of this information when determining whether a situation has an effect on a consumer’s purchase behavior.
Consumer decision-making becomes a more extensive and complex process as purchase involvement increases. The lowest level of purchase involvement is represented by nominal decisions: a problem is recognized, long-term memory provides a single preferred brand, that brand is purchased, and only limited post-purchase evaluation occurs. As a consumer moves from limited decision making toward extended decision making, information search increases, alternative evaluation becomes more extensive and complex, and the post-purchase evaluation becomes more thorough (Hawkins & Mothersbaugh, 2013).
There are five steps in the consumer decision-making process: problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase decision (Hawkins & Mothersbaugh, 2013). The first step in the consumer decision process is problem recognition. Problem recognition involves the existence of a discrepancy between what the consumer would like and what the consumer perceives as already existing (Hawkins & Mothersbaugh, 2013).
Once marketing teams are aware of problem recognition patterns among their target market, they can react by designing the marketing mix to solve the recognized problem. This may involve product development or repositioning, a change in store hours, a different price, or a host of other marketing strategies (Hawkins & Mothersbaugh, 2013).
These module notes provide an overview of this week’s topics. As you can see, there are many issues that need to be considered by marketing managers.
This module has provided a good overview of the consumer decision-making process and the impact that has on how marketing managers handle their marketing strategies. We were able to review some of the components of the consumer decision-making process. In the next module, we will delve deeper into that process and will focus on the information search.

M6.3 Situational Influences and Consumer Decision-making

This discussion question has been created to give you an opportunity to discuss the weekly course topics. Each week, we will have a class forum and a discussion question. The objective is for you to answer the initial question and then participate in a dialogue with your classmates about the course topic for the week.
How do situational influences affect consumer behavior? And identify something recently that triggered problem recognition: what was the problem and in analyzing what you did to resolve it, what does it reveal about the application and relevance of the consumer decision-making process?


Initial Post must be min. 200 words and written in APA style format. This discussion will be graded using the discussion board rubric. Please review this rubric, located on the Rubrics page (see attached) prior to beginning your work to ensure your participation meets the criteria in place for this discussion. All discussions combined are worth 20% of your final course grade. Consumer Behaviors

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