Buying Behaviour

Models of buyer decision making In an early study of the buyer decision process literature, Frank Nicosia (Nicosia, F. 1966; pp 9-21) identified three types of buyer decision making models. They are the univariate model (He called it the “simple scheme”. ) in which only one behavioural determinant was allowed in a stimulus-response type of relationship; the multi-variate model (He called it a “reduced form scheme”. ) in which numerous independent variables were assumed to determine buyer behaviour; and finally the “system of equations” model (He called it a “structural scheme” or “process scheme”. in which numerous functional relations (either univariate or multi-variate) interact in a complex system of equations.

He concluded that only this third type of model is capable of expressing the complexity of buyer decision processes. In chapter 7, Nicosia builds a comprehensive model involving five modules. The encoding module includes determinants like “attributes of the brand”, “environmental factors”, “consumer’s attributes”, “attributes of the organization”, and “attributes of the message”. Other modules in the system include, consumer decoding, search and evaluation, decision, and consumption.

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General model A general model of the buyer decision process consists of the following steps: 1. Need recognition; 2. Search for information on products that could satisfy the needs of the buyer; 3. Alternative selection; 4. Decision-making on buying the product; 5. Post-purchase behavior There are a range of alternative models, but that of AIUAPR, which most directly links to the steps in the marketing/promotional process is often seen as the most generally useful[1]; AWARENESS – before anything else can happen the potential customers must become aware that the product or service exists.

Thus, the first task must be to gain the attention of the target audience. All the different models are, predictably, agreed on this first step. If the audience never hears the message they will not act on it, no matter how powerful it is. INTEREST – but it is not sufficient to grab their attention. The message must interest them and persuade them that the product or service is relevant to their needs. The content of the message(s) must therefore be meaningful and clearly relevant to that target audience’s needs, and this is where arketing research can come into its own.

UNDERSTANDING – once an interest is established, the prospective customer must be able to appreciate how well the offering may meet his or her needs, again as revealed by the marketing research. This may be no mean achievement where the copywriter has just fifty words, or ten seconds, to convey everything there is to say about it. ATTITUDES – but the message must go even further; to persuade the reader to adopt a sufficiently positive attitude towards the product or service that he or she will purchase it, albeit as a trial.

There is no adequate way of describing how this may be achieved. It is simply down to the magic of the copywriters art; based on the strength of the product or service itself. PURCHASE – all the above stages might happen in a few minutes while the reader is considering the advertisement; in the comfort of his or her favourite armchair. The final buying decision, on the other hand, may take place some time later; perhaps weeks later, when the prospective buyer actually tries to find a shop which stocks the product.

REPEAT PURCHASE – but in most cases this first purchase is best viewed as just a trial purchase. Only if the experience is a success for the customer will it be turned into repeat purchases. These repeats, not the single purchase which is the focus of most models, are where the vendors focus should be, for these are where the profits are generated. The earlier stages are merely a very necessary prerequisite for this! This is a very simple model, and as such does apply quite generally.

Its lessons are that you cannot obtain repeat purchasing without going through the stages of building awareness and then obtaining trial use; which has to be successful. It is a pattern which applies to all repeat purchase products and services; industrial goods just as much as baked beans. This simple theory is rarely taken any further – to look at the series of transactions which such repeat purchasing implies. The consumer’s growing experience over a number of such transactions is often the determining factor in the later – and future – purchases.

All the succeeding transactions are, thus, interdependent and the overall decision-making process may accordingly be much more complex than most models allow for. [2] in all four dimensions. In each category, 83% of E-I types, 89% of S-N types, 90% of T-F types, was 10. 8 points better and for groups with the same personality dimensions was 4. 4 points better than individuals (Volkema 11416). Working in groups with a variety of people composed of multiple personalities and cognitive styles, often produces a better outcome in decision making rather than individually.

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