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Understanding consumer behaviour is one of the most important considerations for a business when developing a marketing plan. This paper examines consumer behaviour that drives them to make purchase decisions. Five advertisements displaying different products from different companies are used to illustrate consumer purchasing behaviour.
Differences between High- and Low-Involvement Buying
Before engaging in an advertisement campaign, it is vital for marketers to gauge the impact of their brands on consumers. One way of achieving this end is to categorize the brands as either high- or low-involvement products. There are several factors that differentiate products in the two categories. To start with, high-involvement products are highly priced while low involvement products are priced low in a particular product group (Saxena 2009, p. 148). Within the entertainment industry for instance, coloured TV is a high-involvement product but pocket transistors are not. Secondly, high-involvement products have complex features and hence, require consumers to spend more time on familiarizing and internalizing them. It is for this reason that computers, cars, coloured televisions, DVD Players, Motorcycles, refrigerators and washing machines come with product manuals describing their features. Unlike these products, low involvement products do not have complex features and consumers perceive them as being easy to use. Toilet soaps and sweets, for instance, do not require product manuals (Dahlen et al, 2010, p. 295).
Also, there is a large different between alternative products within this category. For instance, there is a large different between British and Chinese phones (Saxena 2009, p. 148). Alternative products within the low involvement product category are similar. Saxena (2009, p. 149) noted that consumer brand loyalty is low for low involvement products due to the perceived lack of difference between products. Thus, consumers frequently switch between brands. As Saxena (2009, p. 149) explains, consumers perceive high-involvement products to be highly risky spend more time arriving at purchasing decision. Products in the low-involvement category are low-risk purchase items. A good example of low-risk items include razors, crisps, newspapers and hand cream. Lastly, high-involvement products reflect the self-concept of a consumer. Every individual has a self image and strives to protect it. As such, consumers purchase products that reflect their self-concept. A consumer’s choice of restaurants, houses, cars, clothes, perfumes and jewellery reflect his or her self-concept. On the contrary, low involvement products do not reflect a buyer’s self-concept and they are more personal to them. The following adverts reflect these differences
The Mercedes car in this advert is highly priced, has complex features, has high perceived risks and often, reflect self concept of a consumer.
Dell Computer Advert
The Dell lap-top computer in this advert is highly priced, has high perceived risks and has complex features
Advert on Holiday Homes in Devon and Cornwall
Attending for a holiday in any particular holiday home is expensive and reflects self-concept of a consumer.
The free ticket to cinema hall given after purchasing any of the four products is inexpensive and has low perceived risks
Olive Oil Advert
Olive oil is a low-priced product there is no big difference between alternatives, has no complex features and it is easy for consumers to switch from this brand to alternatives.
Therefore, Mercedes-Benz, Dell computer and attending for a holiday in Devon or Cornwall are classified in the high-involvement product category while acquiring a free ticket to a cinema hall and olive oil are low-involvement products.
Market Segments Targeted by the Advertisements
Market Segmentation is a marketing strategy that involves dividing the target market population into subsets based on difference needs and wants of consumers, as well as their differences in the application of products and services (Lee & Johnson 2012, p. 92). The purpose of this strategy is to enable a marketer to develop a marketing mix that matches the needs of consumers more in the target market. There are four main segmentation methods that a marketer can choose from. They are demographic segmentation, geographic segmentation, psychographic segmentation and behavioural segmentation. Geographic segmentation involves dividing the target market into various subsets using geographical criteria. For instance, the broad market can be divided into countries, regions, states, neighbourhoods, cities of zip codes (Lee & Johnson 2012, p. 92).
Demographic segmentation involves dividing the selected market into subsets of consumers based on variables such as age, income, gender, religion, education, family size, occupation and nationality. Psychographic method involves the use of psychology and geography to understand consumers better. In this method, consumers are grouped based on their personality, lifestyle, social class and values. Consumers in the same demographic may not exhibit similar psychographic profiles. In behavioural segmentation, the selected market is divided into subsets according to consumer’s knowledge of, use of, attitude towards or response to a product. This segmentation method is based on behaviours of consumers (Lee & Johnson 2012, p. 92). After the segmentation process is completed, a marketer can engage in advertisement of business products. The advertisements are written in the language that is easily understood by the targeted segments and are then placed in the media for consumers to see and read them (Mathur, 2005, p. 82).
Each of the advertisements presented earlier targets a particular market segment. The M-class Mercedes-Benz is highly costly but luxurious and prestigious product. The producer of this product targets niche, consumers with high income, those who value status, spenders and consumers that are loyal to the Mercedes-Benz brand. The group of consumers with those characteristics constitute the market segment targeted by the Mercedes-Benz advertisement. Secondly, as indicated in the Dell lap top advert, this product performs well and provides a good opportunity for students to learn. This advertisement is targeted on students and other individuals who wish to satisfy the need for learning and also enjoy the enhanced performance of this product.
The advertisement on holiday homes in Devon and Cornwall targets young single professionals, working class families, affluent families and affluent retired individuals. On the other hand, the advertisement on availability of a free ticket to a cinema may be targeted at two different market segments depending on the kind of movies that will be aired in the cinema. It may be targeted at young people who are interested in watching adventure, action and comedy or it may be targeted at adults and parents seeking for an in-expensive and quality entertainment. Finally, the literature on the Olive oil advertisement says “Everything is better with olive oil. Even you.” This implies that the advert is targeting consumers seeking health benefits.
Use your understanding of perceptual processes to explain why your advertisements should be effective
The reason why these advertisements should be effective
Psychological factors partly determine an individual’s.............
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