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Marketing approach – Understanding the consumer

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The marketing approach is an attitude of research, analysis, listening to the market and its supposed environmental permit

  • the demand side, better listening and greater satisfaction of the final consumer or intermediate consumer.
  • the supply side, better control of the design, marketing, value-added, life cycle and profitability of products and services offered by an organization.

Broadly, the applicable approach can be summarized in three major steps:

  1. The identification, tracing and analyzing the consumers concerned with support as appropriate to quantitative and / or qualitative market research.
  2. It is then customary to segment reflection by identifying different types of customers in light of the operational data of the marketing strategy.
  3. According to the methodology of the chosen mix marketing – this is to stop the pertinent choices and decisions.

For example, the mix marketing represented in the familiar form of “rule known as the 4P lists the steps to be taken in 4 dimensions:

  1. Product: or the modeling of the offer (product, service or idea) so that it responds to the attitudes and motivations of consumers or users.
  2. Promotion / Advertising (communication): or methods to publicize the existence, interest and availability of supply. It also serves to increase the desire of consumers to the product / service.
  3. Price: or the requirements to get it (levels compared with other offers).
  4. Place / Distribution: or templates, resources and infrastructure to provide in supply.

Understanding the consumer

(According to Pettigrew and Turgeon)

Understanding consumer behavior involves a double research effort (via qualitative studies or quantitative studies):

Understanding the intrinsic dimension

(According to Pettigrew and Turgeon)

The intrinsic dimension is what is unique, which is unique to each person as a way to represent and practice the act of consumption:

  • Motivation: It’s about understanding how to determine a consumer who wants to move towards a concrete goal. The client is looking to fill an unmet need for the achievement of an ideal. The Maslow pyramid of needs shows that consumer satisfaction proceeds by successive steps: Needs classified at lower levels of the pyramid must be properly filled before working on the needs of a higher level. Thus the needs of physiological types are senior to the satisfaction of personal development needs.
  • Perception: “Perception refers to the sensory area.” This interpretation is in fact opposite to a stimulus that causes a certain reaction and generates a behavior which differs from one person to another. Companies use the repetition of ads as an important way to attract the customer’s attention, often using subliminal messages.
  • Learning: It is ‘the acquisition of new behaviors as a result of experiences.’ Thus, after some experience at the consumer level, the consumer will tend to be loyal to a certain brand or a certain product.
  • Attitudes: These are predispositions that affect the consumer’s perception about a product, an object, a situation, either positively or negatively. Attitudes can change over time and according to the experience, whether through self-will of the consumer or due to the influence of a company capable to determine their change.
  • Personality: “The type of activity, interests and opinions are helping in establishing the personality traits of consumers” By analyzing the lifestyle and the way of life of the consumer, marketing practitioners can identify and characterize specific traits that may lead to the development of profiles or families of distinct personalities. The adjustment of product and market segmentation allows – in mirror – to verify the relevance of distinctions identified and their degree of response when properly managed.

Understanding the extrinsic dimension

(According to Pettigrew and Turgeon)

The extrinsic dimension consists of the external elements that surround and can influence their choices and decisions:

  • Culture: it is mainly the system of values, norms and manners that shape – determine – the way of life in every society.
  • Social classes: group of people who share the same values, the same economic level, same interests and interact both at economic and political levels.
  • Sociostyles: consumer profiles are determined by the representation of homogeneous scatter in an area measured by two axes used as benchmarks of sociological scales. These profiles (eg “innovators,” “adventurers”, “security guards”, “bobos”, “conservative” …) are supposed to explain the representations and consumer behavior grouped this way.
  • Reference groups: the groups that people identify both as the actual level and groups to which they aspire. This may be related groups, called primary groups, like family, friends, or outside groups, such as sports groups, professionals, etc. called secondary groups.
  • Prescribers: represent all the people who can act more or less decisive in the decision to purchase a product or service. This role can be extremely loud (where a doctor prescribes a drug), average (recommendations by expert council) or lower (friendly advice that helps you out …).
  • Family: is the role that consumers play in his own family. This role may be that of initiator (which suggest buying), or influencer (which influences the final decision), or decision-maker (who says what to buy, where and how), or purchaser (which actually makes the purchase), or user (who uses the product).

Consumer decision making

(According to Pettigrew and Turgeon)

For the marketer, the decision making process of the consumer spans stages and involves many parameters.

  • In extent, from understanding what triggers awareness of the need, to its behavior after purchasing a good or service.
  • In depth, it is important to pay particular attention to the elements in the background at work and motivate the actions of customers.

Thus, decision making is often described as the sequence of five specific steps: Recognition of a need, Information search in order to find possible solutions, Evaluating solutions, and Purchase behavior and after purchase behavior.

  1. Recognizing a need is the first step in the decision process for consumers. In marketing it is important to understand that companies do not create needs. Indeed, they only stimulate them to their target customers. For a consumer recognizes a non-bridged need, he will be stimulated by using three types of stimuli: environmental stimuli, marketing stimuli (advertising), autosuggestion stimuli. Needs that can be felt are about psychological and physical needs.
  2. Seeking information comes after the client has identified its unmet need. It was at this point that it will proceed to list possible solutions. If the consumer wishes to purchase a car, it seeks information regarding the different brands through various means.
  3. Then, the consumer then will evaluate possible solutions. It was at this point that it will eliminate unsatisfactory options and then observe that those that best meet their expectations. Indeed, it is then that from his experience, the influence of reference groups and other influences, he will proceed to evaluate, as objectively as possible, these choices.
  4. Thereafter, the customer selects the product or service and determines the supplier able to deliver. This step is of course that of purchase. At this time, the customer service and the presence of a distributor can play a decisive role.
  5. After purchase, the question is the behavior of customer usage and measuring their satisfaction (via qualitative studies for example). A customer fully satisfied with their purchase generates a positive impact for the company, with increased sales and improved market share (through the rise of digital broadcasting and / or dissemination value) and by increasing the fidelity. In addition, customers can also advertise favorable ear to mouth. Conversely, a negative experience can push the customer to disseminate information to the contrary, which can have a negative impact on the reputation of the product or the company.

The contribution of market research

Market research are used to gather information to better understand the coveted target and environment (legal, political, social, regulatory, economic, cultural …) of the target. This will adapt methods of operational and strategic marketing accordingly.

There are several techniques for conducting marketing research. For example, during the launch of a product, several phases can be identified: research, design and development, marketing. For each of these phases, different techniques of market research or opinion may be used, depending on the types of needed information.

Depending on the type of data collected, the study is said to be quantitative or qualitative research study. All these studies are based on the same approach: problem analysis, target analysis, development of specifications, implementation of the action, information collection, information processing, information analysis, recommendations.

Marketing techniques are based on the study of consumer behavior. Multidisciplinary tools complement each other to form a solid, empirically reliable basis. Psychology, sociology and microeconomics form an interrelated triangle. The theoretical validity of the concepts used is less important than the validity of their prediction on the ground. The psychology of marketing is multifaceted.

The most prestigious publications in this field (Journal of Consumer Research in particular) are generally defined as interdisciplinary publications and articles found there are often the basis for further research of pure social sciences.

It currently seems that today one of the most advanced sunject is the study of unconscious phenomena altering mood and emotions. The factors that regulate the formation of an intention on the consumer are the subject of many studies.

Not to mention the fact that with the advent of internet it works directly on the total population and less on panels. However, the sampling error should be monitored closely, in fact, the population adept of internet is not representative in many studies.

Translated from Wikipedia

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