Application: Strategy, Communications, NPD/NSD, Sales Effectiveness

The Concept

It is almost impossible to market effectively without understanding how, why, and when people buy. This is not, however, as straightforward as it sounds. It is dangerously easy for a firm to institutionalize a half-baked view of buyer needs or to ignore them because it has succeeded by creating and pushing certain products or services in the past. Human beings are erratic, unpredictable creatures, driven by both their rational and emotional natures when making decisions and, particularly, when buying anything (see behavioural aspects of marketing). Sometimes they approach decisions carefully, collecting as much data as possible before they commit to a purchase; at others they return to trusted suppliers or brands; often they join in with the herd, buying to be a part of something; and sometimes they buy, whimsically, on impulse. Although they sometimes have fixed ideas of what they want, it is just as likely that they are unclear on a particular occasion or cannot articulate their needs.

“Consumer behaviour” is a discipline, sometimes seen as an adjunct field of study or semi-detached from mainstream marketing. Nevertheless, considerable research and experimentation has been conducted to understand buying motivations and behaviours. It covers such human issues as: culture, motivation, ...

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