Changing Consumer Behaviour

In today’s global market, the opinion that marketers should implement new business strategies based on building new levels of relationships with their customers appears to be more and more important. The following paper explores various ways that marketers can change consumer behaviour. There exist numerous opinions on how the strategy of addressing consumers is changing in modern conditions. These strategies include addressing every particular customer personally and creating customer communities. Generally, the main finding of recent research is the importance of applying a new strategy in the interaction with the customers. It appears that marketing specialists will succeed in the development of their companies’ business much more than ever before employing building relationships with their consumers and creating communities of their customers.

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First of all, speaking about the new strategies in communicating with customers, it is necessary to understand what consumer behaviour is and what its main components are. One of the most popular definitions of consumer behaviour is, – ” the study of individuals, groups, or organizations and the processes they use to select, secure, use, and dispose of products, services, experiences or ideas to satisfy needs, and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society” (Seifoullaeva 2004). Consumers’ main peculiarity is their constant efforts to find products that they would like to consume, which promises greater utility (Kardes, Cronley & Cline 2011). The customer is a very important component of the whole system of marketing management as customers are those who buy and evaluate products and services produced by an organization (Lamb et al. 2009). Marketers are to focus on their marketing strategies to come up with successful marketing campaigns. According to Ozimek, “one response is already visible in the form of a heightened awareness by suppliers of the need to engage with customers and to manage customer relationships” (2010, p.189). Rowley supports this important conclusion stating that a “new model which focuses on building relationships and creating communities” should be created (2001, p.26). These communities would improve the success of marketers on the reason of creating the advantageous climate of mutual trust between consumers and marketers.

Next, marketers should know and understand why people behave in a particular manner. If they do not understand this, it makes it hard to achieve a sustainable behaviour change. When one tries to give people information expecting them to react to this information, it is important to let people know about the benefits that they will derive from certain behaviours (Solomon, Zaichowsky, & Polegato 2010). Social marketing is a way of developing a community of like-minded consumers. Social marketing is not about promotion, but it is a discipline that includes economics, sociology, anthropology and psychology attempting to fully understand people. Once the understanding is gained, marketers develop services, products and messages which will provide the consumers with an exchange that will be valuable.

Conversely, there exist opinions that personal approach and the efforts by the marketers in establishing personal relationships with their customers may be evaluated as intrusive by them. The proponents of such ideas support their position by stating that some consumers admit that the efforts of marketers to encourage them to join particular consumer communities seem to be interference with their personal affairs and robbing them out of their personal space. Such customers prefer making their decisions on their own, and not to be advised by someone else from behind as they believe this to be affecting their way of thinking by “globally enslaving” ideas (Mehmetoglu 2011). Still, this supposition is many times denied by the facts and evidence which were found during a row of researches in the area (Mehmetoglu 2011). In particular, the majority of customers confess that they benefit greatly from being a part of the consumer community as they are offered what they need from the very beginning there, and, thus, do not have to spend much time making their choices (Siddiqui 2011). This happens as consumer communities are organized based on considering the preferences of particular social groups.

Further, the important maxim is that marketers can change consumers’ attitude by changing their beliefs. Marketers can also change the importance of rate of attributes so as to change the consumer behaviour. High involvement of marketers in product purchase provides promotion to the target market which is informative and extensive. A good advertisement provides the consumers with information they need when making the decision to purchase a product and it specifies the benefits and advantages of having the product. The low involvement of the consumers in products purchase tends not to recognize their need until the time they are in the store and therefore the marketers tend to provide the store promotion (East , Wright, & Vanhuele 2008). Marketers in store promotion tend to focus on the package design of a product so that it is eye catching to the consumer, and can be easily recognized when in the shelf. Marketers’ understanding of the perception of the consumer will help them to manipulate their buying choices. Another way of changing the behaviour of a consumer is exposure. A consumer may hear an advertisement of a certain product on TV, see it on a billboard, read about it on social networks and due to the exposure decide to buy the product and this is because exposure is a powerful element. Branding is a strategy that marketers use in differentiating their products from other similar ones. A product with a unique name, image and appearance will attract shoppers and they will be crowded in the market (Boone & Kruiz 2010). Marketers use strong brand identity because it affects the behaviour of the consumer by creating an emotional connection that reinforces buying habits. Marketers have different options when deciding on a branding strategy and one approach is to link the brand identity with the manufacturer of the product whereby is referred to as manufacturer branding and is used when the company is well known and is well regarded in the marketplace (Lantos 2011). Consumers associate reliability and quality with a certain name of a brand.

In conclusion, the examination of a variety of articles on changing customer behaviour reveals the importance of implementing new strategies in establishing a new level of relationship with the customers. Marketers should create different approaches enabling them to prove to any particular person that he/she will benefit from the service or product offered by the marketers (Mehmetoglu 2011). Despite the opinions that such an approach may be evaluated as intrusive by customers, it appears that building relationships with them is a sure way to success in any business.

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References

  1. Boone, L & Kruiz, D 2010, Contemporary Marketing Cengage Learning, Stamford.
  2. East, R. Wright, M & Vanhuele M 2008, Consumer behaviour: Application in marketing SAGE Publication, New York.
  3. Kardes, F, Cronley, M & Cline, T 2011, Consumer Behavior Cengage Learning, Stamford.
  4. Lamb, C. Hair, J & Mc Daniel, C 2009. Essentials of Marketing Cengage Learning, Stamford.
  5. Lantos, P.G 2011, Consumer Behavior in Action: Real-Life Application for Marketing Managers M.E. Sharpe, Inc, New York.
  6. Mehmetoglu, M 2011, “Model-based post hoc segmentation (with REBUS-PLS) for capturing heterogeneous consumer behaviour”, Journal of Targeting, Measurement and Analysis for Marketing (2011) 19, 165–172.
  7. Ozimek, J 2010, “The challenge of new marketing Issues”, Database Marketing & Customer Strategy Management, Vol. 17, 3/4, 188–200
  8. Seifoullaeva, E 2004. Consumer Behavior in Global Marketing, International Conference on Soft computing Applied in Computer and Economic Environment.
  9. Rowley, J.2001. “A New View on Marketing”, Nonprofit World, Vol. 19, No. 5, 26-28.
  10. Siddiqui, K. 2011. “Individual differences in Consumer Behaviour”, Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, Vol. 2, No. 11, 475–485.
  11. Solomon, M. Zaichowsky, J & Polegato R 2010, Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having, Being, Pearson, Upper Saddle River.

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