Let's have a refresh before continuing
Before we explore the buyer decision process it is prudent to have a brief refresh of the language and concepts that are embedded within the buyer decision process
Needs and wants
Needs are different to wants – needs are part of being human – whereas wants are the preferred direction to satisfy a need. For example, two or three motor cars may satisfy the consumer’s needs, however, the one that also best satisfies the consumer’s wants is the one that will be selected. Whilst needs are important wants often influence the decision.
Value is a preferred outcome
Although sometimes quality and value are used interchangebly they are different constructs. In the first time zone it is the searching and estimation of value – perceived value. Quality is what you get – whereas value is a preferred state or outcome. Evaluations are when consumers compare what they got with what they gave. As a preferred state and we employ the word value [in marketing] in 3 ways.
All purchases have a degree of involvement
Although all purchase decisions involve being involved it is clear that consumer/customer involvement varies and the degree of involvement will influence the consumer’s progress and effort through the buyer decision process.
Previously we discussed
Generally, consumers perceive products as having up to 8 qualities – qualities are what we get – but prior to purchase consumers estimate the likelihood and probability of actually receiving the qualities. When consumers undertake this estimation process they are considering the perceived risks – perceived costs [time money and effort] are also considered.
From a marketing practitioner’s perspective understanding and managing the buyer decision process, is central to marketing strategy and tactics and a key success factor in achieving organisational objectives.
After the completion of this module students should be able to demonstrate and understanding of the process that consumers undertake during the 3 time-zones of the buyer decision process and explain how the process influences the strategies and tactics of marketing practitioners and organisations. The buyer decision process has three distinct time zones: 1] Purchase behaviour, 2] Product delivery, 3] Post-purchase behaviour
As you may imagine customers behave differently in each time zone – based on preferences and ability and willingness to purchase.
Exploring the buyer decision process
One of the key differences between a selling philosophy and a marketing philosophy is that a marketing philosophy is based on understanding that to build a profitable exchange relationship with a customer – the customer must have recognised a need, have the resources to satisfy the need and make a decision that a particular product is the vehicle to ‘best satisfy’ the need [note the need and the want]. Therefore, the customers’ needs are central to an organisation that has adopted the marketing concept and is practicing a marketing philosophy. This means that the organisation recognises that it is not just about ‘making a sale’, although sales are crucial, it is also about delivering on promises and ensuring customer satisfaction.
The buyer decision process
This short video will provide an overview of this important concept.
[click on the image to access the activity]
The Activity: Ted goes shopping is employed to unpack the product selection process in the first time zone of the buyer decision process. In this activity Ted, a fictional character, is invited to the cricket, by a school friend, and has decided to purchase a hat. During this activity we continually change Ted’s situational factors to see how they effect and affect the decision-making process.
Strategic and tactical importance
- Strategically: the marketing practitioner needs to consider the buyer decision process and the transformation from consumer to customer – suspect > prospect > customer > repeat customer > advocate > evangelist – marketing practitioners refer to this as populating and managing the salespipeline.
- Tactically: staff must know their responsibilities and perform their roles to assist a consumer to enter the buying process and to advance along the salespipeline. As we can see, the tactical focus is particularly true for service personnel and salespeople who facilitate and support product selection and the product delivery process.
After completing the Activity: Ted goes shopping
Undertaking a costs-benefits-risks analysis
All products have qualities
How values interact
Costs are more than money
The COMP factors influences every aspect of the BDP
Estimating the risks is natural
- The product has an acceptable risk: the customer continues the product selection process [although they may still exit at a later stage or postpone the product selection process for a variety of reasons]
- The product has a questionable risk: the consumer may search further, undertake risk management strategies and then may conclude the risk is acceptable or unacceptable
- The product has an unacceptable risk: the consumer will conclude that the risks outweigh the benefits and exit the buyer decision process [although they may satisfy the unmet need with an alternative product]. Products that are evaluated as having unacceptable risk are generally excluded from the considered or evoked set.
Risks and the COMP factors
Consumer risk management strategies
Pre-purchase risks become post purchase qualities
Building a brand
Approach - avoid
Avoiding the consequences of running out of fuel.
In this activity: technology & the sales process – we explore how technology has changed the way people search for information, establish a considered set of products, & evaluate the value of alternatives.[clic
Ability & willingness to purchase
Ability & willingness to purchase
Familiarity with the organisation
The nature of the product influences the BDP
The nature of the product influences the communication process
This activity is employed to sensitise student that there are different market segments, that the progress through the buyer decision process differently, that decisions may be autocratic or syncretic, and there are more than the decision makers involved in the process.
In this activity in class we generally discover both syncretic and autocratic decision making and 5 types of decision making. 1] The initiator: a person[s] who identifies the product as a means to satisfying a need, 2] The influencer: a person[s] who encourages or discourages further consideration, 3] The decider: a person who has the final say regarding if/what/when/where/how a product will be purchased, 4] The purchaser: the person who completes the exchange, and 5] The user: the person[s] who consumes/uses the product – see if you can spot them in this slide