Objective 4

Describe the adoption and diffusion process for new products.

Author I Despite the simple-Comment | looking model in Figure 5.1, understanding the whys of buying behavior is very difficult. Says one expert, "the mind is a whirling, swirling, jumbled mass of neurons ^bouncing around . . ."

Model of Consumer Behavior (P i6o>

Consumers make many buying decisions every day, and the buying decision is the focal point of the marketer's effort. Most large companies research consumer buying decisions in great detail to answer questions about what consumers buy, where they buy, how and how much they buy, when they buy, and why they buy. Marketers can study actual consumer purchases to find out what they buy, where, and how much. But learning about the whys of consumer buying behavior is not so easy—the answers are often locked deep within the consumer's mind.

Often, consumers themselves don't know exactly what influences their purchases. "The human mind doesn't work in a linear way," says one marketing expert. "The idea that the mind is a computer with storage compartments where brands or logos or recognizable packages are stored in clearly marked folders that can be accessed by cleverly written ads or commercials simply doesn't exist. Instead, the mind is a whirling, swirling, jumbled mass of neurons bouncing around, colliding and continuously creating new concepts and thoughts and relationships inside every single person's brain all over the world."3

The central question for marketers is: How do consumers respond to various marketing efforts the company might use? The starting point is the stimulus-response model of buyer behavior shown in 0} Figure 5.1. This figure shows that marketing and other stimuli enter the consumer's "black box" and produce certain responses. Marketers must figure out what is in the buyer's black box.

Marketing stimuli consist of the Four Ps: product, price, place, and promotion. Other stimuli include major forces and events in the buyer's environment: economic, technological, political, and cultural. All these inputs enter the buyer's black box, where they are turned into a set of observable buyer responses: the buyer's brand and company relationship behavior and what he or she buys, when, where, and how often.

The marketer wants to understand how the stimuli are changed into responses inside the consumer's black box, which has two parts. First, the buyér's characteristics influence how he or she perceives and reacts to the stimuli. Second, the buyer's decision process itself affects the buyer's behavior. We look first at buyer characteristics as they affect buyer behavior and then discuss the buyer decision process.

Author I Many, many levels of Comment | factors affect our buying behavior—from broad cultural and social influences to motivations, beliefs, and attitudes lying deep within us. For example, why did you buy that specific cell phone?

Culture

The set of basic values, perceptions, wants, and behaviors learned by a member of society from family and other important institutions.

Subculture

A group of people with shared value systems based on common life experiences and situations.

We can measure the Inputs to consumer buying decisions—for example, Apple introduces a new ¡Touch device and features it in TV ads. And we can often measure the outputs of consumer buying decisions. For example, 20,000 customers buy the new Apple device at the company's Web site within a week of introduction.

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