An aroused consumer may or may not search for more information. If the consumer's drive is strong and a satisfying product is near at hand, the consumer is likely to buy it then. If not, the consumer may simply store the need in memory or undertake an information search related to the need.
At one level, the consumer may simply enter heightened attention. Here Anna becomes more receptive to information about cameras. She pays attention to camera ads, cameras used by friends and camera conversations. Or Anna may go into active information search, in which she looks for reading material, phones friends and gathers information in other ways. The amount of searching she does will depend upon the strength of her drive, the amount of information she starts with, the ease of obtaining more information, the value she places on additional information and the satisfaction she gets from searching. Normally the amount of consumer search activity increases as the eonsumer moves from decisions that involve limited problem solving to those that involve extensive problem solving.
The consumer can obtain information from any of several sources:
• Personal sources: family, friends, neighbours, acquaintances.
• Commercial sources: advertising, salespeople, dealers, packaging, displays.
• Public sources: mass media, consumer-rating organizations.
• Experiential sources: handling, examining, using the product.
The relative influence of these information sources varies with the product and the buyer. Generally, the consumer receives the most information about a product from commercial sources - those controlled by the marketer. The most effective sources, however, tend to be personal. Personal sources appear to be even more important in influencing the purchase of services.32 Commercial sources normally inform the buyer, but personal sources legitimize or evaluate products for the buyer. For example, doctors normally learn of new drugs from commercial sources, but turn to other doctors for evaluative information.
As more information is obtained, the consumer's awareness and knowledge of the available brands and features increases. In her information search, Anna learned about the many camera brands available. The information also helped her drop certain brands from consideration. A company must design its marketing mix to make prospects aware of and knowledgeable about its brand. If it fails to do this, the company has lost its opportunity to sell to the customer. The company must also learn which other brands customers consider so that it knows its competition and can plan its own appeals.
The marketer should identify consumers' sources of information and the importance of each source. Consumers should be asked how they first heard about the brand, what information they received and the importance they place on different information sources.
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As with any web site, SaleHoo has a number of features that will help you in buying products from around the world. Once you have an account on SaleHoo, which only costs a one-time fee, you can establish up to twenty named searches for products. After that, any time those items become available, you’ll be alerted.