Need for studying consumer Behavior
- Consumer Differentiation:
Market exhibits considerable differentiations. Each segment needs and wants different products. For every segment, a separate marketing programme is needed. Knowledge of consumer differentiation is a key to fit marking offers with different groups of buyers. Consumer behaviour study supplies the details about consumer differentiations.
- Creation and Retention of Consumers:
Marketers who base their offerings on a recognition of consumer needs find a ready market for their products. Company finds it easy to sell its products. In the same way, the company, due to continuous study of consumer behaviour and attempts to meet changing expectations of the buyers, can retain its consumers for a long period.
Consumer behaviour study assists in facing competition, too. Based on consumers’ expectations, more competitive advantages can be offered. It is useful in improving competitive strengths of the company.
- Developing New Products:
New product is developed in respect of needs and wants of the target market. In order to develop the best-fit product, a marketer must know adequately about the market. Thus, the study of consumer behaviour is the base for developing a new product successfully.
- Dynamic Nature of Market:
Consumer behaviour focuses on dynamic nature of the market. It helps the manager to be dynamic, alert, and active in satisfying consumers better and sooner than competitors. Consumer behaviour is indispensable to watch movements of the markets.
- Effective Use of Productive Resources:
The study of consumer behaviour assists the manager to make the organisational efforts consumer-oriented. It ensures an exact use of resources for achieving maximum efficiency. Each unit of resources can contribute maximum to objectives.
7. Modern Philosophy:
It concerns with modern marketing philosophy – identify consumers’ needs and satisfy them more effectively than competitors. It makes marketing consumer-oriented. It is the key to succeed.
8. Achievement of Goals:
The key to a company’s survival, profitability, and growth in a highly competitive marketing environment is its ability to identify and satisfy unfulfilled consumer needs better and sooner than the competitors. Thus, consumer behaviour helps in achieving marketing goals.
9. Useful for Dealers and Salesmen:
The study of consumer behaviour is not useful for the company alone. Knowledge of consumer behaviour is equally useful for middlemen and salesmen to perform their tasks effectively in meeting consumers needs and wants successfully. Consumer behaviour, thus, improves performance of the entire distribution system.
10. More Relevant Marketing Programme:
Marketing programme, consisting of product, price, promotion, and distribution decisions, can be prepared more objectively. The programme can be more relevant if it is based on the study of consumer behaviour. Meaningful marketing programme is instrumental in realizing marketing goals.
11. Adjusting Marketing Programme over Time:
Consumer behaviour studies the consumer response pattern on a continuous basis. So, a marketer can easily come to know the changes taking place in the market. Based on the current market trend, the marketer can make necessary changes in marketing programme to adjust with the market.
12. Predicting Market Trend:
Consumer behaviour can also aid in projecting the future market trends. Marketer finds enough time to prepare for exploiting the emerging opportunities, and/or facing challenges and threats.
(A) A second application is public policy. In the 1980’s, Accutane, a near miracle cure for acne, was introduced. Unfortunately, Accutane resulted in severe birth defects if taken by pregnant women. Although physicians were instructed to warn their female patients of this, a number still became sufferer while taking the drug. To get consumer’s attention, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) took the step of requiring that very graphic pictures of deformed babies be shown on the medicine containers.
(B) Social marketing involves getting ideas across to consumers rather than selling something. Marty Fishbein, a marketing professor, went on sabbatical to work for the Centers for Disease Control trying to reduce the incidence of transmission of diseases through illegal drug use. The best solution, obviously, would be if we could get illegal drug users to stop.
This, however, was deemed to be infeasible. It was also determined that the practice of sharing needles was too ingrained in the drug culture to be stopped. As a result, using knowledge of consumer attitudes, Dr. Fishbein created a campaign that encouraged the cleaning of needles in bleach before sharing them, a goal that was believed to be more realistic.
(C) As a final benefit, studying consumer behaviour should make us better consumers. Common sense suggests, for example, that if you buy a 64 liquid ounce bottle of laundry detergent, you should pay less per ounce than if you bought two 32 ounce bottles. In practice, however, you often pay a size premium by buying the larger quantity.
In other words, in this case, knowing this fact will sensitize you to the need to check the unit cost labels to determine if you are really getting a bargain. There are several units in the market that can be analyzed. Our main thrust in this course is the consumer. However, we will also need to analyze our own firm’s strengths and weaknesses and those of competing firms. Suppose, for example, that we make a product aimed at older consumers, a growing segment.
A competing firm that targets babies, a shrinking market, is likely to consider repositioning toward our market. To assess a competing firm’s potential threat, we need to examine its assets (e.g. technology, patients, market knowledge, awareness of its brands) against pressures it faces from the market. Finally, we need to assess conditions (the marketing environment). For example, although we may have developed a product that offers great appeal for consumers, a recession may cut demand dramatically.
(D) The most obvious is for marketing strategy—i.e., for making better marketing campaigns. For example, by understanding that consumers are more receptive to food advertising when they are hungry, we learn to schedule snack advertisements late in the afternoon.
By understanding that new products are usually initially adopted by a few consumers and only spread later, and then only gradually, to the rest of the population, we conclude that:
- It is important to please initial customers, since they will in turn influence many subsequent customer’s brand choices.
- Companies that introduce new products must be well financed so that they can stay afloat until their products become a commercial success.