The Consumer Decision-Making Process as it relates to a Consumer whose Mobile Phone Contract is due for Renewal
Module leader: Caroline Wilson Module Code: 4BUS1010Word Count: 2023
Over the past 15 years there has been an evolving segment inside the electronic appliances and technological linked markets, such as mobile phones, laptops and tablets.
These products are targeted to youngsters through innovative designs and marketing strategies. In order to understand the consumer’s behaviour, marketers should understand the criteria buyers are using to make their decision, enabling the business to compete successfully in the market. After establishing the consumer’s behaviour, marketers can formulate marketing strategies to promote their product, ensuring consumers choose your product over competitors.
The process analysis approach is applied to a male self-employed tradesman, aged 30 living in East London, who travels around the country and needs to stay in constant contact with other clients, work associates as well as his family.
Whilst travelling by train or he spends time checking emails, watching the news, reading books and playing games on his mobile.
Whilst driving he receives phone calls but also uses his mobile as a sat nav. Entertainment is important as well as functionality to him than price.
This report will look into the characteristics that affect consumer’s behaviour and their decision-making development to renew a mobile phone contract. The information has been gathered by analysing the Components of the Decision-Making process emphasizing the marketing associations of this, in order to propose relevant marketing strategies to be used throughout the market segment.
The Characteristics that Affect Consumer Behaviour
Psychological Factor- His choices are influenced by psychological factors; Motivation, Perception, Learning, Beliefs and attitudes are some of characteristics of this specific customer.
Personal Factor- the consumer’s decisions are also based by personal characteristics such as age, life style, personality and self-concept.
The want of a new mobile phone ultimately grew inside the buyer, as an opportunity of renewing his contract showed up, especially as he saw the tendency towards mobile phones, the convenience of its multi functions, the new models being used by his clients and the need to present a professional modern appearance. He was unconsciously attentive that he wished for one, but the want was more fanciful which stemmed from his personal lifestyle.
The goods of his aspiring group as well as self satisfaction became his desire to buy a new mobile or to just renew his contract, finally to become part of them in terms, like a pacesetter.
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The want was not viewed as necessity but a font of self-satisfaction for himself as he was doing his best to achieve his time goal, his objective. Therefore there is a renewal of contract to think about it, he is not concerned about the costs of a contract but a well-known brand new phone, which is known to as many people as possible as well as the great features, which reflects its qualities.
Across the purchase decision, the ‘hidden’ started to change the consumer’s beliefs in regards to necessity. Eventually a contract renewal becomes important and the significance of having a mobile phone even more so.
His initial principle is whether his aspired group has an item that will help him enhance his self-appearance. To become part of them, he must also purchase that item, resulting in him renewing his mobile contract. Therefore his need for a well-known brand is more important than any other product.
The examination shows that his attitudes of being materialistic and having possession over advanced and expensive products will help him to enhance his image, someone to ‘be seen with’ status. Consequently any items or brand with a low sell price are considered to be worthless and of low quality. However sale products on expensive brands are just considered to be a valuable bargain and are acceptable in his point of view. Considering the popularity of the brand it is justifiable to say he trusts on advice for support that he is reaching the best brand available within his capability, but essentially his choices governs the acquisition.
The procedure shows that his decision to buy is massively influenced by the adopters of his aspiring unit. His desire for an item drives him to purchase an item is he feels that he is missing the fashion. It is really important for him to acquire the best product, as it will give him the status he hopes to gain in life and considers such gadgets to be of great magnitude.
The Types of Consumer Buying Decisions
In Regards to complex consumer behaviour, the buyer has a high involvement with the purchase when observing a considerable difference between brands. This behaviour usually occurs when the product is uncommonly purchased, expensive or risky. The buyer might not know a variety of terms associated with the item such as “megs of RAM” and “megapixels”. This consumer acquires his purchase after increasing attitudes and belief s about the consequences of a contract renewal benefit.
Renewing his contract to acquire a new mobile phone, the buying behaviour of this particular customer is Complex as high involvement and substantial difference between brands occurs. The characters affecting consumer behaviour in this item are mainly personal as buying a mobile phone represents the personality, status and economic stability is significant.
As you can note below shows a range of other products that might also warrant this same particular consumer within regards the buyer behaviour decisions and the characteristics that affect his behaviour.
Music System: Buying a music system the buyer behaviour of this consumer is Complex as a high involvement and substantial difference among brands persist. The Characteristics that would probably affect his behaviour in this item are psychological as well as personal as acquiring a music system shows personality, economic stability and also Attitudes and Beliefs are considered.
Car: Characteristics that would influence consumer behaviour in obtaining a car involves Personal, and Psychological Elements, Beliefs as well as family members strongly Influence on a purchase decision. A Complex buying Behaviour is seen here.
The Components of the Decision-Making Process
The decision making process is an important segment of buying behaviour. This assessment process can be distributed into five phases:
- Problem Recognition: The old mobile has been used for 2 years; it is well used, out of fashion and occasionally does not work properly, after a few hours of usage it switches off, the screen freezes when using different applications at the same time and also the outlook of the handset is very dirty. It is time to get a new mobile. When he decides to renew the mobile contract he needs to list out the specifications of the handset as brand, price and outlook, which will represent his style and taste as well.
As soon as he has the priority criteria of what product he is looking for, he needs to research, in order to find out what handset suits him better.(Neal, C.199) There are a several sources which he could look at, such as:
- Personal Sources- It is where he will ask friends and family for suggestions, whether they have a handset that matches the same specifications he desires.(Rice, C. 1993)
- Experimental Sources- It is an option of using the mobile in one of the Network’s store, which offers him the contract renewal. A trial experience may convince him about what handset to choose for?
- Commercial Sources- It involves advertisement, retailer and promotion. The information from commercial sources such as TV advertisement and magazines are precise and reliable. When he has a question, he might find it useful to ask a retailer. The retailer will answer any question, explaining specific terms that he might not understand.
Evaluation of Alternatives
Once he found the necessary information to select the right handset, he needs to value which mobile match his expectations and specification.
Table 1: Mobiles Preferred
Table 2: Evaluations
The best alternative, considering the 3 best products evaluated is the Samsung Galaxy S4, as it obtained the best score.
Purchase Decision: This phase is when he actually buys the handset. It is the period when the buyer decides whether to purchase a cost-effective good or a valuable good. Once there are no unpredicted aspects that arise when he is about to make a decision, such as bad service from the seller or the handset it is out of stock, then he will definitely buy the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Post-Purchase Evaluation: The Decision Process will not finish after the purchase. At that moment the consumer will make a perception about the brand built on approval or disapproval. He will be able to do that as soon as he makes use of the handset and test its specifications. When there is disapproval from the consumer, he may rethink the process and find his errors.
The mobile phone industry is extremely competitive. In order to maintain its competitiveness and enhance customer satisfaction, marketers need to focus on marketing strategies, selecting and analysing target customers or markets, creating an appropriate marketing mix to satisfy the needs and wants of those target markets. (Ferrel, O.,1999)
Product- When mobile companies launch a product in to the market, research should be carried out in other to identify the customer’s needs and wants. This research should then be analysed to ensure the business create a value for the product.
Price- It is the most crucial element of marketing mix as it means sales revenue for the business and all the elements of marketing mix. (Jobber,D. 2004) It is important to have a methodology price where the company can match customer’s perception of the value based on the benefits of the specific product. Flexibility on price strategy is essential and it occurs when companies use pricing adjustments such as Discounting Pricing, Penetration Pricing, Economy Pricing and Premium Pricing.
- Promotional mix- Aggressive publicity may accelerate sales. A company might generate their sales through attracting all types of customers by different segmentation based on age, sex, race, and lifestyle. Nowadays, there are a wide range of different promotions such as Advertising, Internet, Personal selling sales promotional and Direct marketing. Considering this specific customer as a target, Advertising along with Personal selling would be vital as he seems to be influenced by his aspiring group as well as by means of television, the press and suggestions from friends and family.(Jobber, D. 2006: 498)
- Place- A successful company should choose the right place of distribution channels, location outlets, methods of transportation to make sure that products are available to the consumer at anytime, anywhere. Internet sales and multiple store would easily enhance the volume of sales.
In order to develop an excellent marketing strategy it is essential to understand the market as whole in advance. There are a variety of types of consumers based in education, age, tastes, lifestyle, income and a wide range of factors and characteristics, which affect a certain customer’s decision process. Organizations need to consider every stage of this process within regards to perception to acquire a powerful superiority in the industry nowadays. The knowledge of all aspects, the external and internal influences affecting the consumer may help firms to improve or adapt their marketing strategies appropriately. An understanding of the topic above examined concerns such as the traits of consumer decision process and how perception affect consumers the most at each phase is crucial when designing a marketing strategy.
Factors; Social Factors, Personal, Psychological and Cultural stimulate the Consumer Behaviour. When a Consumer is making a decision, they are continually induced by those factors. Marketers need to consider these in order to keep a strong edge.
Target market requires to be wisely selected before any publicity about products and services. This method the focus market is more expected to emphasize it as they have a curiosity in the services and products as well as a superior probability that the consumer deduces the message as it was expected from the marketing perspective.
Armostrong, G (2012). Marketing An Introduction. 2nd ed. LONDON: pearson. p25-103.
Ferrel, O (1999). Marketing Strategy. Harcourt Brace.
Jobber, D (2004). Principles and Practices of Marketing. 4th ed. LONDON: McGraw-Hill. p375.Neal, C (1999). Consumer Behaviour: Implications for Marketing Strategy,. 4th ed. Australia: p04.
Rice, C (1993). Consumer behavior: Behavioral Aspects of Marketing. Singapore: Butterworth-Heinemann. p234.