B629 week four: Understanding and influencing customer behaviour

The title of this chapter held much promise for someone like myself, who has a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit. My expectations were set very high by a title like that, and I must confess to being a little disappointed by the chapter itself – but there was some pretty good learning in there nonetheless.

The chapter kicked off by looking at the decision making process, beginning with recognising a problem and ending with coming to terms with a purchasing decision. I learnt a great term: Post-purchase dissonance. We all experience it as part of a decision-making process that goes like this:

  • Problem recognition
  • Information search
  • Information evaluation
  • Decision
  • Post-purchase dissonance

The chapter then went on to look at influences on customer behaviour, including personal, situational, psychological, and social influences.

It then went on to look at the organisational buying process, illustrating how the process is more complex, usually involving higher value purchases. Organisational buying behaviour has three main features:

  • Rational reasons for purchase
  • The need to justify
  • Limited choice

There are also different types of purchasing decisions within organisation buying process:

  • The re-buy
  • Modified re-buy
  • New task

When the chapter finally came to changing people’s behaviour, it described how attempts to change an individual’s behaviour is complex and complicated by a variety of external and internal influences. The behavioural ecology model was considered at this point.

Wrapping up the chapter was a look at who constraints and encourages customer behaviour. It is helpful to distinguish a number of different, influential roles that people or organisations play:

  • Initiator
  • Decision-maker
  • Purchaser
  • End-user

It also looked at the idea of the influencer and the gatekeeper.

So, an interesting chapter, but not quite as interesting as its title suggested!

(Source: B629, Understanding marketing and financial information).

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