Approach & Methodology
The Project Plan
What guides consumer behavior is a complex question to answer, and it requires a lot of research. In order to do so, this paper involves both, qualitative and quantitative research methods. For the quantitative research, a number of scholarly articles, government white papers, magazine articles and newspaper reports, and blogs will be referred, and for qualitative research, interviews emphasising the importance of blogs, advertisements and word-of-mouth as ‘ influencing agents’ will be addressed. Consumers today have the option to choose from a variety of products. Added to this are marketers who try to influence a consumer’s thought. In the face of such ‘ influences,’ consumers, faced with positive word of mouth information, are likely to be faced with the prospect of uncertainty as positive information is perceived as vogue. The reason for this is because positive attributes can be possessed by products that are of high, average, or low quality. On the other hand, negative information is perceived as diagnostic because it strongly suggests inferior performance. Thus, positive WOM creates more ambiguity for the consumer than does negative WOM (Bone, 1995). Word of Mouth that occurs during consumption can greatly influence product judgments. These effects have a strong bearing on products that are difficult for the consumers to judge or have credible attributes (Darby & Karni, 1973).
Our writers will create one from scratch for
This dissertation was intended to find out how marketers conducted research into consumer decision making process. The investigation looked at the feasibility of conducting such a research. The pertinent sources for collection of information were consumers, as the most important aspect of this research was the interview. An unbiased response to the dissertation was obtained by asking respondents intelligent questions. List of issues addressed or questions asked for the research were devised using an interview guide. This was generated from existing literature and discussions with colleagues. The formulation of the questions were specific so as to not mislead or manipulate answers, as the focus was to obtain an unbiased response to questions from respondents. The questions followed a logical sequence of ‘ order- structure – value’, to extract important information.
In order to evaluate consumer behavior, the research, based on phenomenological inquiry, looked to collect data by interviewing people who had experience in guidance in their buying behavior. For the interview, interviewees were given verbal and written information on the research process and allowed to ask questions before signing their consent. The interview covered a number of broad and specific questions, and then they were asked to define their perspectives in relation to those stakeholders. The interview showed that word-of-mouth influenced most consumers, as they constantly sought information from friends, family members, colleagues and business associates on products of choice. Blogs didn’t fare badly either, because blogs were able to create relationships between organizations and consumers.
Long Term Evaluation/Conclusion
Word-of-mouth can influence consumer decision-making in a big way. Marketers need to understand the requirements of their customers and plan their marketing strategy accordingly. A person’s attitude, emotion, opinion, expectation, fear, and hope, are the very things that drive word-of-mouth. A consumer has a lot of expectations from a product he/she plans to buy, and will hesitate to buy the product unless they ascertain its advantages and disadvantages. This means that consumers look at alternatives. Knowledgeable consumers are rational buyers; they need very little research to make a purchase. The less knowledgeable consumers were mostly affected by ‘ influences’ leashed by marketers. Advertisements that promised extraordinary benefits were successful in ‘ luring’ certain level of consumers. This made selling quite easy. Incentives and discounted rates influenced consumers. Cognitive groups alone had the wherewithal to demonstrate independent thinking. Many consumers were caught off guard by external factors that influenced their purchase behaviour. Consumers are influenced by a lot of external and internal factors. Advertisements also contribute to a consumer’s decision-making. Word-of-mouth is perhaps the most influential factor that has a positive and negative effect on consumer decision-making. On a positive note, advertising companies can initiate sales through word-of-mouth, and this can be initiated through advertisements that capture a consumer’s imagination and intrigue through characterization and phrases that become a part of one’s everyday vernacular.
Bone, P. (1995). Word-of-mouth effects on short-term and long-term product judgments. Journal of Business Research, 32(3), 213-223. doi: 10. 1016/0148-2963(94)00047-i
Darby, M., & Karni, E. (1973). Free Competition and the Optimal Amount of Fraud. The Journal of Law and Economics, 16(1), 67. doi: 10. 1086/466756
Engel, J., Blackwell, R., & Miniard, P. (1993). Consumer behavior. Chicago: The Dryden Press.
Robson, C. (2002). Real world research. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers.
Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2003). Research methods for business students. Harlow, England: Prentice Hall.
Schiffman, L., & Kanuk, L. (2000). Consumer behavior. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall.