The Psychology of Marketing
The Psychology of Marketing
The success of a business does not rely only on the quality of products or services that the company offer to the market. Even though the company provides the best product or service that the customer may avail, the success of the marketers will still be based on how the company execute their marketing plans. Apparently, the strategic plans do not refer merely to the supply chain management and marketing mix. The marketers need to consider the possible impact of the products, advertisements, and competitors in penetrating the market. Since the marketplace is a wide area where the marketers, customers, and even competitors meet, it is necessary for the marketers to understand the important factors that may help the product to stay and grow in the market.
Psychology in Consumers Behavior
One of the most challenging parts of being a marketer is understanding the reasons of the consumers in preferring and buying the product in the store shelf. Consumer behavior refers to the disposal or use of the products and the study of how these products are purchased. Consumers purchase a certain product because of many factors which should be taken into consideration. The knowledge and strong understanding about the factors that affect the decision making of the consumers would help the marketers to reach the anticipated level of success. Apparently, the factors that affect the consumers are extremely complex making the marketers think of new concepts in order to persuade different kinds of people in different locations to buy only one brand of product in the market.
There are many reasons why people purchase the products in the market. Basically, they buy some products because those are part of their needs while some purchase the products for luxury alone. Regardless of the reasons of the consumers in buying the product, the target of the marketers is always to create awareness and sell the products to the target markets. The marketers should always remember that people buy a certain product to satisfy the needs which could be another complicated term for the company who would like to penetrate the market. There are three factors that may affect the behavior of the consumers in buying the product, the internal, the external, and the marketing. Internal factors refer to the knowledge, attitude, and perceptions of the consumers toward the product, personality and lifestyle of the buyer, and roles and involvement of the customers to the purchase. On the other hand, the external factors includes the culture, situation, and groups where the consumers belong. Lastly, the marketing mix also plays very important part in the decision making of the customers. The last factor refers to the quality of product and service, affordability of price, and effectiveness of the promotion to the target market (KnowThis.com).
The marketers may not be able to force the consumers to buy their product in the market; however the strong brand recall through word of mouth and exposure to media may help the company to establish the brand name to the consumers (Perner 2008). This is one of the reasons why most of the products in the market are being advertised on television with jingle or catchy taglines. The marketers need to gain the brand recognition from the target market of the product. The companies, especially those that are distributing the product internationally set strategic marketing plans and thoroughly study the cultures and beliefs of the people in different country.
A company that will develop a product in the market sets a unique selling proposition and create a persuasive campaign not only to fight the brand rivalry in the marketplace but also to convince the consumers that their product will be suitable for them. The advertisement may create awareness among the market and form a perception about the product. Once the consumer recognizes the product in the store shelf, the actual purchase may still be based on the stored knowledge, level of involvement, perception toward the brand, and the impact of advertising to the consumer. In other words, the process of purchasing does not start only when the customer enters the retail store because the psychological aspects of the consumers still determine their decision if they will purchase the product or not.
The psychological influences in consumers’ behavior can easily be recognized; however, the activities that should be done by the marketers sometimes lack the ability to persuade the customers to purchase the product. Motivation is the psychological concept that could help the marketers to improve the plan for developing and promoting the product in the marketplace.
Motivation energizes force that stimulates consumer’s behavior to satisfy the need. Since satisfying the needs of the consumers is the primary concept of the marketers, the manufacturers try to arouse these needs.
An individual needs are boundless. People have physiological needs for basics such as water, food, and shelter. They also have learned needs, including esteem, achievement, and affection. Physiologists point out that these needs are hierarchal: that is, once physiological needs are met, people seek to satisfy their learned needs (Kerin et al, 105).
Physiological needs must be satisfied first because these are the needs that are basic for survival. In this aspect, the fast food chains portray mouth watering foods on their television advertisements to answer the physiological needs of every individual. Safety needs involve physical well being and self-preservation. This is the reason why most of the manufacturers that produce fire extinguishers or smoke detectors focus on this need in every commercial that they release in the market. Love, belonging, and friendship are the social needs that are also considered as basic for the people which give the marketers opportunity to offer new products that will make the customers look prettier and attractive. The apparel and fragrance industries focus on these needs. The need for achievement prestige and status is the unique selling proposition of the marketers that venture on education, and other field that will improve the social status of the person. Self-actualization needs refer to the personal fulfillment of an individual which has been the target of the real estate industry.
Another factor that stimulates the behavior of the consumers in purchasing is the attitude toward the certain product. Since the attitude is the enduring opinion based on a combination of feeling, behavioral tendency, and knowledge, it may act as a catalyst or an obstacle in bringing the product to the consumer (Longenecker et al 299). A customer who believe that the burger in McDonalds is better than the one in Burger King may not easily be influenced with a simple publicity of BK. An appealing advertisement and intelligent approach will be the only factors that may change the attitude of the customer toward the product.
The perception of the customers on the quality of the product or the nature of the product may influence their decision making. The perceptions that are already on the consumers’ mind even before the marketers take an action to persuade them may hinder the plan of the company to convince the people to buy the product. Even though the company reduce the prices of the products, it may not affect the attitude of the customers if they have already perceived the food products as unhealthy or apparel products as out of style.
Perception is a two sided coin. It depends on the characteristics of both the stimuli through perceptual categorization, a process by which things that are similar are perceived as belonging together. Therefore, if a small business wishes to position its product alongside an existing brand and have it accepted as comparable, the marketing mix should reflect an awareness of perceptual categorization. Similar quality can be communicated through similar prices o through a package design with a color scheme similar to that of existing brand (Longernecker et al, 300).
Some business firms that are just starting to establish a position in the marketplace use existing brand names to retain the awareness and loyalty of the consumers. However, the consumers that have already established a good relationship with a certain brand cannot easily be targeted by new companies that are planning to penetrate the same industry.
The Relationship between Psychology and Marketing
Undeniably, psychology plays a very important role in the success of the products as well as the marketers in the market. Most of the marketers fail in the trade industry regardless of the quality products and services that they offer to the market due to their lack of ability to distinguish the factors that affect the behavior of the consumers. From manufacturing of the product to the actual purchase of the consumers, the company holds the responsibility of studying the effective and ineffective approaches to stimulate the behavior of the customers. Aside from the persuasive packaging of the product, the company pays big budget to advertise it to the public. Since the attitudes of the people are being influence by what they see, hear, and feel, the marketers give the customers all the information that they need in order to purchase the product in the market (O’Shaughnessy 134).
In marketing, the business firms should understand not only how to gain profit and expand the business, they also need to understand the wants and needs of the people in order to reach the high level of success in the marketplace. People may buy the perfume but they are not after the aroma. This may be a manifestation that customers are buying romance and not the scent itself (SFGate). Studying the behavior and attitude of the consumers is the key to success of any marketer who would like to penetrate the market. Moreover, this will serve as the guide of the marketers in developing more products and answering the demands of their loyal customers.
Consumer Buying Behavior. 2009. KnowThis.com. 26 February 2009 < http://www.knowthis.com/tutorials/principles-of-marketing/consumer-buying-behavior/what-influences-purchasing.htm>
Kerin, Roger. Hartley. William. & Rudelius, William. Marketing: The Core. New York: McGraw Hill Professional, 2003
O’Shaughnessy, John. Explaining Buying Behavior. New York: Oxford University Press US, 1992
Perner., Lars. 2008. Consumer Behavior: The Psychology of Marketing. 26 February 2009. < http://www.consumerpsychologist.com/>
Small Business. 2009. SFGate. 26 February 2009 < http://allbusiness.sfgate.com/marketing-advertising/1976-1.html>