Reasons for Studying Consumer Behaviour The most important reason for studying consumer behaviour is the role that it plays in our lives. We spend a lot of time in shops and market places. We talk and discuss with friends about products and services and get lot of information from T. V. This influences our dailylives. Consumer decisions are affected by their behaviour. Therefore, consumer behaviour is said to be an applied discipline. This leads to the microperspective and societal perspective. Micro Perspective It involves understanding consumer for the purpose of helping a firm or organization to achieve its objectives. All the Managers in different departments are keen to understand the consumer. They may be Advertising Managers, Product Designers, Marketing and Sales Managers and so on. Societal Perspective is on the macro level. Consumers collectively influenced Economic and social conditions within a society. Consumers strongly influence what will be product, what resources will be used and it affects our standard of living. Management is the youngest of sciences and oldest of arts and consumer behaviour in management is a very young discipline. Various scholars and academicians concentrated on itat a much later stage. It was during the 1950s, that marketing concept developed, and thus theneed to study the behaviour of consumers was recognized. Marketing starts with the needs ofthe customer and ends with his satisfaction.
When everything revolves round
the customerthen the study of consumer behaviour becomes a necessity. It starts with buying of goods. Goods can be bought individually, or in groups. Goods can be bought under stress (to satisfy an immediate need), for comfort and luxury in small quantities or in bulk. For all this, exchange is required. This exchange is usually between the seller and the buyer. It can also be between consumers. To understand the likes and dislikes of the consumer, extensive consumer research studies are being conducted. These researches try to find out: What the consumer thinks of the company s products and those of its competitors? How can the product be improved in their opinion? How the customers use the product? What is the customer s attitude towards the product and its advertizing? What is the role of the customer in his family? The following key questions should be answered for consumer research. A market comes into existence because it fulfils the needs of the consumer. In this connection, a marketeer has to know the 70s framework for consumer research. Taking from an example of soap. Consumer behaviour is a complex, dynamic, multi-dimensional process, and all marketing decisions are based on assumptions about consumer behaviour. Marketing strategy is the game plan which the firms must adhere to, in order to outdo the competitor or the plans to achieve the desired objective.
In formulating the marketing strategy, to sell the product effectively, cost-benefit analysis must be undertaken. Role or importance of study of consumer behaviour can be explained with reference to the points stated as under: 1. 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. 2. 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. 3. 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. 4. 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. 5.
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. 6. 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. 7. 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. 8. 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. 9. Competition : 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. 10. 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. 11. 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. 12. 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. It is to be mentioned that the study of consumer behaviour is not only important for the current sales, but also helps in capturing the future market. Consumer behaviour assumes: Take care of consumer needs, the consumers, in return, will take care of your needs. Most of problems can be reasonably solved by the study of consumer behaviour. Modern marketing practice is almost impossible without the study of consumer behaviour.