Consumer decision making and promotion/marketing strategies


The purpose behind much of advertising is to influence each of the five Consumer Decision Making process (Problem Recognition, Information Search, Evaluation of Alternatives, Product Choice (i.e. Purchase) and Outcomes (i.e. Postpurchase). Each stage of the Consumer Decision Making process has techniques that help consumers to manage the stage and then move onto the next one successfully.  Eventually, the consumer moves to purchase (where we get excited to make the sale) but don’t underestimate how important the last stage (post purchase) is to making additional sales in the future.  Below are guidelines that show basic techniques used to target and manipulate each Consumer Decision Stage through advertising.

Below are some issues that you will want to consider as you evaluate each of the five chosen  advertisements. Please remember that your goal is not simply to answer these questions, but to provide insights into the consumer’s decision making process that you feel would be useful to a marketing manager (e.g., if an ad triggered the consumer’s decision to purchase the product).  Other areas to comment on would be level of involvement, etc.

Consumer Decision Making Stage:

Considerations for Stage:

Common Ad Techniques:

Problem Recognition

  • What problems does this product solve for the consumer?   • What triggered the decision to purchase this product? • Was this the first time the consumer purchased such a product?  
  • Define and discern the Actual and Desired States
  • Ask a question (What’s for dinner tonight?)
  • Show before (actual state) and after (desired state)
  • Use the word “new” or “introducing” to initiate curiosity.

Information Search

• Did the consumer seek information about the product and about various brands?  How was this information collected, and how much information was collected?   • Was the consumer searching for any advertisements for the product?  What was the consumer’s reaction to these advertisements?  

  • Match amount of information with type of product.
  • Direct consumers to website, free kit or other information venues.
  • Show role models that “look” like the target market.
  • Show the entire line of product offerings (all the flavors and colors, etc.)
  • Testimonials, etc.

Evaluation of Alternatives

• How many alternatives were considered?  How were they selected? • What features and characteristics of the product were most important to the consumer?  Salient and Determinant defined attributes.
• How important was the brand of the product to the consumer?

  • Featuring specific variables that the product is known for (ex. Volvo=Safety). This is known as “positioning” a product.
  • Competitive method (brand compares themselves to “leading brand or category”)
  • Comparative method (brand compares themselves to another brand by name (Coke vs. Pepsi)

Product Choice

• Did any other people play a role in the decision process?  Describe the roles that each person played.
• How was the final choice determined?  How carefully was the decision made?
• Where did the consumer make the purchase?  Why? • Did the consumer pay full price for the product?  

  • Tell consumers where and how the product is sold.
  • Offer many ways to pay for the product.
  • Divide payments.
  • Offer sales promotion (coupons, rebates)

Post-Purchase Evaluation

• How is the product used and consumed?  How does the consumer feel when he or she uses the product?
• What is the meaning of this product to the consumer?  

Does it merely
serve a function for the consumer, or does it say something about who the consumer is?

Does the Ad encourage repeat purchase or loyalty to the brand- how?

  • Show awards the brand has won.
  • Show how a brand should be consumed.
  • Allow consumers many ways to return the product.
  • Allow consumers to easily provide feedback.
  • Reward consumers loyalty

This assignment asks you to find one ad that addresses each of the needs of the five stages (in other words five different ads). This means that there must be five different ads for the total project, one for each stage (all ads are different from one another).  Create a Power Point Presentation that shows how the advertiser is addressing the needs of the consumer for the specific Consumer Decision Making stage.

*Be aware that there is a helpful power point demonstration in a conference opened this week marked as “Advertising and the Consumer Decision Process (Ad Examples)”.  This is informative only and does not need to be commented on.

First, show the ad in a slide and then follow-up with a slide which explains (bullet form) why the ad slide targets the Consumer Decision Making process stage. ALL ADS MUST BE STILL ADS (NO VIDEOS or LINKS).  Therefore the ad MUST be able to be copied and pasted within the power point slide (NO LINKS).  Here is the format of the presentation:

Slide 1: Name, date

Slide 2: Problem Recognition Ad

Slide 3: Explanation why it addresses this stage

Slide 4: Information Search Ad

Slide 5: Explanation why it addresses this stage

Slide 6: Evaluation of Alternatives Ad

Slide 7: Explanation why it addresses this stage

Slide 8: Product Choice (Purchase) Ad

Slide 9: Explanation why it addresses this stage

Slide 10: Outcomes (Postpurchase) Ad

Slide 11: Explanation why it addresses this stage

Slide 12: Conclusion

In the conclusion of the slide presentation choose which ad is most effective (overall) and why.

Logistics Run Down:

-No more than 18 slides in length  (includes cover page and bibliography)

-Include a cover page and bibliography of sources. Outside sources (esp. learning resources from weeks covered) are encouraged to be cited and used.

-Organize and utilize the headings given above.

-No more than 2 grammatical/spelling errors are allowed (please proof before submitting).

-Text is required to be in Times Roman, using 14-18 pt font, double space the text.  Do not choose distracting PP backgrounds that take away from the presentation of material.  Use bullet format for analysis.  

– Keep voice in business third person. Do not include visuals in text analysis, if need to add create an appendix and refer your reader to such.


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