Decision Making – The goal of every marketer is to get into a consumer’s mind. You want to understand how the consumer makes decisions and convince them to decide to buy your product or service. There are five stages in a consumer decision-making process: a need or wish is recognized, a research process, a comparison, a selection of products or services, and an evaluation of the decision.
Most decision making begins with some problem. The consumer develops a need or a desire which he wishes to be satisfied with. The consumer feels that something is missing and needs to address it to feel normal again. If you can figure out when your target demographic is developing those needs or wants, now would be a great time to advertise to them. For example, they have run out of toothpaste, and now they have to go to the store and buy more.
Most of us are not experts in everything around us. In the research phase, we look for products or services that can meet our needs or wants. Search engines have become our primary tool for finding answers. It’s a quick and easy way to find out what you’re looking for.
Don’t forget about real human beings, either. Our friends and families have all had many different experiences and can make recommendations to us. In most cases, requests from real people are preferable to search engines. You have more of a trust factor with people around you than a computer program.
You may also have had previous experiences that help you solve your problem. You might have had a life experience in the past that helped you make the right purchasing decision. You may also know what decision to make by simply picking things up over the years and learning how to fix them.
At this point, you also begin your risk management. You can create pros and cons diagram to help you make your decision. People often don’t want to regret making a decision, so it may be worthwhile to spend the extra time managing risk. People also remember negative experiences versus positive ones, consider that.
Once the consumer has determined what will meet their need or requirement, they start looking for the best deal. This could be based on price, quality, or other factors that are important to them. Customers read many reviews and compare prices, eventually choosing the one that meets most of their parameters.
After counting all the decision criteria, customers now decide what to buy and where. They have already considered the risks and are determined on what they want to buy. They may have had previous experience with this same decision, or perhaps they have succumbed to advertising about this product or service and want to try it.
Evaluation of Decision
Once the purchase is made, does it meet the need or the desire? Is it above or below your expectations? The goal for any marketer is not a one-time customer, but a lifelong repeat customer. A bad experience of buyer’s remorse and your brand perception can be tarnished forever. On the other hand, a fantastic experience can lead to a loyal brand customer who might even become a brand evangelist for you.