Effective Marketing Strategies – Applying An Analysis of Consumer Decision-making and Choice
1) To investigate the level of smoking among people at KICL
2) To identify the factors that influences their decisions to start smoking
3) To discover the age that young people at KICL started to smoke Research questions
1) Do young people at KICL smoke?
2)What influenced their decision to start smoking? 3)At what age do they start to smoke?
Effective Marketing Strategies – Applying An Analysis of Consumer Decision-making and Choice
The effective of the marketing strategies that a company
uses defines its ability to influence the consumption of its products/services.
The development of an effective marketing strategy requires a deep
understanding of consumer behaviour, decision-making, and choice. Outlining and
analysing the different factors that influence consumer behaviour and choice is
critical for the development of an efficient marketing strategy that can
influence consumers to choose one product/service over the other. This research
offers an articulate analysis of consumer decision-making and behaviour and the
application of the analysis in strategy development. It integrates an effective
research literature-based research methodology that entails sufficient and in-depth
analysis of review of scholarly materials, peer reviewed journal articles and
books. The analysis finds the need for consumers to understand consumer
behaviour and integrate elements such as price strategy, promotion strategy,
and product strategy in the marketing strategy for enhanced consumption. It
offers other fundamental factors that influence consumption by integrating
theories such as the theory of consumer choice. By integrating the case of
Starbucks, the research recommends the application of the pricing, product, and
promotion strategies in the development of a comprehensive and effective
marketing strategy for the company.
The development and implementation of an effective marketing strategy defines the ability of a company to achieve its goals/objectives. While companies strive to achieve the set goals, the ability to adopt and implement strategy effectively plays a critical role in pushing a company towards success. One of the essential business strategy is an efficient marketing strategy. According to Tyagi and Kumar (2013), a marketing strategy is a comprehensive plan that integrates marketing goals and focuses on the implementation of information from market research and product mix for the achievement of enhanced profit efficiency. The achievement of success in the process requires a deep understanding of the market, consumer choice and decision-making, and the effective way of implementing the information to attain sustainable business growth and improved profitability. The analysis of how consumers make decisions is of great importance in the development of an efficient marketing strategy. This research offers an in-depth analysis of consumer choice and decision-making and its application in developing an efficient marketing plan. It integrates the case of Starbucks to facilitate an articulate discussion.
Definition of Terms
The research will focus on the discussion of consumer choice and decision-making and the application of the information in the creation of efficient marketing strategies. Some of the key terms used throughout the research include consumer(s), consumer choice, marketing strategy, and consumer preference among others. A definition of these terms sets the ground for a deeper analysis and a better understanding of the topic. According to Wright (2014), consumer choice is the decisions that the consumer makes regarding to what product or service to use. The analysis of consumer choice behaviour offers a better understanding of the process of consumer decision-making on which product to purchase/consumer. Blythe (2008) describes the consumer as the individual, customer or a target customer, who purchases a company’s products/services. Moreover, Foxall (2016) and Sexton (2016) define a marketing strategy plans designed and integrated to a company’s strategy that focus on ensuring the consumption of the company’s products/services. On the other hand, consumer preference includes what the customer prefers to consumer after a consideration of the different factors before reaching a decision (Chambers & Echenique, 2016).
The implementation of an effective research methodology influences the credibility and reliability of the research. The development of a better understanding of consumer behaviour and choice requires an extensive analysis of literature and integration of primary information. Further research on this topic will require the integration of an approach that outlines consumer preferences and the factors that influence their decision-making. This approach must capture consumer perceptions, feelings, attitudes, preferences, and tastes. The research will, therefore, use the qualitative research method, which allows effectiveness in studying behaviour, perceptions, and attitudes. According to Blythe (2008), the application of the qualitative research technique allows the researcher to uncover trends in opinions, thought, and delve deeper into the issue under study. Therefore, applying the method will ensure the development of an accurate, precise, credible, and reliable research (Tracy, 2013). However, this proposal focuses on setting a research base by applying the literature-based research method. The method allows the in-depth analysis of existing literature for a better understanding of consumer decision-making and choice and the development of an efficient marketing strategy.
The importance of consumer decision–making for any company is undeniable. Companies must understand the factors that define the choice to consume and apply such knowledge and information in the development of effective company strategy. The achievement of organizational success relies greatly on the ability of the management and leadership to devise efficient strategy that attracts and retains customers. The ability depends on the strategists’ ability to pinpoint the issues that influence consumer choice and integrate them into the strategy. Numerous authors have explored the topic of consumer behaviour and decision-making offering insight that allows people to better understand consumer choice. According to Chambers and Echenique (2016), Foxall (2016), Tyagi and Kumar (2013), and Wright (2014), consumer choice influences the success or failure of a business and, therefore, the need for considering the factors that influence consumer choice in the marketing strategy. The objective is to develop a strategy that taps into the decision-making aspects and knits them intelligently into the marketing approaches.
The definitions offered for consumption and consumer behaviour in decision-making by different authors compare. Zeriti, et al. (2014) and Tyagi and Kumar (2013) define consumption as the process in which people use the different products they purchase. According to Key & Czaplewski (2017), consumers have different needs that a product or service must meet or the possibility of meeting before s/he decides to purchase it or not. Consuming may include the application of the product in the primarily intended way or the re-invention and use of the product in a way that the manufacturer did not intend. Wright (2014), Sexton (2016), and Chambers and Echenique (2016) offer a seemingly similar definition of consumption/consuming by stating that it involves the way in which the customer uses what s/he purchases. Numerous other authors describe the term(s) (consumption and consuming) in different ways but deliver the same meaning. Understanding consumption and consumer behaviour is essential for the development of effective marketing strategies that guarantee sustainable business operations and increased profitability (Ramaseshan, et al., 2013).
According to Rao-Nicholson and Khan (2017), understanding consumer behaviour is critical for understanding the different issues that consumers consider before making a choice. Blythe (2008), and Tyagi and Kumar (2013) assert that consumer behaviour is the interaction of affect and cognition, behaviour, and environmental events for conducting and exchanging life aspects between consumers. Moreover, Sexton (2016) posits that consumer behaviour includes emotion and intended behaviours influenced by personal attitudes and environmental factors. The presentation of consumer behaviour as dynamic shows the need for the constant review of marketing strategy to maintain relevance. According to Wright (2014), as the society continues to advance, consumer needs change and, therefore, the need for reviewing business strategy often to ensure that as the forces that change consumer behaviour change, strategy changes to align with the current needs. The provision of the relevant information concerning a product, the efficient use of communication and communication tools to influence emotion and appeal to the consumer, and the provision of an effective environment for purchasing the products may influence consumer behaviour leading to consumption (Chambers & Echenique, 2016; Key & Czaplewski, 2017).
Hibić and Poturak (2016) and Chen, et al. (2015) discuss the consumer decision process but assert there is not strict process that consumers follow in consumption. However, the authors outline the buying decision before or during purchase. According to Tyagi and Kumar (2013), the consumers’ buying process entails eight steps that include the perception of the problem (the need/desire), information gathering or awareness, comprehension of the information gathered, the development of an attitude towards the product(s)/services under consideration, and the assessment of the information in the legitimization process. Additionally, the consumer tries the product, purchases, and analyses the post-purchase feeling for the development of a decision on whether to continue consuming the product/service or not. Akar, et al. (2017) supports the process by offering a similar process of the purchasing process. The author argues that while the process is not necessarily followed to the latter, it gives an accurate description of the consumer purchase route from the identification of the nee or desire to the purchase and making of the decision on whether to continue consuming the product or not. The decision for continued consumption depends on the quality of the product/service and its ability to meet consumer needs and leave the consumer with a good experience of its use (Wright, 2014).
According to Rao-Nicholson and Khan (2017), the analysis of consumer behaviour and decision-making is essential for the development of an effective marketing strategy. The marketing team must understand the aspects of affect and cognition, which are critical components in consumer behaviour, for the development of a good marketing strategy (Chen, et al., 2015; Hibić & Poturak, 2016). Tyagi and Kumar (2013) assert that consumers show four different affective responses that define consumption. While Wright (2014) questions the effectiveness of using the affective system in developing strategy by citing the inability of the marketing team to effectively outline and use the system for different people, Sexton (2016) points out its effectiveness. Tyagi and Kumar (2013) argue for the affective system to act automatically, describes the peoples’ lack of direct control over the affective responses, their influence on the body, ability to respond to any stimuli, and the possibility of developing them via learning. On the other hand, cognition involves the mental processes of understanding, evaluating, planning, decision-making, and thought (Blythe, 2008). An understanding of these characteristics enables the development of an effective marketing strategy.
The development of a better understanding of the conditioning and learning process and their influence on consumer choice is essential for the creation of better marketing strategies. Tyagi & Kumar (2013) outline the operant and classical conditioning as essential for eliciting response. According to Foxall (2016) and Desik, et al. (2016), marketers must understand and apply classical conditioning for the creation of a favourable affect for the products and the enhancement of the chances of consumers to choose the product/service. The integration of conditioning and modelling processes in the development of marketing strategies is important for influencing consumer behaviour. The modelling and conditioning techniques, according to Karimi, et al. (2015), influence the decision-making process and push the target market into consuming certain products over others. Moreover, according to Desik, et al. (2016), the ability to influence consumer behaviour depends on the ability of the marketing team to focus on the consumers’ emotions, feelings, moods, and evaluations while providing sufficient information and utilizing the consumers’ knowledge, beliefs, and meanings. Additionally, placing emphasis on the consumers’ overt behaviour and combining various consumer responses are important for the development of a strategy that would influence the consumers to purchase the company’s products.
Akar, et al. (2017), Desik, et al. (2016) and Key and Czaplewski (2017) assert that the marketing team in any company must focus on three critical components that form as effective strategy; product strategy, price strategy, and promotion strategy (Tyagi & Kumar, 2013). The major goal is to attract customers, increase the frequency of contact with products, improve consumption, and enhance the company’s profitability. According to Blythe (2008), elements such as packaging, branding, and labelling are essential for influencing consumption. Therefore, the marketing department must consider the elements and ascertain competitiveness by adopting a strategy that gives the company a competitive advantage and ensures the “compatiability, trialability, observability, speed of benefits, and simplicity” in the promotion of new products (Tyagi & Kumar, 2013). The analysis of consumer behaviour and choice equips the marketing team with the necessary skills and knowledge for the development of a marketing strategy (Rao-Nicholson & Khan, 2017).
Consumer choice of a product depends on multiple factors. According to the theory of consumer choice, effective pricing influences the process of consumer decision-making significantly. The theory of consumer choice states that the demand for a certain commodity increases with a reduction in the price of the commodity. People are more likely to purchase a product that meets their needs and lies within a reasonable pricing range as compared to other products (Chen, et al., 2015). The reduction in the price of the product shifts the demand curve to the right, influencing a significant purchase and use of the products. According to Tyagi and Kumar (2013), marketers must consider and analyse the consumer choice theory in the development of marketing strategies. Setting a higher price than competing products may make it difficult for the company to compete effectively. For instance, in the case of Starbucks, the marketing team should ensure an analysis of the market and the purchasing power of the consumers before establishing a marketing strategy. Setting prices within or slightly above other products will lead to meaningful profit efficiency considering the company is an established brand. However, over-pricing its products would push the consumers to considering new companies (Desik, et al., 2016) (Wright, 2014).
Further, according to Blythe (2008), pricing considers the cost of production and other factors. The author asserts that most of the times the cost of a commodity goes beyond the price tag. For instance, companies producing complex products require to invest in learning costs for figuring out the use or application of the products. Additionally, products that pose a risk or danger, a company may incur costs related to injuries. Setting the cost of a product at a low price does not translate to an automatic choice of the product. The costs associated with issues such as injury, health concerns, and complexity nay exceed and the price tag and influence consumer choice negatively (Hibić & Poturak, 2016). Therefore, a company must ensure that the cost of the product does not affect consumer choice negatively. For instance, Starbucks must ensure high standards of sanitation, meet the set health standards, and ensure efficient service to prevent consumer complaints, time wastage, and any other factors related to cost that may push the consumer to the competitors.
Additionally, the marketing team must understand the importance of meeting the consumers’ needs in terms of product quality and convenience in accessibility. According to the Ramaseshan, et al. (2013) and Chambers and Echenique (2016), consumers prefer products of the best quality with the ability to meet the needs. Competing companies focus on producing and offering services that come with multiple benefits that influence consumer decision-making. The products should include meaningful benefits, be of the highest quality, and meet the consumer needs. The inability of the product/service to meet these aspects affects consumer choice. On the other hand, Chambers and Echenique (2016) argues for the importance of convenience. Convenient locations for purchasing are important. Most of the times consumers choose the product/service that is conveniently available with the ability to meet the consumer needs. The different Starbucks outlets in different regions offer the convenience required to make a consumer choose the company. However, there is a need to focus on availing more outlets in areas with a few. Location benefits and the provision of quality products/services are critical elements that influence consumer decision-making significantly.
Additionally, the choice of a product depends on the ability of the company to take into consideration the concerns of the people. According to Blythe (2008), the management and leadership of any company must acknowledge the importance of dealing with clients effectively. Understanding the reaction of people in purchasing situations serves a fundamental role in establishing effective services and products. The efficiency of a company, the delivery of quality products, and the provision of satisfying services results in the development of a loyal customer base. Starbucks must understand the importance of prioritizing customer needs to ensure retention of existing customers and attraction of new ones. The provision of quality products and efficient services will play an important role in creating a pool of loyal customer and attracting others (Zeriti, et al., 2014; Chen, et al., 2015). Satisfied customers promote the business through recommendations (Chen, et al., 2015). This will contribute directly towards the improvement of Starbucks’ profitability, market share, and dominance.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The development of an effective marketing strategies serves a greater role in enhancing the growth and development of a company. The effectiveness of the marketing strategy of a business is determine by its ability to attract new customers, retain existing customers, and ensure increasing frequency of customers with products/services, and higher consumption. However, the development of a good strategy depends greatly on the sufficiency an efficiency of the market research. Additionally, companies focus on understanding consumer choice and integrating the knowledge and information from the research and analysis into the development of the strategies. The effectiveness of the strategies depends on how well the company utilizes the information gathered in developing the strategies. Information concerning consumer behaviour, the market, consumer decision-making process, and the various factors that influence the consumer choice is important for creating effective marketing strategies. The marketing team must devise different techniques for analysing the consumer choice and the theory of consumer choice to determine the possible measures for effectively addressing the fundamental issues surrounding the topic.
An effective strategy considers and integrates different strategies and techniques that can be integrated to develop a comprehensive and efficient strategy. The strategies must align with the overall corporate strategy for uniformity in operation. The major elements for the development of a comprehensive strategy include a product, price, and promotion strategies. The product strategy ensures that the company produces products/services that meet the market needs. Consumers choose a commodity depending on its ability to meet the identified needs. Therefore, the marketing team of Starbucks must recognize what customers need and integrate it in its marketing strategy to attract consumers. However, cooperating with the other functions of the organization is critical for ensuring the quality of its products/services. Moreover, setting reasonable prices and considering market prices is an important strategy. The price strategy ensures that customers understand that the services and products they receive will meet their needs, satisfy, and offer value for their money. Otherwise, consumers are likely to choose other products that promise to meet the requirements.
Additionally, the application of promotion
techniques that influence consumer decision making is important. While pricing,
quality, efficiency, and other factors are critical, developing an efficient promotion
strategy that influences consumer behaviour through operant/classical
conditioning and increase consumption plays a greater role in enhancing Starbucks’
operations. The goal is to attract customers, increase the frequency of contact
with products, improve consumption, and enhance the company’s profitability. Incorporating
elements such as packaging, labelling, and branding among others, may influence
consumer behaviour and choice, leading to the consumption of Starbucks’
products. Most importantly, using effective promotional platforms such as the
social media, their website, and other forms of advertising/promotion enhances
consumer behaviour by influencing consumption. The different techniques demand
a deeper understanding of consumer behaviour and exploitation of the behaviours
in promoting marketing products.
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