Consumers go through a complicated mental process when they make a decision
about even the simplest purchase. In addition, consumers learn from advertising
by acquiring knowledge about the products that are available to them and
figuring out which products can satisfy their needs.
Due to the fact that advertising can influence a consumer's buying decision, a number of studies have tried to describe what happens in the interaction between a consumer and a product purchase and what the impact of the advertising message is during the process.
The following diagram will show a model of the consumer's buying decision process, considering the role of advertising in each stage. In viewing the diagram, it should be noted that this model is, more or less, dependent upon the previous advertising effectiveness studies, and consumers may skip or reverse some stages of this model in more routine purchases. Nonetheless, the model tries to include all possible considerations in a particular purchasing situation for a new and high-involvement product.If you want to know more about how advertising effectiveness research has developed in the academic field of advertising, please also visit "Academic Approaches (to the subject of how advertising works)."
As a precondition of the motivation stage, certain factors should influence
the consumers' attitudes, beliefs, or preferences toward a product.
Consumers can be motivated by their internal influential factors,
such as past experience, personality, and physiological desires.
On the other hand, external factors, such as consumers' social, family, or cultural backgrounds, can also have an impact on consumers' motivation. In this stage, advertising can be one of the cultural influences that lead consumers to the next stage.
The actual purchasing process begins with motivation. Consumers recognize a
need for a product according to their previous influences. At this stage,
advertising directly stimulates consumers to get interested in or to gather
more information about a certain product.
However, in the case of a low-involvement product, it is possible that consumers may immediately move to the purchase stage.
Once consumers are interested in a product, they want to obtain knowledge
about the product and its category. Therefore, they depend on information
from various sources, such as advertising, mass media, reference groups, or
an opinion leader.
The more consumers learn about the product category, the better they can compare and evaluate several brands in the category. As a result, consumers can select a brand based on their own criteria provided by advertising in this stage.
Even though a brand is preferred by consumers, it does not mean that the brand
is eventually purchased by consumers. Before the actual purchase, consumers,
to a greater or lesser degree, examine several aspects with respect to the
purchase of the selected brand. In some cases, consumers may go back to the previous stage
or lose interest in the product. In this stage, advertising plays a role of
building conviction in consumers' minds to make them purchase.
In addition, the advertising strategy, accompanied by some sales promotion strategies, can provide consumers certain incentives and thereby arouse them to an instant action.
A consumer's evaluation of the purchased product is the most important
basis for future purchases. Whether consumers are satisfied or dissatisfied
with their purchased products mainly depends on the
difference between the prepurchase and the postpurchase evaluations.
After the evaluation, consumers decide to continuously purchase the same brand or to find other brands. In this stage, advertising paves a way for the repurchase by reminding consumers about the correctness of their decisions.
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