The Buying Process
To be successful, marketers have to go beyond the various influences on buyers and develop an
understanding of how consumers actually make their buying decisions. Specifically, marketers must identify who makes the buying decision, the types of buying decisions, and the steps in the buying process.
It is easy to identify the buyer for many products. Men normally choose their shaving equipment, and women choose their pantyhose. But even here marketers must be careful in making their targeting decisions, because buying roles change. ICI, the giant British chemical company, discovered to its surprise that women made 60% of the decisions on the brand of household paint; ICI therefore decided to advertise its DeLux brand to women.
We can distinguish five roles people might play in a buying decision:
Initiator: A person who first suggests the idea of buying the product or service
Influencer: A person whose view or advice influences the decision
Decider: A person who decides on any component of a buying decision–whether to buy, what to buy, how to buy, or where to buy
Buyer: The person who makes the actual purchase
User: A person who consumes or uses the product or service
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