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Mallyable is a new online store for buying 3D models with a twist: the products are designed specifically for 3D printing on a hobbyist device. Anyone who has taken a formal marketing course knows all too well the traditional consumer decision making model depicted below. The steps of this model haven’t changed since the marketing revolution of social media, but what has changed is the way these steps are carried out.
What has changed are the ways consumers seek information, evaluate products, and give feedback about those products.
It would be a gross understatement to say social media is a game-changer with respect to consumer behavior. While social media arguably impacts all levels of the consumer decision model, there are two areas in particular that it disproportionately affects: Information Search and Post-Purchase Evaluation. Nearly half of those surveyed (42 percent) currently follow or friend a brand on a social networking site. Nearly one in five individuals now looks to Facebook to obtain information about a brand or product. Quite simply, it means your About pages, product descriptions, and page updates are incredibly more important than they used to be. Consider adding a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) app on your Facebook page to handle the most common concerns of your target market. Make sure your About pages across all social media accounts are consistent and packed with relevant information the consumer would need. Complete your LinkedIn company page, including full product descriptions, video demonstrations, and so on. In my honest opinion, this is one of the most important areas of marketing where social media can have a giant positive impact.  There are many reasons for businesses to have a social media presence, but one of the primary purposes is to build an interactive, welcoming community of loyal brand enthusiasts.
Do you agree that social media is greatly affecting decisions consumers make about products?  In what specific ways do you think social media has changed the game regarding consumer decisions? The Times 100 offers a range of business resources including case studies, quizzes and revision of theory. Please read through the case study and attempt to answer the four questions located at the bottom of page 4. Buying behaviour is fascinating subject area, and every individual - including all of us - has a vested interest in understanding the factors that guide and influence behaviours and attitudes.
This module will also look at individual factors that influence buying and external factors such as the economy and environment that also pay an important part in decision making.
To understand a little more about buying behaviour it is best to understand WHO your customers are. In Week 3 we shall look more at segmentation techniques based on demographics (including age and social class) geographical factors, psychological factors such as education and learning and psychographic factors which look at lifestyle (this is briefly explored later on in this session).
Hybrid segmentation is a combination of one of more of these factors providing more in-depth customer profiles. For this section we shall look at the varying roles that consumers can take in making buying decisions.
Influencer - the person who attempts to persuade others in the group concerning the outcome of the decision.
Understanding buying at this level for marketers is important as they can target the different roles played within the buying centre. Let’s look in more detail at each of the stages of the consumer decision making process (DMP), paraphrased from Jobber (2010).
External factors can influence buying and include the marketing mix offered by a business as well as dynamic uncontrollable factors such as social, cultural and economic change. Purchase behaviour might involve repeat buying, especially if encouraged by good customer service or a money-off coupon and evaluation will look at whether the purchase is suitable.  How many times have you questioned your purchasing of goods and wished that maybe you had got something different?
For instance when a consumer buys a car or a new mobile phone, and starts to wonder whether the other benefits and qualities of the other brands might be more suitable.
Write down the answers to the questions for a product which mostly involves little risk and involvement like a tin of beans (unless you are a baked beans officiado!) and a new car. If for example you are buying a new car you will call upon your own experience and those of your friends, family or opinion leaders such as Jeremy Clarkson!
We have previously looked at the who and the how of buying this section will examine more closely consumer choice and what influences buying behaviour. If you review again the previous information on Schiffman and Kanuk model of consumer buying, and you will note that Jobber also states here (see diagram above) that buying is influenced by personal internal influences (intrinsic) and external sources which can include social class and demographics. The key point for marketing is that the marketing mix will also have a huge impact on choice.
Two people might look at the same advertisement in the same newspaper or on TV but their processing of the information depends on their own needs, values and expectations.
For a bit of fun and a good example of humour think of Peter Kay and the John Smiths’ advertising campaign. It is important to understand what motivates buyers because it will influence their choice criteria. Young and Rubicam has developed a questionnaire of only 50 questions(!) to establish what sort of personality you have. If marketing research identifies a target market as having a certain type of personality then advertising and communications will reflect this.

Young and Rubicam (as above) is an internationally acclaimed marketing and communications agency based in New York.
The transitionals: members of this group are liberal, rebellious, self-expressive and intuitive. The reformers: these people are self-confident and involved, have broad interests and are issues orientated. Lifestyles have been found to correlate with purchasing behaviour so a company will seek to target a particular lifestyle group. Geo-Demographics - ‘An alternative method of classifying households is on their geographical location.
In Week 3 look out for more on social class and geo-demographics as this are used for segmenting customer types. In this last section we shall briefly look at choice in buying and attitudes to products that involve risk and high level involvement to those that don’t.
Routine response behaviour - occurs when buying frequently purchased, low-cost, low-risk items that need little search and decision making. Extensive decision making - occurs when buying products that are unfamiliar, expensive or high-risk, cars, holidays, personal pensions. Dibb et al (p169) suggested also that buying decisions are affected by the individual’s level of involvement. Low level involvement - ‘Many purchase decisions do not generate much consumer involvement. Producers - buyer of raw materials and semi finished components to use in the manufacture of their own goods.
Most B2B buying decisions involve more than one person and can engage a decision making unit (DMU). As with the consumer decision making process organisational buying follows a similar process. External factors can influence organisational buying such as economic, political and environmental. Co-operation between departments - the DMU could be made up of many people from many departments. Then once you get to know a buyer and build up a relationship with them they move to another company! JIT - Just in Time purchasing - aims to supply materials and components as they are required.
Reverse Marketing - ‘The process whereby the buyer attempts to persuade a supplier to provide exactly what the organization wants, is called reverse marketing.
XYZ Limited is a small business established over 20 years ago and involved in the manufacture and retail of double-glazing units. Jack Turner has recently identified problems with the existing computer system, and has established a need to update the system as a matter of urgency.
Mrs Jones will collect information on suitable vehicles and arrange any test drives as appropriate. Using scenario 2, discuss the influences a car manufacturer could use to persuade the Jones family to choose their vehicle in preference to a competitor’s. The site has several different categories of objects, generally with an eye towards decoration (holiday-themed ornaments) or usability (drink coasters). I’d like to see more stuff on the usable side, like replacement battery covers and household doohickeys. While the reasons vary widely by country, the overall greatest motivation: to learn more about the brand (79 percent). Social Media has changed the way we do business and the way we purchase anything online and offline! With those points in mind, do you think there is a potential hole in the market for social reviews? Business will seek to divide their customer base so that they can effectively use their marketing mix to meet the varying needs of each identified segment.
If you have family no doubt you will know the dynamics of family life and appreciate that the kids take on all the roles and mum and dad pay!!!
Toy manufacturers will target the end- user or consumer (children) with a bombardment of well designed advertising to influence household purchasing (or should that be Father Christmas!). Think of two very different products, baked beans or a bar of chocolate as opposed to a holiday or a new car and answer the questions posed. The process of buying will take longer if there is more perceived risk and product involvement.
Did you have enough information from your internal search or did you have to collect information from external sources? Internal sources or the psychological field suggested by Schiffman and Kanuk not only influence the buying situation but also the input. It is the link between external influences, the business marketing activities and the internal process of decision making.
It is used, so there is a direct response to the sample, it is liked (reinforcement) and there is more chance of the product being purchased. The link below is contained in a newspaper article reviewing their advertising campaign of 2010.

So if you are driven (sorry about the pun) by esteem and status then this will become important when you consider which car to buy. Subliminal messages are so weak or too brief to be taken in consciously by may be strong enough to be received without us knowing! Since the 1950s there have been reports of marketing using subliminal messaging to encourage buying.
Leisure activities include trendy sports and fashion magazines, they buy fads, are impulse shoppers and engage in conspicuous consumption.
They have unconventional tastes in music, travel and movies, enjoy cooking, arts and crafts. Their interests are sports, music and television; their purchase behaviour tends to be based on price, and they are looking for immediate gratification. Television is their main leisure activity and their shopping behaviour is price based, although they also look around for the reassurance of branded goods. Where a product is conspicuous - say for example clothing or cars - the brand or model chosen may have been strongly influenced by what buyers perceive as acceptable to their reference group. The buyer will access many criteria to evaluate alternative brands and choices and will take time comparing before buying.
It may be temporary high level though such as seeking the right shoes for the right outfit! There is a change identified which might mean some alteration to the normal supply process or the product size, etc.
Companies display their own B2B websites and have developed extranets where buyers can request intricate product information or can access their own account information.
Although leasing is seen as a benefit in the building of relationships with internal and external customers the bank lease from a variety of car manufacturers, thus establishing a business to business relationship.
It is proposed that the new system will hold all company records and will include a database facility to assist in the marketing of new products to existing customers. So yes, I do feel social media is impacting many decisions, just as I thought the same with good blog articles.
I’ve been asked many questions in the past about which laptop one should buy, but now its mostly transparent and the first person people check with are consumers with comments online. You will notice if you return to the home page that more up-to-date case studies are planned.
You will decide what is important to you whether price, colour, 0-60mph time and make comparisons with alternative products.
List the external sources of information and decide which source was most reliable and of most value to you in the decision process. So when we think of Volvo cars we tend to believe that the car is very safe whereas Ferrari, fast and expensive.
A study cited in Schiffman and Kanuk (2004) looked at the effects of subliminal advertising at a drive in movie in America in 1957.
Leisure activities include spectator sports and gardening, purchase behaviour is habitual, brand loyal and in approved stores.
They have eclectic tastes, enjoy natural foods, and are concerned about authenticity and ecology. Recent HBOS campaigns advertising have featured cultural differences and have played on the bank’s awareness that the world of business and finance operates differently from country to country. Reference groups can be informal such as family members, friends, work colleagues or formal including clubs and associations. Mr Jones wants a vehicle that is relatively stylish and fast, but that meets the practical needs of the family.
Personally, I make sure that I do a bit of research and see what people are saying online before I make a purchase.
There is little information available on the product or supplier and decision making becomes more complex and timely.
It was founded by George Turner and his brother Jack, 20 years ago, and has grown from a small partnership employing four people to a successful company with over 100 employees. George is the chief executive and Jack is the marketing director responsible for all sales and marketing.
It is intended the car will be used primarily by Mrs Jones as Mr Jones uses public transport to travel to and from work.
Products can’t be perfect and that we know, but it is important that they strive to be the best and it will show in the world of social media.
Also on the board of directors are a Finance director, Production manager and Human Resources manager. The children have different opinions, with the younger child wanting in-car entertainment, and the oldest child suggesting a brand name that will impress his peer group. The company has small departments of approximately five people in each of marketing and sales, production and Human Resources (including payroll). In addition there is an executive department, incorporating George Turner’s personal assistant, who manages the company when he is out of the office, and generally controls the flow of information in the organisation.

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