- Understand what the stages of the buying process are.
- Distinguish between low-involvement buying decisions and high-involvement buying decisions.
You’ve been a consumer with purchasing power for much longer than you probably realize—since the first time you were asked which cereal or toy you wanted. Over the years, you’ve developed a systematic way you choose among alternatives, even if you aren’t aware of it. Other consumers follow a similar process. The first part of this chapter looks at this process. The second part looks at the situational, psychological, and other factors that affect what, when, and how people buy what they do.
Keep in mind, however, that different people, no matter how similar they are, make different purchasing decisions. You might be very interested in purchasing a Smart Car. But your best friend might want to buy a Ford 150 truck. Marketing professionals understand this. They don’t have unlimited budgets that allow them to advertise in all types of media to all types of people, so what they try to do is figure out trends among consumers. Doing so helps them reach the people most likely to buy their products in the most cost effective way possible.