In order to effectively persuade a consumer to select your good or service, a marketer needs to understand just how a consumer makes the decision. A consumer traverses through a 5-step process in order to decide whether or not to make a purchase.
Step 1 – Recognition of needs and wants. Needs are essential products or services which are necessary in order to survive. A want is a product or service which you desire but is not essential. Wants often arise because of outside influence, which creates the desire to obtain that product or service.
Step 2 – Gathering of Information. Once the consumer has determined his needs or wants, he will begin to research the product or service needed to fulfill his need or want. Consumer research on the product or service will be done by the consumer through various sources such as the internet, newspapers, magazines, television and conversations with members of their sphere.
Step 3 – Evaluation. After the consumer has selected the product or service that will best fulfill the need or want, the consumer will begin to evaluate the product based on the factors that are the most important to him. Various factors may include price, brand, quality, availability, or how soon can the product or service be received. The consumer will inevitably select the product that will meet most of their parameters.
Step 4 – Selection. The consumer is now ready to select the product or service. They have done their research and are now satisfied with their decision.
Step 5 – Evaluation. After purchasing the product or service, the consumer will evaluate how well the product or service meets his needs or wants. Should the consumer feel the product or service does not meet his expectations, he will not likely purchase the product or service again. And, he is likely to tell more members of his sphere that he had an unfavorable experience than he would if he like the product or service he purchased.