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The Buyer Decision Process - Building Happiness

Essay by   •  April 4, 2017  •  Research Paper  •  2,260 Words (10 Pages)  •  1,079 Views

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Nowadays, due to the development of technology and business, the exchange happens every second and becomes a vital part of our life. In turbulent business environment with many competitive factors increasing, it is very important for organizations to attract new customers and build relationship with them. Therefore, understanding the buyer decision process is becoming one of key aim of organizations that can decide the development of business.


Fanning (2016, p.27) contemporarily defines marketing as a repetitive process which a business applies to the market through marketing mix activities in order to beneficially exchange that satisfy the needs of consumers, business and channel partners as well as society.  

The marketing concept has been necessary for every organization for a long time until now that is all about creating wants and satisfying needs. Fanning (2016, p.17) defines it as “organizations that best satisfy the needs of their customers are best placed to satisfy their own needs”. Fanning (p.11) groups marketing objectives into three main categories: Financial objectives, Strategic objectives and Communication objectives.

There are three mega marketing concepts including the buyer decision process, the total product concept and the circle of satisfaction (Fanning, 2016, p.18). This paper will focus on the buyer decision process mega concept especially the first in three time zones of this process that is the purchase behaviour zone.

This paper uses Fanning’s handout (2016) as a fundamental for the notion stated in view of this and it is also supported by various journals, books and academic articles.


The buyer decision process mainly focuses on understanding how the customers communicate with organizations and society through products (Fanning, 2016, p.57).  This process is divided into three time zones: purchase behaviour, product delivery and post-purchase behaviour (see figure 1) [pic 28]

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A general outline of the process:

In first time zone, when people realize their needs and then they research the information about products or services that can satisfy their needs. After discovering various alternatives, customers evaluate them by ascertaining product or service qualities and considering risks. While selecting products or services, customers predict expectation scenarios. In next time zone, customers experience the product or service qualities and assess the value as well as the cost of product or service through product delivery. In the post-purchase stage, after experiencing the performance of products or services, there is an evaluation between customers’ pre-purchase product expectations and their satisfaction that may build the loyalty of consumers and influence the future purchase (Fanning, 2016).

In recent years, the development of technology has had influences on all time zones of the buyer decision process even though it does not affect the arrangement of the process. (Fanning, 2016). The process has become extremely faster due to the ability for immediately access information anytime from any place (Abidi, 2012). Moreover, technology support businesses in immediate responding negative or positive feedbacks of their customers (“Five factors influence”, 2014). Therefore, it is essential for organizations to deeply understand their customers in term of online habits and behaviours in every time zone in order to remain current customers as well as attract new consumers (Abidi).

Searching for information

Initially, when customers realize their unsatisfied needs, they begin the buyer decision process through researching information. It is one of the most important steps in purchase decision. According to Fanning (2016, p.64), consumers commonly use internal and external search method to decide their selection (see figure 2)  

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Internal search. To make purchase decision, consumers use a set of their prior product knowledge retrieved from their memory. More knowledge helps customers be more effective in their search because they know necessary information. However, prior knowledge narrows the extra information search from external sources. Customers may classify information depending on their important rate. (Awasthy, A. Banerjee & B. Banerjee, 2012).

Customers tend to use top of mind awareness when identify information about certain low involvement products. Egelhoff (n.d) defines top of mind awareness as the products or brands appear first in customers’ mind when they think about their need satisfaction. For example, when consumers think about energy drink, Red Bull is the first one in list or when they think about satisfying their hunger, McDonald take all the advantages.

External search. Buyers generate the information from the messages provided by organizations through marketing mix activities such as advertising, PR, events and promotion. Moreover, customers also gather information from past consumers, competitors, stakeholders and media such as word of mouth, reviews of other consumers and online articles. (Fanning, 2016). For high involvement products, customers tend to search information from external sources. For example, before buying a house, the future buyers may consult opinion of their friends or family members, read reviews in several real estate websites and visit agents.



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