Decision-making plays an important role in individuals’ lives. This may be in concern with making decisions about products or other factors in their lives. These decisions are usually made when consumers realize that there are needs that they need to satisfy. The consumers follow the decision making process when going about making decisions. This process involves: problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives and finally the purchase (Solomon, 1996).
There are three perspectives that can be used to make these decisions. These are: the rational perspective, this perspective “views the consumer as a careful, analytical decision maker who tries to maximize utility in a purchase decisions” (Solomon, 1996), the behavioral perspective, which “is where the individuals concentrate on assessing environmental characteristics that influence members of a target market” (Solomon, 1996) and the experiential perspective where “marketers focus on measuring consumer’s effective response on the products and services” (Solomon, 1996).
For each of the different perspectives of decision-making, there is a different marketing plan, which relates to the products in that perspective.
In the rational perspective, the product example is mobile phones. To make decisions in this perspective, consumers are seen to use all the sources of information to help them look for the information about the product they want to purchase. It involves careful product information analysis. This ensures that all the needs of the customers are satisfied. To market this product, the organization should ensure that the information is readily available. For example, there are so many manufacturers of mobile phones for example: Nokia, Motorolla, Sony-ericsson, Samsung etc. This shows that the decision is one of high involvement and it needs careful research for information.
In the behavioral perspective, the product discussed is chocolate. Under this perspective, the consumers do not search for a lot of information about the product. This is usually because the product is purchased regularly and thus it is considered to be a low involvement product.
Lastly in the experiential perspective, the chosen product is restaurant meal. Under this perspective, the product is looked at as a whole including the features such as. sanitary levels, decor, serving methods, ingredients etc
. To market this product the marketers should ensure that they advertise the product well and all the advantages of the product should be shown. Also referral marketing should be used as word of mouth plays a big role in promoting a restaurant.
Major differences between the perspectives:
This perspective has high involvement which means that the consumer is highly involved throughout the decision making process. (Solomon, 1996) this could mean that it involves high information search where the consumers spend a great deal of time looking for information about the product. There is the need for high information search as the product is expensive and therefore there is little room for error in decision-making. The research and the decision-making is extensive as there are different features of the car to be looked at.
This perspective has low involvement, which means that the consumers are not involved in the decision-making. No information is needed when purchasing the product, as it is a habitual purchase. (Solomon, 1996). Therefore we can say that the products under this perspective are cheap or affordable. The consumer does not look at the features of the product under this perspective.
This perspective has limited involvement, as the consumers are involved but only to some extent. Not much research is needed for this perspective as the consumer relies on past experience. (Solomon, 1996) The prices for the products under this perspective vary according to the brands of the products. The consumers look at the product as a whole.