Situation Centered Factor – Buyers Culture
Situation centered factor talks about the environment in which the buyer finds himself and then creates some situational factor which will help in influencing his purchases or purchase decision, this was suggested by Markin in the year 1979. He argued that the Situation centered factor variance in the buyer behavior stem mainly from differences in the situation people (and organization) encounter, rather than the stable trait within them, this in essence tries to excuse the man behavior as to how he chooses to make his purchase or the line he wants to follow in terms of his buying.
As a results of the frequent changes that take place in the situations that buyers find themselves, their purchase behavior varies widely over time, situation can be centered on the income of the buyer, the economic situation of the country which in turn affects the buyer’s decision making as to what o buy, where to buy as well as how to buyer. Below are some of the most common situation centered factor or situational variables which affects buyers purchase behavior.
- Culture – Culture is the most fundamental of all the influences on buyer behavior. Although a whole lot argue that culture doesn’t play a role in how, where and what you buy, however, we have been made to understand that culture plays an active role in this regard. Culture includes all the elements people’s non biological heritage, language, skill, or even the technology, norms, religion, customs, laws, nationality and institutions. Culture determines people’s value system. Religion has an intertwine with the culture system of most buyers. People’s dressing, type of food eaten, attitude to fashion and services, produced and the technology used for producing them are basically determined by culture. However, culture is not static. As people relate with others and encounter new problems and experience their culture changes.
- Economic circumstances – The economic situation of the country which in turn affects the buyer’s decision making as to what to buy, where to buy as well as how to buyer, it may have been ignored for obvious reasons, but one thing is for sure that the economic situation of the country tell on the citizens attitude to buying things, say an economy experiencing recession will have regressed in income situation for the buyer, here the country maybe having inflation crises or even exchange rate crises, these are economic factors that can affect the buyers decision making. The economic circumstances of the buyer which can affects their purchase decisions are their disposable income, savings, assets, borrowing power, availability of credit facilities, anticipated income, attitude to spending saving and credit the level of inflation and arrangement spending among others.
- Education – Educating people on the need to buy a particular product comes with an advantage, the advantage here arises from the proper knowledge of the products as well as complete information about the uses and benefits of the product. With the education of the potential customers the problem of asymmetric would have been eliminated. Education determined access to information, awareness and status in the society. These factors consequently affects their own consumption and the brands and stores they patronize. Well educated buyers are generally more rational and harder to please than those with little formal education.
- Age and family circle – This as a factor also stems from the researchers book, it is believe that people of different age group requires different products, services etc. the stage in which people are required in the family life cycle also affect their purchase behavior. Babies require feeding bottles and toys, while students require books and the elderly have needs or want for reading glasses and walking sticks. Here are the following stages of family life cycle includes; (i) Singles (ii) Newly married couples (iii) Married with children, (iv) Old couples with departed children (v) Solitary survivor among others.
- Social class – Human societies are stratified into social classes. A social class can be described as a distinct group of people who have similar socio economic power values and interest in consumption. Why people buy a product, what is the reason they buy the product, how people buy a product are largely influenced by the social classes they belong to.
- Group Influence – Human beings are social beings. They function in groups. People form groups in order to achieve their aim through them and reach the goals which they cannot achieve alone. Once people belong to a group, they strive to conform to the norms or standard of behavior in that group. There are primary (face to face) group, as well as secondary groups (such as fraternities, references groups, professional groups and college groups.
- Technology – Technology determines the types of goods and services that will be available to the buyers at any given time. It also determines the production system, spare parts, materials and the services which an industrial buyer will employ in its industrial activities.
- Level of demand – The level as well as the pattern of demand for a reseller or an industrial user’s products will go a long way in determining the quality of the product he himself will buy. A rise in the demand for his products will lead to an increase in the quality of the products he too will buy for resale or production purposes in order to satisfy his customers.
- Government policies – Sometimes, government’s fiscal, monetary and economic policies can greatly influence the quality and sources of the products which an industrial buyer will purchase. Where there is a ban on imported goods and services, for example the industrial buyer will have to make do with locally made brands, even if they do not meet requirements well.
- Time – Time constrains people’s purchase activities. If much time is available, the buyer may consider many alternative brands, stores and sales conditions before taking his purchase decision. But where time is very short, he may have to hurry up and buy the most available brand and from the nearest store.
Marketing Centered Factors
The Situation centered factor is a close factor to the marketing centered factor, in today’s affluent and emancipated society, many manufacturer and sellers compete for the patronage of buyers theory, buyers know that they have choice. They exercise their freedom of choice by favoring more of the products and offering which comes closest to satisfying their needs. The ability of the marketer or seller to attract and retain buyers patronage will depend on the reputation he has built in the wind of buyers. The characteristics of the marketer which build good reputation for him before buyer are his knowledge ability of the products he carries, shop atmosphere, friendliness, availability of the products where, how it is needed and the satisfaction of customers. These characteristics are actively made known to buyers through advertising and other promotional activities.
Buyer Decision Process (Situation Centered Factor)
This is also characterized by the Situation centered factor, here the buyer decision process has been conceptualized by the behaviorist as being made up of different distinct stages. One of the most comprehensive and popular set of stages is that given by Evans and Berman, they assumed that it is made up of six stages;
- Stimulates – This is cue or drive meant to arouse, motivate, impel or stimulate people to act. The stimulus that will awaken a would be buyer can come from friends, family members, mates and significant other. These are called social cues. Commercial cues comes from manufacturers and sellers in the form of promotion. Non-commercial cues come from impartial sources, such as the mass media and public agencies. Once a person is sufficiently stimulated or awoken to action, he moves to the next stage of the buying decision process.
- Problem Awareness – It is at this stage that the buyer or prospect recognizes a lack, shortage, or unfulfilled desire. If he considers this to be a major problem to him, he moves to the net stage. Otherwise, the decision is delayed or terminated.
- Information search – Information search entails looking for the alternative means of satisfying the identified need. There are internal search (past experience recalled from memory) and external search (seeking information from outsiders, such as friends, newspapers and sellers).
- Evolution of alternatives – Here, the alternative sources or means of solution to the identified problems are examined carefully in order to know the most beneficial, examples of evaluative criteria are price, quality, quantity, safety, size, colour and performance, amongst others. The best alternative products and/or store is selected for purchase.
- Purchase – It is this stage that the buyer obtains the product of hi choice after pay.
- Post purchase behavior – After purchasing the product and/or making use of it, the buyer evaluates his actions. This he does by trying to find out if the products actually meets the expectations or fails to fill the need that motivated its purchase. Where the buyer is satisfied, he is happy and may buy the product next time or recommends to his friends and other. But where his expectations are not met, he goes about in a state of regret (Post purchase dissonance). Unless there is positive information to relieve him, he may buy the products or recommend it to others. After sales activities, such as follow up telephone calls reinforcing advertisements and visit by salesmen and others for follow up service help to reduce post purchase dissatisfaction and enhance buyers’ satisfaction with their purchases.
The extent to which to buyer will fit into the buying process described above on the buying situation in which he finds himself. Buying situations vary according to the types of products concerned, their cost outlays and the buying experience of the buyer. There are three major categories of the buying situations. These are;
- Extended problem solving
- Limited problem solving and
- Routinized response behaviour situations
Extended Problem solving situations – Here the buyer passes through all the stages in the buying decision process. This occurs when the buyer is not familiar with the products and/or its brands or when its cost outlay is high.
Limited Problem Solving Situation – In this situation, the buyer is familiar with the products but he us meeting some new brands or needs to improve on a previous purchase decision process, but he will not spend much time in any of them.
Routinized Response Behaviour – This involves making a habitual purchase. The buyer behaviour therefore skips some of the stages in the purchase decision process. This happens when the cost outlays of the products involved is low, frequent purchases are made and the buyer is very familiar with the brand in the market.