The Consumer Purchase Decision Making Process

There is more to making a purchase than just making the purchase itself. All consumers, whether in a store or online, go through several decision steps when making any kind of purchase, whether large or small. This chart outlines the state of mind of the consumer from unawareness of the offering all the way down to when consumers become strong advocates for the offering (word of mouth). It also shows how marketing and advertising can significantly influence the decision making process, and what media are appropriate for each stage.

UNK/UNKs: Awareness advertising to those “Unkown/Unknowns who do not yet know they have a need.

Need Awareness: Awareness/case making advertising to place advertiser “top of mind”, mind share building.

Need Assessment: Benefits oriented advertising to shift need solution toward advertisers offering

Data Collection: Benefits oriented, educational advertising, informational and comparison print collateral such as brochures, flyers, direct mail.

Data Evaluation: Information and comparison print brochures, spec sheets, flyers direct mail.

Decision to Purchase: Sales or price point oriented advertising, direct mail, point-of-purchase, incentive materials and ads.

Actual Purchase: Point of sale materials, posters, Add-on offers, up selling incentives help here.

Buyers Remorse: Awareness advertising again, customer service, follow up, direct mail

Tryers: Direct Mail, awareness advertising, “word of mouth”. Educational supportive ads that remind value proposition.

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