Social Influences on consumer behavior

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					Social Influences on
Consumer Behavior

Dr. Kevin Lance Jones
Social Influences
   Information and Pressures from Individuals, groups,
    and the mass media that affect how a person behaves.

   Why are social influences important?
       Source is creditable.
       Source can communicate information widely.
       Source uses communication frequently.
       Source determines socially appropriate and inappropriate
           Sources of Influence on
            Consumer Behavior
   Sources of influence can be described as marketer
    dominated or non-marketer dominated.

   Marketer dominated sources are influences
    delivered from a marketing agent (advertising,
    personal selling etc…)

   Non-marketer dominated sources are influences
    delivered from an entity outside a marketing
    organization (friends, family, the media).
             Sources of Influence on
              Consumer Behavior
   Marketer and non-marketer dominated sources may be
    delivered personally or via mass media.

   Marketer-dominated sources delivered personally refer to
    salespeople, service representatives, and customer service
    agents who deliver information in retail outlets, at consumers
    homes or office, over the phone or at trade shows.

   Marketer-dominated sources delivered via mass media
    include advertising, sales promotions, publicity and special
            Sources of Influence on
             Consumer Behavior
   Non-marketer-dominated sources delivered
    personally refer to word of mouth communication
    from friends, family neighbors, casual acquaintances,
    and even strangers.

   Non-marketer-dominated sources delivered via
    mass media refer to television coverage, internet
    sites, Consumer Reports, and other media not
    controlled by the marketer.
How Do These General Sources Differ?
    Marketer and non-marketer dominated
     sources delivered personally or via mass
     media differ in the following ways:

    1.   Reach
    2.   Capacity for two-way communication
    3.   Credibility
How do marketers build on these
   Marketers should use non-marketer
    dominated sources to enhance credibility.

   Use personal sources to enhance two-way

   Use a mix of sources to enhance impact
      Special Sources of Influence
   Opinion Leaders and market mavens are two special
    sources of profound influence.

   Opinion Leaders are individuals who act as as an
    information broker between the mass media and the
    opinions and behaviors of an individual or group.

   Market Mavens are consumers who has and
    communicates considerable marketplace information
    to others.
             Opinion Leaders
   Learn a lot about products
   Heavy users of mass media
   Buy new products when first introduced into
    the marketplace.
   Self-confident and Sociable
   Willing to share product information
   More important in China due to govt. system
   Regarded as knowledgeable about acquisition,
    usage and disposition options
                Market Mavens
   Know about the market place in general
       Where and when to shop
       What is on sale when
       Which products are good and bad
   Self confident about knowledge
   Heavy users of a wide range of information
    sources, both getting and giving marketplace
             How do Marketers
        Influence Opinion Leaders?

   Target opinion leaders
   Use opinion leaders in marketing
   Refer consumers to opinion leaders
             Reference Groups as
             Sources of Influence
   Types of Reference Groups:
       Aspirational Reference Groups: a group that we
        admire and desire to be like.

       Associative Reference Groups: a group to
        which we currently belong.

       Dissociative reference groups: a group we do
        not want to emulate.
      Reference Groups as Sources of
   Marketers should associate products with
    aspirational reference groups

   Marketers should accurately represent associate
    reference groups.

   Marketers should help to develop brand communities

   Marketers should avoid using dissociative reference
    Characteristics of Reference Groups
    Reference groups are described as follows:
       Degree of contact
           Primary reference groups: a group with whom we
            have physical (face-to-face) interaction.

           Secondary reference group: a group that influences
            us but with whom we do not have direct contact.

       Formality
       Similarity among members
Characteristics of Reference Groups

   Group attractiveness
   Density
   Degree of identification
   Strength of the ties connecting
           Reference Groups Affect
           Consumer Socialization
   Socialization is the process by which individuals
    acquire skills, knowledge, values, and attitudes that
    are relevant for functioning in a given domain.

   Consumer Socialization is the process by which we
    learn to become consumers and come to know the
    value of money; the appropriateness of saving versus
    spending; and how, when, and where products
    should be bought and used.
         How Socialization Occurs
    Parents may instill thriftiness by:
    1.   Directly teaching children the importance of
         saving money.
    2.   Letting children observe them being thrifty.
    3.   Rewarding children for being thrifty

         Direct teaching works best for younger children
         while observational learning is most effective in
         older children.
       How Socialization Occurs
   TV, music, video games, the internet, and ads
    also serve as socializing agents.

   Stereotyping of sex roles

   Consumer products such as childhood toys
    could influence who we are and what was
    expected of us.
Normative & Informational Influences
   Sources of influence whether general, special or
    group exert two types of influence, normative and

   Normative Influence is social pressure designed to
    encourage conformity to the expectations of others.

   Normative influence is derives from norms, which
    are societies collective decisions about what
    behavior should be.
Normative & Informational Influences

   Normative influences implies that consumers
    will be sanctioned or punished if they do not
    follow the norms and likewise implies
    consumers will be rewarded fro performing
    the expected behaviors.
Normative & Informational Influences
   Normative influences have several important effects on
    consumption behaviors.

       Brand-choice congruence: the likelihood that consumers
        will buy what others in their group buy.

       Conformity: doing what others in the group do.

       Compliance: doing what the group or social influencer

       Reactance: Doing the opposite of what the individual or
        grtoup wants us to do.
The Strength of Normative Influence
   The strength of Normative influence depends
    on the:
       Product Characteristics
       Consumer Characteristics
       Group in which consumer belongs
         Coercive power: the extent to which the group
           has the capacity to deliver rewards and
         Informational Influence
   Informational influence is the extent to
    which sources influence consumers simply by
    providing information.

   Informational influence is important because
    it can affect how much time and effort a
    consumer devote to information search and
    decision making.
       The Strength of Informational

   The strength of the informational influence is
    dependent upon:
     Product characteristics
     Consumer and Influencer Characteristics
     Group Characteristics
Descriptive Dimensions of Information
   Information is described by the dimensions of
    valence and modality when dealing with consumer

   Valence refers to whether the information about
    something is good (positive valence) or bad
    (negative valence).

   Modality refers to the method in which information
    is delivered -verbally or nonverbally.
Descriptive Dimensions of Information
     Negative information is more likely than positive
      information to be communicated.

       Dissatisfied customers are more likely to
        complain to 3 time’s (11 compared to 3) more
        people that satisfied customers are to tell about
        pleasurable experiences.

       Negative information is given more weight and
        people pay more attention to it.
Descriptive Dimensions of Information
     Word of Mouth is information about products or
      services that is communicated verbally.

       It is more persuasive than written information and
        is the number one source affecting food and
        household product purchases.

       It is seven times more effective than print media,
        twice as effective as broadcast media, and four
        times more effective than salespeople in affecting
        brand switching.
Viral Marketing
   Viral marketing is the online consumer to
    consumer communication that supports a
    particular offering.

   This source is non-marketer dominated and
    the message is delivered personally adding
         Marketing Implications for
             Word of Mouth
   Word of mouth has a dramatic effect on consumer’s
    product perceptions and offerings the in the

   Marketers need to prevent and respond to negative
    word of mouth.

   Marketers need to engineer favorable word of mouth.

   Marketers options for dealing with rumors