The consumer decision process helps you understand the steps people go through when they are deciding whether and what to buy. Many different factors can influence the outcomes of purchasing decisions.
Some of these factors are specific to the buying situation: what exactly you are buying and for what occasion. Other factors are specific to each person: an individual’s background, preferences, personality, motivations, and economic status. Because no two people are exactly alike, it is difficult to predict how the tangled web of influencing factors will ultimately shape a final purchasing decision.
For marketers, an understanding of these factors provides a more complete view into the mind of the customer. As you learn more about what influences decisions for your particular target segment, product category, brand, and competitive set, you can use these influencing factors to your advantage. What you say to customers, the words you use, the people who say them, the images they evoke—all of these things can link back to that web of influencing factors at work in a purchaser’s mind. Great marketing uses those connections powerfully and effectively to win the minds and hearts of customers.