Multiplicity of Decision making variables for a Customer
With the onset of internet and then social media becoming a part of our daily lives the consumer mind is in for a change. Long gone is the time when only the Perceptual Map theory would hold good for the customers. Number of decision variables has increased drastically over the past five years. Multiplicity of sources of information as well as pre-purchase discussions on the internet forums has added multiple dimensions to the consumer’s decision making.
If we look into the existing researches then five most important factors consumers decision making are Personality, Learning, Motivation, Perception and Attitude. From the Indian Context consumers have been found to be seeking assurance in the form of good word of mouth or expert advice. This is where the social sites as well as other comparison websites have made a huge contribution. In India one more aspect which contributes to the multi-attribute brand evaluation by the customer is the absence of a strong consumer grievance redress mechanism. In general the legal processes are so slow that no customer wants to get entangled in the net. Many brands both big and small take the advantage of this scenario. In such an insecure consumer environment a learned customer keeps increasing his decision variables to make a wise choice.
Speaking about assurance further the role of Marketing communication is immense. Customers have high regard for highly visible brands and select them against qualitatively superior brands which have lesser visibility. This proves that Indian customer loves to see the ad story lines of brands which he/she is planning to buy. A strong marketing communication strategy also instills confidence in various channels of distribution. This has a overall positive affect on the customer.
Time will tell whether consumer decision making will continue to become more complex with time or become simpler and easier for the marketers to comprehend.