Sunday 10 March 2013

MAR110 Wk 2 - Buyer Behaviour

Predictably I have less to say about Week 2 - Buyer Behaviour, but not due to lack of material. Getting a bit overwhelmed! Anyway, this week is going to be just point-form notes.

Influences on consumer behaviour


  • culture,
  • cultural group (ie. ethnic group),
  • social class (combination of income/occupation/education/wealth/other variables),
  • subculture (ie. soccer hooligans in the UK, EMOs & Goths)


  • reference groups
  • membership groups (ie. your friends, 'students studying MC', 'dog owners')
  • aspirational groups (ie. 'celebrities' or 'football players')
  • opinion leaders
  • online social networks
  • family (household)
  • roles & status


  • gender,
  • age & life cycle stage,
  • occupation (ie. white collar workers need different clothes to blue collar workers),
  • education,
  • economic situation (a family's income/savings/assets),
  • lifestyle / psychographics (AIO-activities interests opinions),
  • personality & self-concept / brand personality


  • motivation (Freud - subconscious / Maslow - needs in hierarchy, satisfy most important first),
  • involvement (how important something is to you, how much risk associated with purching/consuming it ie. too expensive, teenager wearing wrong brand being laughed at),
  • perception,
  • learning (how behaviour changes as a result of our experiences),
  • beliefs & attitudes

How we make buying decisions

  1. Need recognition
  2. Information search
  3. Evaluation of alternatives
  4. Purchase decision
  5. Postpurchase behaviour

Buyer decision roles

  1. Initiator
  2. Influencer
  3. Gatekeeper
  4. Decider
  5. Buyer
  6. User

Business Buyers

  1. Problem recognition
  2. General need description
  3. Product specifications
  4. Supplier search
  5. Proposal solicitation
  6. Supplier selection
  7. Order-routine specifications
  8. Performance review
Don't worry, it means something to me :)


Thursday 7 March 2013

Can I be known by my preferred name at OUA? Nope!

When I first enrolled with Open Universities in 2010, I filled out my personal details including "First Name", "Last Name" and "Preferred Name" - Nicky. So I was mildly surprised when I started my first unit to see that I was apparently to be known as "Nicole". Not a massive issue, but I'm Nicky everywhere on social media and the subject was about your Web Presence, so I thought it might be nice if my Blackboard presence matched everything else.

I logged an email request with OUA about a change but they were unable (unwilling? OK... unable) to help. I asked why they bothered asking for 'Preferred Name" if they weren't going to use it, and got the usual "I'll take that up with my team-leader" routine.

One day I was having a bit of a tongue-in-cheek whine on Twitter about the irony of the whole thing, and our wonderful unit controller waved his virtual magic wand and somehow had me changed to "Nicky" at that particular uni. Yay!

So now it's 2013 and I've started an elective at a new university, and low-and-behold - I'm "Nicole". This time it wasn't difficult to change, again directly via the uni, although it did take a couple of days.

"Hmmm" I thought. "So... each time I enrol at a new uni, my details are sent from OUA, to the uni I'm studying at. WHAT ABOUT, if I could just ask OUA to use that "Preferred Name" field when enrolling me? That would be easier, right? After all, they do such a good job at focussing on online students, making sure we're not feeling isolated, and surely they can appreciate that it's difficult to be found when your Blackboard name doesn't match you on Facebook, Twitter or anywhere else. Yes, I'll contact OUA and ask them to just use that name. Easy."

But no, not easy. In fact, impossible. The "Preferred Name" field is now gone (not what I had in mind, guys!). If I want to change my name, I need to provide legal documentation and a statutory declaration to prove it!  If, for instance, I was a student from a non-English-speaking country and wished to use an English name while studying, which many people do, to assist me in socialising with other students - bad luck. If you have a first name that you're not ever, EVER known by - bad luck, now you are. It's almost unbelievable that this is even an issue.

Sunday 3 March 2013

MAR110 Marketing Concepts

Image courtesy of Master isolated images
There are no formal requirements to blog about this particular subject but I'll add some stuff here anyway because it's looking like a really interesting subject. :)

It's the end of week 1 and so far we've covered "What is Marketing?".  Following are some key points I've noted for the week.

There are 5 steps in the marketing process, each of which we'll cover off in more detail in coming weeks. They are:
  1. Market Analysis - Understand the marketplace & customer needs & wants. Buyer behaviour, micro/macro environment, market research & information systems.
  2. Marketing Strategy - Design a customer-driven marketing strategy. Segmentation, targeting, positioning.
  3. Marketing Mix - Construct an integrated marketing program that delivers superior value. Product, People, Physical Evidence, Process, Place, Price, Promotion.
  4. Manage Relationships - Build profitable relationships and create customer delight. Value, satisfaction, ethics, sustainability, social/green marketing.
  5. Customer Equity & Profits - Capture value from customers to create profits and customer equity. Loyalty, retention, market share.
The first four create value FOR customers, the fifth captures value FROM customers.

And here are some interesting excerpts from the course notes and the reading which I can use in my marketing efforts going forward:
  • An important part of marketing is analysing the environment, and identifying market needs.  You can't successfully sell or promote a product if you don't know who the potential customers are and what's important to them (course notes).
  • "Selling focuses on the needs of the seller, marketing on the needs of the buyer. Selling is preoccupied with the seller's need to convert the product into cash, marketing with the idea of satisfying the needs of the customer by means of the product and the whole cluster of things associated with creating, delivering, and, finally, consuming it." - Levitt
  • "The view that an industry is a customer-satisfying process, not a goods-producing process, is vital for all businesspeople to understand. An industry begins with the customer and his or her needs, not with a patent, a raw material, or a selling skill. Given the customer's needs, the industry develops backwards, first concerning itself with the physical delivery of customer satisfactions. Then it moves back further to creating the things by which these satisfactions are in part achieved. How these materials are created is a matter of indifference to the customer, hence the particular form of manufacturing, processing, or what have you cannot be considered as a vital aspect of the industry. Finally, the industry moves back still further to finding the raw materials necessary for making it's products." - Levitt
  • "it should be obvious that building an effective customer-oriented company involves far more than good intentions or promotional tricks; it involves profound matters of human organization and leadership" - Levitt
Levitt, Theodore 2004 (reprint of 1960 article. Marketing Myopia. Harvard Business Review Vol. 82 Issue 7/8, p.138-149.