By: Tyler Berube
When it comes to a company introducing a new product portfolio into the market, the marketing team must analyze the overall reception of the product based on a myriad of factors relating to the buying motivations of the consumer. This article focuses on the importance of the social factors that drive buyer behavior. Within our society, we adhere to certain laws and social regulations that drive how we behave in public. The marketing community also centers on similar laws and regulations to try and understand how consumers buy, or in other words, what motivates them to buy. Marketers refer to these different social groups as Reference Groups, which can have multiple influences, both direct (face-to-face) and indirect. Let’s explore the various individuals that make up these Reference Groups.
- The Initiator: as the name suggests, this individual starts the chain of command by suggesting or thinking about buying a particular product.
- The Influencer: unlike the initiator, the influencer gives a direct opinion of a product. This individual usually posses a certain know-how about the product and can use his or her influence to sway the opinion of a consumer.
- The Decider/Buyer: this individual, usually the consumer, has the financial power to purchase a product and thus wants to make the final transaction.
- The User: the individual who will use the product – can be the consumer or someone else.
Along with these basic Reference Groups, marketers also base their research on various family groups and social classes and which segment they should market their product to:
- Bachelors: alcohol, vehicles, electronics
- Newly married: home, car, furnishing
- Families with Children: products geared toward family future
- Empty nesters/Retirement/Old Age: medicine, healthcare products
When it comes to the social status of a consumer, the economic status of the consumer is often the main driving force behind buying behavior. We see this in the target markets of Walmart and Burberry; one focusing on the lower-income echelon and the other on the upper classes.
The Market, Media, Life. (2015). Retrieved December 9, 2015, from http://marketmedialife.blogspot.com/2012/10/marketing-101-social-factors-affecting.html