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            I would like to thank my (                 ) for helping me in this research paper. I dedicate this paper to my (           ) with a lot of love.


The topic I chose to write on interests me in the sense that I felt it was important to understand why a consumer, as I am, could be easily influenced by a commercial or advertisement to go and buy a product. The behavior that we have as consumers of analyzing every product by the television commercial or the billboards that they post needed to be understood according to me. I believe that it entails more than meets the eye and therefore I had to carry out a research and devote to it as my dissertation paper. Consumer behavior is very important as it dictates the economy of nations and the demand and supply life cycles. By the end of the research, I hoped to have understood the consumer behavior and how marketers psychologically ‘confuse’ the minds of the consumers to buy their products. However, the research would not have been possible if it were not for the good American citizens who offered their time and privacy to let me deduce my conclusions from their opinions. I would also like to thank some of my classmates like (        ) and (         ) for assisting me in the research activities and fieldwork, the research would not have been possible without you.







Executive Summary

Consumer behavior is an independent part of the consumer that triggers the decision they make regarding purchases of goods and services. The manufacturer or producer tries to play with the forces and principles of marketing to influence the consumer psychologically to make them have an attraction towards their good. How marketing and advertising affects consumer behavior and if it really affects it or not, is the purpose of this research paper.

The highlights of this research are the marketers’ advertisement campaigns and how the consumers react or are affected by them. The targeted consumers are working class people since they have the biggest say in the purchasing world as they have income. The results of the research procedures carried out are analyzed in the paper and the conclusions analyzed. The respondents are treated with due care and the events and researches conducted in this research paper are honest and hold no bias whatsoever. The research is carried out by effective researchers and effective proactive efforts. The target market is the American metropolitan market where the real world case scenarios apply. The American people participated in the research wholeheartedly and voluntarily and the opinions they offered were sincere as far as they informed me.








Table of Contents

Content                                                                                                                                  Page

1.0       Introduction…………………………………………………………………………….4

1.0.1    Objective of the study………………………………………………………….4

1.0.2    The Research Question…………………………………………………………………………..4

1.1       Advertising and Consumer Behavior…………………………………………………..4

1.1.1    Consumer behavior…………………………………………………………….4

1.1.2    Advertising……………………………………………………………………..6

1.1.3    Psychological, Cultural, Social and Personal Perspectives…………………….8

1.1.4    Motivational Factors…………………………………………………………..12

1.2       Social Marketing………………………………………………………………………13

1.2.1    Advertising through mass media………………………………………………13

1.2.2    Social Marketing………………………………………………………………15

1.2.3    Communications………………………………………………………………17

1.3       Research methodology…………………………………………………………………20

1.3.1    Research Method used…………………………………………………………20

1.3.2    Research Design……………………………………………………………….20

1.3.3    Analysis and Presentation of Research Findings and Discussion………………22

1.4       Conclusions……………………………………………………………………………..23

            1.4.1    The influence of advertising on the behavior of consumers……………………23

            1.4.2    Bibliography…………………………………………………………………….25



1.0       Introduction

1.0.1    Objective of the study

The objective of this study is to find out to what extent advertising and marketing affect consumer behavior and how the different elements of advertising and marketing are applied in the bid to influence consumer behavior.

1.0.2    The Research Question

How is consumer behavior affected by advertising and marketing? How do marketing and advertising strategies work to affect the purchasing decisions of the consumer?

1.1       Advertising and Consumer Behavior

1.1.1    Consumer behavior

Consumer behavior is the process of when, why, how, and where consumers do or do not buy goods. This process understands the decision making process of the buyer both at individual and group level. Through consumer behavior, the buyers characteristics such as demographics and behavioral variables in an attempt to understand the wants of the people. In addition, the process tries to assess the impacts on the consumer from various groups such as friends, relatives, reference groups and the community as a whole. Therefore, the consumer behavior is important in marketing because it leads organizations or companies to improve in their marketing strategies by understanding various issues concerning the consumer. It also helps the marketers to adapt and improve their marketing campaigns in order to reach the customers in an effective manner.

According to Hoyer (2009), consumers experience various sources of influences. For instance, cultural influence, which is known to be very significant practice in all parts of the world, physical factors affects the behavior of individuals. This implies that a person will buy a product when there is a burning need for it. Social factors influence the buying behavior of people in that a person is most likely to purchase a product as away of imitating a friend whom they admire making them to buy the same item. In addition, consumer behavior is also influenced by learning. This implies that a person may purchase a new product and after learning its goodness in taste and satisfaction ability, they may decide to buy it now and again.

In consumer behavior, the consumers have a choice to make decision concerning their consumption process. A consumer recognizes a problem, searches for the information concerning the item needed, conducts an evaluation of alternatives where they compare the brands of a product that are in their considered set. The consumer may make an evaluation of alternatives in terms of the functional and psychological benefits that they provide. Therefore, any organization in marketing process must understand the exact products that are beneficial to the consumers and the attributes that are important in terms of decision-making. In purchasing stage, the consumer is prepared to carry out the purchasing process. Nevertheless, purchasing intentions may not lead into an actual buying sometimes. Therefore, the marketing company has the responsibility of facilitating the acts of the consumer on their intentions concerning purchasing of the product.

Research shows that integration is the appropriate move. By achieving integration successfully, the marketing company may influence the buying decisions much more easily. Psychological processes are also related with purchase decisions. For instance, an individual may decide to buy the alternative identification while evaluating the already known alternatives. The involvement of the consumer in marketing always varies dramatically depending on the type of goods and services. Consumer involvement will be higher for items that are very expensive such as a home or a car, or may be in highly significant in the life of the consumer in some other way.

According to Hoyer (2009), there are consumer behaviors models that help the marketers to produce the right goods for the right people through matching the products produced with the behaviors demonstrated by people coming into contact with the product. For instance, the engagement and satisfaction model assumes linear phases. This implies that the products produced by the marketer must reach the customers. After that, that person may be acquired and become engaged. Therefore, for any marketing organization to achieve its goals and objectives, it has to put into consideration the consumer behavior because through this, the organization may be able to understand when to produce, what to produce, how that product should be produced, for what reasons is the product being produced for, and where to produce the product from.

1.1.2    Advertising

Advertising is a form of communication tool used by firms in marketing designed to increase awareness to the customers as well as positioning it in their mind. The major aim of advertising is to drive the consumers towards changing their behavior in buying and persuade them to prefer the particular advertised item. It has been broadly defined as a non-personal paid for communication about a certain organization, idea or goods and services that is persuasive in nature by a certain sponsor. Today almost all firms and organizations engage in several forms of advertising to change consumers’ behavior in buying. The advertisements have an effect on the customer behavior where through persuasion customers change their preferences.

Advertising has a direct impact on the consumer behavior where it influences their purchasing behavior through persuasion that is aimed at informing consumers of the benefits of the products. Advertisement is targeted at particular customers through satisfying their needs. Advertising manages to position a brand at the back of customers mind. When well positioned, consumers will want to associate themselves with the particular product out of their perception towards it. For instance, Nokia Company positions its brand as one that connects people. Many people would be interested in this particular product because they know thy will be connected to others. This way, the advertisement will capture many buyers hence influence the consumers to buy its products.

The main objective behind advertisement is influencing the consumers to behave in a certain way when it comes buying, one that favors the advertisers. The advertisement aims at making a good impression to the consumers, one that persuades them to believe what the advertisement displays such as strong words and images. For instance, if an advertiser knows that a particular group of people is interested in a certain lifestyle such as having a beautiful figure for women; they could advertise their goods b through showing how their products transform a person into this ideal figure. Consequently, people will believe the product and probably end up purchasing to try its effects. This way, the advertisement will have influenced consumers mind as well as behavior.

Another way advertisement manages to influence consumer behavior is through changing their perception concerning a particular product or through selling ideas. Advertisements are in many forms and some are meant to sell ideas. Advertisements that sell ideas make people change from their views to the ideas put across by the advertisement. For instant, during political campaigns, politicians sell their ideas to people that determine who might win. Without such adverts, the politicians would not influence people to vote in their favor. More so, adverts that aim to change the perspective of people on a certain product manage to change people’s views.




1.1.3    Psychological, Cultural, Social and Personal Perspectives

Psychological perspectives

Consumer behavior in the market can be modeled from a number of perspectives. One of the perspectives is psychological which is defined as the behavior and mental processes of an individual. Psychology determines the way the consumer perceives marketing information, which is done through advertising, and the ways the consumer perceives that in formation in making a decision for consuming commodities. In order to understand the psychology of the market, it is vital to know the ways the consumers think, believes and reason as well as selects commodities between different alternatives. One should also understand the psychology of how the consumers are influenced by their surroundings such as culture, family and even media services. Thus, the way the consumer behaves while purchasing or making marketing decisions needs to be evaluated.

The psychological perspectives influence the pattern of consumption. Psychological behaviors of a consumer can determine his or her ways of consumption. Individuals use their psychological thinking in making a decision on how, when, why and where to or not to purchase a commodity. Limitations in consumer knowledge or ability to process information influence consumption decision and marketing result (Joubert, 2010). Additionally, psychology perspective is crucial because it helps in understanding the ways consumer’s motivation and decision strategies differ between products in terms of level of importance or interest. It helps in determining the ways marketers can adapt and improve their marketing approaches and advertisements to reach the consumers effectively. Thus, the marketers need to understand the mental functions of individuals and their social behaviors in the market as well as explore things such as cognition, emotional behavior, perception, attention and personal behaviors in the market.

Cultural perspectives

Culture is another perspective that influences consumer behavior in the market. It is part of external influences, which affects the consumer choice in the market. Culture is defined as the knowledge, beliefs customs or other capabilities as well as habits of an individual in a society. Culture is an important part that determines market behavior of the consumer. Knowledge and belief are essential parts that determine consumer behavior. Culture is an interdependent component system and it has diverse characteristics. It is comprehensive because all components join in a logical way. It is also learned from others and manifested within the boundaries of acceptable behaviors (Strydom, 2004). Thus, the purchasing decision varies depending on cultural influences in the marketing region.

Consumers uphold values, beliefs and attitudes towards a particular commodity being marketed. This affects their decision of what they purchase, from who and the means of buying it. The consumers consider product information or marketing message. Consequently, they compare the information with their cultural values and beliefs before making a decision on purchasing it. When marketing to a certain culture, language consideration is vital. Language is a primary aspect of culture. This is because it binds the different members of culture together through fundamental information. It helps people in making consumption choice thorough the ways in which marketing information is passed to them.

It is fundamental to identify common cultural factors of a consumer that influence marketing. When marketing to a certain cultural region, ensure that all the aspects of culture are kept in mind. This means that one should look at the ways culture affects the consumer’s lifestyles or consumption habits. One can do more damage when marketing products to unfamiliar cultural society. Thus, it is vital to ensure that the message is not only pertinent to the consumer but also supports the beliefs and cultural values as well. When carrying out marketing activities, it is crucial to take some time to gather adequate information about cultural behaviors of the consumer for successful marketing of product to a cultural segment.

Social perspectives

The social perspectives involve getting ideas across from different targeted groups. It is application of marketing technologies in order to analyze, plan, execute and evaluate programs designed to influence people of diverse social groups. The intention is to influence them in making consumption choice. Consumer’s choices are influenced by opinions made by reference groups, social class, family and cultural group. A marketer engaging in social media needs to know current society fit for marketing products that diverse social groups may desire. Thus, a marketer needs to determine the following in order to gain influencer status.

First, determining where the communities are situated and which target groups are appropriate. The marketer should understand the place where the products and services should be distributed. This is vital because consumption choices involving highly visible products are often driven by social values. For instance, products that are thought to be functional are frequently consumed basing on their social values. Additionally, determining the appropriate groups or communities to where one can market products is crucial. This requires in-depth analysis of diverse groups in order to determine which target groups that have long-term prospective to the marketer.

Secondly, a marketer should establish himself or herself as an expert in the market. This is crucial because it will enable different groups to be influenced by a certain commodity present to the market. A marketer should be a ware of identifying whom and to which group he or she represents. He or she should understand the dynamics of the groups before marketing the products to such communities. This is because age, sex or family may be influenced by particular products presented to them in different ways. For instance, family consumption decisions are made by different family units thus it is vital to understanding their preferences.

Personal perspectives

Personal perspective involves all the traits and behaviors that make a person unique. It determines the way an individual behaves towards products presented in the market. Thus, it is crucial for marketers to match the store image with the perceived image of their customers (Peter and Olson, 2005). This is because there is a connection between the personal behaviors and consumption behavior in the market. Consumers are influenced to certain commodities in the market that are consistent with their self-concept. They have their consistent patterns, which they follow in their lives when making consumption decisions. Some consumers posses personal unique characters thus before marketing products to different groups of people, it is essential to learn and evaluate their personal traits.

Joubert (2010) points out that personal attitudes, subjective norms and perceived control issues influences an individual’s intentions towards making consumption choice. Different people have their own experiences, knowledge and values that create belief s about the consumption of a commodity. It is through these personal beliefs that they evaluate negative and positive aspects thus end up with personal attitudes towards making consumption choice. Sometimes personal behaviors may be influenced by internal and external limitations. Hence, a person may have positive or negative feelings towards making a decision on consumption. Therefore, it is vital for marketers to have knowledge that will enable them to understand behaviors and attitudes of their customers in the market. This will enable the marketers to market their products effectively and efficiently in the market.

1.1.4    Motivational Factors

Consumer motivation is an inner drive in a consumer that drives them towards a goal-oriented arousal. The arousal is usually in a desire to get a specific product, experience or service. It can also be defined as the desire to satisfy a need or a want. The needs or wants here are both psychological and physiological. The satisfaction of the want or need is achieved through the purchasing and using of a service or product. Motivation is different from the human personality, as it is more abstract and deeper. However, motivation is linked to the personal social environment and the personal character traits of an individual. Motivation provides a perception of the consumer as a unique individual and thus is said to represent the consumer at a low level.

This study looks at motivation as a driving agent for the consumer to satisfy their wants and needs through the influence of advertising. Motivation is among the psychological factors that affect consumer behavior. People do not always choose their goods solely in terms of their prices, their availability or their performance. There are several other influences coupled with emotional reasons that make consumers choose a product. For instance, image and esteem are two major common influences of the product a consumer chooses to buy. Many of the reasons, which consumers have of buying a product, are in their subconscious selves and they could not explain what makes them choose the products that they do.

Marketing and advertising aim to affect the degree of psychological and physical involvement that a customer has with a product to increase the motivation they have of actually purchasing it. Since motivation is unconscious, the customer shall not know what made them buy or chose the specific product, though the advertisement was responsible for the decision. Advertising also, through the influence that peers and social circles have on one another, influences the people to purchase a product through their motivation. This applies in the sense that, peers and people in similar social circles tend to use or have similar likes and dislikes. If one person in a social circle identifies a product and is motivated to purchase it, it is highly likely that the other people in the group shall be influenced to purchase it. This is by affecting their motivation to purchase the product.

Motives to buy and behave in a certain way are in the character of a person. They are life long character traits. Therefore, advertising can only serve to change them slightly and give them direction. A person shall always buy a certain product as long as their conscience tells them to, however, they could change the brand or quantity if influenced to do so by an aspect that affects their psychology. This is where advertising and marketing kicks in. Advertising and marketing also affect the consumers’ motivational strength. This is the degree at which the consumer is willing to use their available resources to get a product or achieve a certain goal.

1.2       Social Marketing

1.2.1    Advertising Through Mass Media

For many years, the mass media has been of great influence as far a behavior is concerned. Fortunately or unfortunately, it still is. People will go to great lengths to wear what a particular celebrity wears or even act like the way these celebrities do. Consequently, companies take advantage of people reaction to mass media in advertising. Since the 1980s in the developed countries and the late 1990s in the developing countries, people have been able to access any type of mass media cheaply and easily (Mooij, 2004). However, the most influential types of mass media seem to b the televisions and magazines.

The diversity of the television makes it a good target for firms when advertising. Most people will sit down in front of a television set for long hours when watching news, a movie or a game. Since this is a relaxing time and people are not in a hurry, it becomes a good time to pop an advertisement. In order to attract the maximum attention, most firms prefer using celebrities as their advertising since most people want to emulate them. These celebrities are mostly in the media. For example, they mostly use movie stars, news anchors, famous models, and television shows’ hosts amongst others.

Nevertheless, the kind of media to be used is dependent on the consumers targeted. Pictures in a magazine twice or almost thrice as good as they appear physically. This is why hotel rooms, houses, clothes, shoes amongst others, are advertised through magazines (Mooij, 2004). They are easily accessible by people of all ages and class. Most people, especially the women and teenagers tend to get overly excited when a particular commodity of their liking appears on a magazine cover. It is of greater influence if that commodity, say a dress, is worn by a female movie star.

Still on the consumers targeted, teenagers and the young people tend to watch television more than the working adults do. Most adults tend to access the magazines, newspapers or audio media since it is portable and easily accessible. Advertising is meant to attract the targeted audience in order to pursue them into consuming a particular product. When targeting the working class, it is best that the firms use the easily portable media. When targeting the younger people, the motion/visual media is best.

An advertisement may make a consumer want to but a given product or nor pay any interest to it. For example, most consumers tend to get irritated with advertisements that are brought in-between interesting programs. For example, if people are watching a good soccer match then a clothesline advertisement is popped in between the match, the audience tends to get mad at both the media station and the clothesline company. This kind of interruption may push away the consumers rather interrupt them. It is wise of the firms to relate the advertisement for the occasion. For example, if an advertisement will be brought in the middle of a football game, then it would influence the consumers better if it were posted in a “football” manner. This has mostly been evident in such advertisements as the Coca Cola advertisements. If advertisements will be aired during the Olympic Games, the advertisement is usually about the Olympic Games (Mooij, 2004).

It is important to note that the firms are in need of the consumers due to the supplier- buyer competition. It is therefore important to categorize the targeted audience and advertise using the right media. Adults need to be addressed using the media that is more they can easily access without much effort. The young people need to be accessed with the media that will keep them both interested and entertained. Most teenagers and young people are not very interested in newspapers. It would not be appropriate to put an advertisement targeting the teenagers in a newspaper. The teenagers would have a negative attitude towards it for those few who see it.

1.2.2    Social Marketing

Social marketing is defined as the use of the principles of marketing and other techniques to influence a certain group of people to willingly reject, modify or accept a certain behavior for the benefit of certain individuals or the society as a whole. Social marketing has been used most often to influence human behaviors and help them in improving their health, prevent them from getting injuries, influence their contribution to the community or to protect the environment. Social marketers aim on selling behavioral changes to people. Target audiences are influenced with the aim of making them accept a new behavior, modify a certain current behavior, reject a certain behavior or abandon a certain behavior. Other minor aims of social marketing are for influencing knowledge or belief (Kotler, Roberto & Lee, 2002).

In social marketing, the behavior change desired is voluntary in nature. This behavior change aims to affect the consumers psychologically. This psychological influence creates the voluntary change that is desired in social marketing. Social marketing I s important as it is used in various fields like health, human safety and security, environment and the community. Social marketing is very important as it applies the most basic strategies of marketing to come up with advertisements. This therefore means that without social marketing advertising would not work as well. Customer orientation is a basic principle that is applied by social marketers to understand the target audiences, their beliefs and actions. Market researches are carried out to offer understandings of different segments of the market, each of the segments needs, problems, beliefs, behaviors and wants.

Target markets that can be easily satisfied are then chosen and then the four Ps are implemented, these are price, product, place and promotion. The product is designed to create a certain appeal to the target market and audiences and affect their intended behaviors. Since the market is full of diverse populations, with different needs and wants, and different people have different appeals, the market is divided into groups that have closely related or that have similar sets of needs and wants. Strategies are then created to formulate how the needs and wants for every segment created are going to be satisfied. Different mixes of the 4Ps are then created for each segment of the market.

Social marketing aims not to just provide information to the consumers but to focus on the behavior of the individual. Due to this, social marketing strategies are different to other information-based approaches. This is because, social marketing addresses and analyses the full problem regardless of the methods that are chosen to address it. Social marketing has the advantage of concentrating on the consumer. The primary beneficiary of social marketing is the target individual, society or group. In commercial marketing, the primary beneficiary is the corporate world or market. Since social marketing is entirely based on influencing the people’s behaviors, the concept originated way before a clear definition of it could be formed. For instance, the activities to free slaves, stop child labor and the fight for women’s rights are all examples of social marketing (Kotler, Roberto & Lee, 2002).

Social marketing is important in that it acts on the psychological part of an individual and influences their behavior in terms of what they chose to buy or which services they wish to use. Social marketing forms the base and guidelines for the creation of advertisements and marketing strategies. Through the advertisements and commercial marketing, the principles of social marketing are implemented to influence the decisions of buyers intellectually and make them change certain behaviors or decisions in what products they use.

1.2.3    Communications

A brand is the central part of the marketing process that focuses on consumers. Integration is the most important theme in the topic of modern advertising. Advertising is the mother and life of the brand. Communication is part of any advertising or marketing process. Communication starts by the creation of the message. The message is created to fit the requirements and the desires of the target audiences. The message is then encoded which is the second step in the communication process. Encoding of the message involves the creation of a creative idea and then transforming it into an advertisement that gets the attention. The advertisement should be fit enough to be played in different media like radios, televisions, magazines and other popular media. The media that the consumer receives the message through will depend on what media they use most, or which message they best understand. The delivery of them message through the communication media is usually the third stage of the communication process. The decoding of the message occurs after the message reaches the consumer and is perceived by one or more of their senses. For instance, the consumer may hear, see or feel through touch, an advertisement (Hackley, 2009).

Communication in advertising and marketing focuses on the creation of marketing material. However, professional and academic research developed a strategy that entails the use of certain elements that ensure the consistency of the delivered messages. Since communication focuses on the message, the messages that are produced for advertising and marketing campaigns are focused on the understanding and the appeal they have to the consumer. This means that brands might be changed in order to fulfill this, names and packaging covers might be changed in order to influence the appeal and the reception the product or service has to the customer. This changes and activities that are aimed at pleasing the customer are called touch points. Therefore, a marketing and communication mix is created when the two are liked with the aim of providing promotion of a brand, a product or a service.

Marketing communication is aims at the product and not the service. This is opposed to the corporate side of communication where the company is the focus of the communication. Communication influences consumer behavior in the sense that, once the intended message is received and understood by the consumer, certain interests in their lifestyles and the products they use are triggered and the consumer behavior in terms of their purchases is changed, prevented or encouraged.

When all the marketing communication resources, tools, avenues and functions are integrated and coordinated to maximize the impact it shall have on the consumers, it is called integrated marketing communication. Integrated marketing communication is a process where customer relationships are managed. Marketing however has changes considerably over time as today the practice involves media that includes the internet. The change has been brought about by the connectedness that the internet offers. Previously, marketing was a one-way affair as the marketers were posting their offers and proposals to the customers. Today, through the help of the internet, the marketing procedure is more of a conversation between the consumer and the marketer. The integrated marketing process involves the mixing of different types of advertising, marketing and sales efforts. The integrated marketing plan does not involve the integration and the free communication between the marketer and the consumer (Hackley, 2009).

Communication, whether in marketing or in advertising, is the hub of the whole process and without it the message to the consumer would not go through. This is because, for instance, if an advertisement were launched in Japan about a mobile phone, it would focus on a specific class of people. If the class were high, the language used and the features of the advertisement, would include images and activities involving the higher class and those that relate to them. If the advertisement or marketing campaign were to aim at a lower class, the features of the advertisement or the marketing campaign would reflect the lower class activities. Moreover, the languages spoken would be different as the higher class people would for instance understand English and those in the lower one would not. Therefore, without communication, marketing and advertisement would not be effective at all and they would not influence consumer behavior in any way.




1.3       Research Methodology

1.3.1    Research Method Used

In the research, qualitative research techniques were used. This is because the research covered a large scope and it involved real humans and the investigation of their behavior and attitudes as consumers. The qualitative methods used are projective techniques. Since the research is conducted on people, where they are required to give their opinions and feedbacks on certain questions that they are asked, it is clear that the research methods involve the giving of true feelings and opinions. Since such situations make most people uncomfortable due to the sharing of personal opinions, others may not be fully aware of their preferences, and opinions, the projective techniques allow the research subjects to project their opinions and feelings into other situations and onto other opinions. The method provides a less intimidating environment for the respondent and it creates an environment that enables the respondent to reveal their deepest unconscious beliefs and desires.

1.3.2    Research Design

The research was designed to use two methods, the association method and the completion method. The sample size selected included 50 people chosen at random in the streets of town. However, the people selected had to be working as these were determined as the people with the highest purchasing power. The research was designed to take very short periods as the respondents were targeted in the mornings just before work and in the evening right after they came from work. The association and completion methods were used in order to reduce the responses that the respondents had as the methods only require short replies and one-word answers. The respondents were then asked a series of questions in the association sessions.

These sessions involved the researcher showing the consumers a series of photos, stating a series of words and then the respondents were required to state what comes to their minds in the first instance of hearing the word or seeing the photo. In the completion sessions, the respondents were asked to respond to certain words, questions and phrases by completing them. For instances, phrases like ‘when I think of tyres I think of (blank)’, or ‘if my car was a person, who would it be’, the respondent would then be asked to fill the blank space. Names of specific products were then used and the respondents were asked about specific products in a question and answer session that supplemented the completion session.

These methods are advantageous because they are carried out in the environment of the real world. Moreover, the investigations conducted analyze behaviors that involve actual purchasing which are what interests most marketers and advertisers. The methods avoid abstract concepts as viewing the brand image or personality. Additionally the research methods used give researchers in-depth looks at the everyday life of the consumer, which is often overlooked. A disadvantage of the method is that the method requires permission from the interviewees. This is a disadvantage because not every person is comfortable letting a stranger peer into his or her pantry, or asks them questions concerning their personal life while following them around. It may take a considerable amount of time before the researchers are allowed to visit these parts of the consumers and this time, to the researcher, is time wasted. In addition, in all research techniques involving live subjects and observation, the behavior changes when the presence of another person is noted. Some of the people might have started shopping differently when they noted that there was someone else observing them or taking notes concerning their behavior.



1.3.3    Analysis

The actual responses were analyzed. In analyzing and examining the responses, the researcher analyzed how long it took the respondents to respond to the photo or the words and statements. Patterns of response that emerged throughout the survey were also analyzed as they offered certain conclusions. Ninety percent of the respondents in the research responded positively to the research in that they allowed the researchers to use them as test subjects.

In the association session, the consumers were shown photos of several common household detergents and then they were to state the first thing that came on their minds. About ninety percent of the respondents mention the key words that were used in the advertising campaigns of the different detergents. They then mentioned the name of the persons used in the advertisements or the location where the advertisement was performed or the nature of the house in which the advertisement was carried out. This showed that the consumers noted their favorite detergent’s advertisement and allowed room in their minds for one more advertisement, which was noted as their next best option. This meant that every consumer had a first choice and a second one just in case the first one was not available or was out of stock. The men were less knowledgeable when pictures of detergents were shown to them; however, they stated that their wives usually shop for household items, which included detergents.

The men however, were shown photos of tyres and ninety-eight percent of them responded with names of their favorite tyres, their manufacturing companies and their qualities on cars. The men were observed to be more factual about their preferences and had only first choices in the products they used. It was also observed that the men were strict about their preference. Men were observed to be keen on advertisements and commercials that concerned their areas of interest. However, the women were observed to be keen on all commercials since when asked about items like tyres, they offered answers, though not as factual as the men’s’ answers were.

The advertisements, it was observed, have different impacts on different genders. For instance, advertisements concerning detergents were more colorful and had more cheer and merry in them, these attracted and caught the eyes of the women more than they did the men. However, car and tyre advertisements were not as colorful as the detergent ones but involved more technical terms and jargons. These attracted the men more as they were interested in such items.

The women took short periods to respond to the questions about the detergents while the men also took considerable short periods to respond to the questions about the tyres. However, the women took short pauses, and moments to think before answering the questions about the tyres while the men took long pauses and quite some time to respond to the detergent ads. This was concluded to be because of the differing interests and familiarities. The men were more interested in the tyres and therefore could offer fast replies and quick answers. The women, on the other hand, were more interested in the detergents and therefore could offer better answers and faster replies.

The patterns of response were aligned with the incomes of the specific respondents. The high-income earners were associated with products with higher prices, and the middle-income earners were associated with products that related with their income.

1.4       Conclusions

            1.4.1    The influence of advertising on the behavior of consumers

Advertising and marketing have a major influence on consumer behavior and the purchasing trends of consumers. When a marketer and an advertiser runs an advertisement on television, on newspaper, online or on radio there is a considerable effect on the people viewing the advertisement. This is because the marketer has viewed the advertisement and has incorporated various elements that enable the impact of the commercial to be quite significant. Large amounts of data in form of pictures and videos and large sums of money are spent each year by companies in marketing and sales campaigns. These resources could not be directed to this channel if the channel was not effective enough to produce results. Therefore, the marketers themselves are aware of the effect their efforts have on the consumers and how they play with the consumer’s psychology to make them increase their likeness for their product.

The methods have equal chances of success and failure as the same number of people watching, reading or hearing the advertisement could be the same number not watching, hearing or reading the advertisement. Therefore, marketing and advertising, to the marketers, is more of a gamble than a sure play. They could only make estimates of the people to be reached by the message through methods of placement, medium to use and time to run the advertisement. For instance, an advertisement that runs just before the seven o’clock news in the evening has more chances of getting the most number of viewers than an advertisement that plays at ten o’clock in the day or in the night. Similarly, a billboard on a super highway has more chances of being viewed by more people than a billboard located along a residential connecting road.

Once the advertisements are played, the effect could only be predicted by the marketers, as they are not sure. However, today, the effect that an advertisement or a marketing campaign may have on people can be estimated as peoples’ preferences and previous surveys have shown and given guidelines on how to format



1.4.2    Bibliography

Hoyer, W. (2009). Consumer Behavior. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.

Hackley, Chris. (2009). Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Approach. New York, NY: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Joubert, P. (2010). Introduction to consumer behavior. Claremont: Juta publishers.

Kotler, P., Roberto, N., & Lee, N. (2002). Social marketing: improving the quality of life. New York, NY: Sage.

Lantos, G. P. (2010). Consumer Behavior in Action: Real-Life Applications for Marketing Managers. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

Mooij, M. K. (2004). Consumer behavior and culture: Consequences for global marketing and advertising. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications

Peter, J.P. and J.C. Olson. (2005). Consumer behavior and marketing strategy. New York, NY:


Strydom, J. (2004). Introduction to marketing. Cape Town, South Africa: Juta publishers.

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