What Motivates the Consumer to Make a Considered Purchase?
Cross-device buying patterns? Considered purchase? Persistent identifier? These days, even the sharpest marketers can occasionally feel like cryptozoologists tracking the elusive Bigfoot (i.e. customer). But the basics still apply. Let’s take a look at considered purchases, for instance.
Considered Purchase : a complex buying decision with a high degree of financial and/or emotional risk and reward. This process requires meaningful investigation and comparison by key decision makers and influencers prior to a transaction.
In short, considered purchases are big-ticket items like cars, furniture, appliances, insurance policies, and of course, houses. They’re products consumers give more thought to before purchasing.
When we dissect these seemingly ambiguous terms, they turn out to be quite simple. Yet many companies and agencies often overlook the basics. They forget to take a closer look at the core needs of the consumer and what drives them to make considered purchases.
When creating an advertising campaign and focusing on a target audience, marketers need to conduct research to find define the needs of the consumer. How did these needs arise? What type of stimuli brought the target audience to this stage of awareness? What factor or combination of factors, like the topics discussed above, brought them to enter the first phase of the Buying Cycle?
To deal with the constant flux of changing consumer behavior, marketers must continue to examine and maintain a solid knowledge of the consumer decision-making process, and in particular, understand the Buying Cycle. The Buying Cycle can be represented in the following stages:
(1) Need Recognition
(2) Information Search
(3) Evaluation of Alternatives
(5) Post-Purchase Behavior.
Consumers will go through these stages when making a purchase of a product or service.
A Considered Purchase Begins with Need Recognition
The first phase of the Buying Cycle is Need Recognition. It’s the awareness of a need or imbalance between actual and desired states. Factors that cause a consumer to enter the considered purchase cycle include:
- Necessity – Consumer is exposed to either an external or internal stimulus that ignites the need. For example, a consumer may see an ad and want to purchase that product (external) or experience something like hunger or thirst (internal).
- Replacements or Upgrades – Consumer realizes they have to replace a product with the same version or an upgraded model. For example, a consumer’s washing machine and dryer are broken. With a considered purchase such as a large appliance, a consumer will likely give more thought and invest more time and research into making the purchase.
- Major Life Changes – This includes events like marriage, birth, moving to a new home, starting college, etc. Let’s take for example, a newlywed couple that has recently purchased a home. There will be purchases to consider and it’s likely they include big-ticket items such as furniture and major appliances.
- Conspicuous Consumption – Social status, fashion, and a desire for luxury goods are some of the influencers that drive a consumer to conspicuous consumption. Purchasing a home in a desirable neighborhood or a luxury car are ways for a consumer to outwardly project their social status.
- Maintain their Lifestyle – Consumers may purchase products to perpetuate their current quality of life.
- Joining a Group or Gaining Peer Acceptance – Consumers may purchase products in order to gain favor with a group or association they wish to be part of.
- Expressing Cultural Identity—Consumers may purchase a product or service that resonates with them culturally or reinforces their ethnic identity.
Getting back to basics can often provide the turning point needed to take your campaigns to the next level. That’s exactly what Wingman did for Sit’n Sleep. Sit ‘n Sleep’s “Replace Every 8” campaign shaped awareness around the health benefits of a new mattress. A need was created and brought consumers into the first “Need Recognition” stage of the Buying Cycle.
Overall, understanding the Need Recognition phase is about understanding the target audience, noting their pain points, and identifying what influences (external and internal) can potentially engage with a client’s product. It’s a very basic concept that can help marketers navigate through the noise of overly-complicated buzzwords and here-today-gone-tomorrow concepts and strategies.