Discuss and evaluate the importance of perception and memory and learning at each stage of the consumption process for marketing managers' understanding of consumer behaviour.

Essay by gurugobinsinghUniversity, Bachelor'sC+, February 2003

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In this essay I am going to look at two separate but related individual determinants that influence a consumer's buying habits. As I will show, it is imperative that the marketing manager understands these and other determinants so that he or she can target their product and create a positive image that will increase the success of their product.

In advertising, marketers must highlight the best points of their products and attempt to show why their product is better than their competitors'. By doing this, they will shape the consumer's view of the product and the impact that it will have on their lives. Even for low involvement products - products that have little personal importance (Schiffman 1991: 209) - marketers must in effect teach consumers that their product is superior.

In terms of this essay it can be seen that 'perception' has two separate meanings and both are of importance to marketing managers.

'Perception is the process by which an individual selects stimuli from his or her environment, organizes (sic) information about those stimuli, and interprets the information to form a coherent, meaningful view of the world'

(Wells and Prensky, p.257)

So, perception not only occurs when we register a stimulus by one of our five senses but it also relates to the view that that is developed as a result of the stimulus.

However, a person's reaction to stimuli and the perceptions that they form as a result of a stimulus often depends on past experiences and the expectations that they have built up as a result. Police witness reports are often conflicting as two people see the same incident in different ways. In a similar way, two people who see a McDonald's advert may react to it in very different ways but it is up to the...