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5 Steps to the Consumer Purchase Decision Process

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There are five basic steps that the customer goes through when deciding to buy a product or service. As a marketer you need to be very aware of each of these steps in order to be able to design a marketing plan that will reach to the heart of the customer’s needs. Understanding each of these steps will help you to reach a common balance with the customer and entice them to buy your product.

The five-step process that a consumer goes through when contemplating a purchase is known as the purchase decision process. Normally this process involves the following five steps but there are those times when a consumer may skip one of the steps or combine them depending on how involved with the purchase they are.

1. Problem recognition - You recognize the need to buy. The first step in the buying process is when you the consumer sees what you have and then what you want or need and then decide to buy

2. Seeking out information – After recognizing the need to buy, you then gather information about what product or service will satisfy that need.

3. Assessing the value of the purchase – Information gathering leads to an assessment of how a particular product or service will meet your needs.

4. Decision to make the purchase – Once you have recognized your need to buy a product or service, have gathered all the information and assessed the value of purchasing a particular product or service you then make the purchase.

5. Post purchase elation or dissatisfaction - After you have made the purchase you then again must access the value of the purchase. Did it meet your needs or was it just short of the mark.

The more you understand the decision making process of the consumer the more you will be able target your marketing campaign to the heart of the customer’s needs at any point in the decision making process you will be able to better be able make the cu

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