This is a model you have probably not heard much about. Yet when trying to understand how people make their buying decisions, Simonson and Rosen’s Influence Mix is a useful tool to have in mind. As more information becomes available online, consumer’s purchasing decisions are mainly influenced by social media and other online material. Nowadays, consumers have tons of resources they can turn to in order to find further information in regards to a product or service such as customer reviews, social media comments, and rating sites.
Understanding how consumers make their buying decisions will allow you to pursue the right business strategy that is attuned to the consumer’s needs as well as the current market trends. It’s all about ‘getting in the mind of the consumer’ and looking at things from their perspective. Simonson and Rosen have identified three key elements that are utilized when a buying decision is made. These are:
1. Prior preferences, beliefs, and experiences (P).
This is where your everyday shopping happens. This element encapsulates all conscious and unconscious factors that affect your buying decision according to your own personal preferences or habits. A representative example to bring on the table is groceries. When looking for a snack, you don’t have to search online and read online reviews about it; you usually choose one according to your personal preferences and taste. This is especially the case when the price of the product or service in question is quite low. In this case, even if you are not satisfied with what you bought, it won’t be much of a big deal.
2. Information from marketers (M).
The second element of the influence mix looks into the marketing behind the product or service. In order to be more specific, we are looking into the packaging, the pricing and advertising campaigns of the offering. Marketing can have much more impact on buying decisions than you would think. Consumers will often choose a product solely on the perception it offers – even the quality is not satisfactory for them. Without a doubt, hitting the shelves with an established reputation and a loyal consumer base will definitely lead to increased brand love and enhanced sales and profit figures.
3. Input from other people (O).
Finally, Simonson and Rosen highlight that the input from other people is equally significant when a buying decision is made. These people may be friends, family, peers, colleagues, or even acquaintances. This element has been traditionally named as ‘word-of-mouth’, yet as the digital era is capturing more and more significance in our lives, online material is becoming more important than a real conversation. People nowadays will search online for customer reviews and ratings before they proceed with a highly valued purchase, and they will scroll their Facebook and Instagram news feed to see who is using the product and who is not. This element is mainly utilized in higher priced products or services.