Most Important Marketing Question: What Influences People To Buy?

main picturehow we buy things

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How We Buy Things

Contrary to popular belief, there’s more reasons that we buy what we do than simply because we want or need something. Things like advertising, lifestyle choices, self-image, our culture and even the price drive us to purchase certain things over others.

When ti comes to making purchasing decisions, our purchases can be influenced by any number of factors that fall into one of the three following categories:

  • Internal factors
  • External factors
  • Marketing-related factors

Internal Factors

The easiest category of influences concerns our internal factors. These are things that dictate the kind of products and service that we prefer.

Our attitude, knowledge, lifestyle, roles, job and even sense of morality influence our purchasing decisions.

For example, consider that someone of us will prefer to purchase environmentally friendly products. This is one of our internal motivations at work.

External Factors

Our culture, the subgroups we belong to, authority figures and our situation in life motivate us to make different purchasing decisions.

The best example of this would be the type of shoes that some people prefer to purchase. Nike, which has traditionally had the face of athletes and other figures in its ads, tends to be purchased by people who seek to be just like that person.

Another example may be the people we surround ourselves with. Young people may choose to be more fashionable, while people whom belong to a sophisticated community may choose something that looks more elegant and regal to reflect their status.

Marketing-Related Factors

The last major category of influence we face in our purchasing decisions belongs to how something is marketed. While there are countless factors associated with this, the most prominent involve the brand, the type of promotion something receives, the price and even the real or perceived quality behind a product or service.

The most readily accessible example of marketing at work concerns how brands work. We may find that a certain type of potato chip sold under a brand is just to our liking. Instead of venturing out to try other brands of a similar flavor, we instead tend to choose chips under the same brand with different flavors.

As consumers, we tend to associate certain qualities with certain brands. This is why we’re motivated to purchase one brand of a product rather than another, even if that other brand’s product may technically work better or offer a the same performance for a cheaper price.

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