The significance of consumer intention on marketing strategy
Marketing strategy is significantly informed by the consumer intention. When a consumer shows intention to purchase, a marketer can modify his marketing strategy towards leads convention such that any intention to purchase is converted into sales (Peter & Olson, 1993). While consumer behaviors cannot be predicted based on demographics, consumer intention can be used to predict purchase behaviors. Marketing strategies are created in such a way that their drive or induce purchase intentions. Therefore, consumer intention has a significant impact on the marketing strategy developed or adopted by a marketing company. Information about consumer intention can be used to develop or model marketing mix. For example, by understanding the consumer intention, a company can modify its prices, place, promotion strategies as well as products features to meet the consumers preferences. This way, the company can effectively use the observed behavioral intention and attitudes to induce purchases. Marketing strategies can then emphasize either the normative or social influences on a decision (Fishbein, &, Ajzen, 1975).
Marketing strategies must be aimed at maximizing sales through improved relations, purchases and patronage. Therefore, a company must understand the source of attitude as attitude is significantly correlated to intentions (Cronbach, and Meehl, 1955, pp. 281–302). Attitude can be conditioned (learned) or modeled (Vermeir & Verbeke, 2006). Attitude can influence consumer behavior just the same way that intention forms consumer behaviors. If a consumer has a positive attitude towards a company’s products purchase intentions are high. However, the revise is true if the attitude towards a brand is not positive. A company’s marketing strategy must therefore be formed with the view of influencing the formation of positive attitude towards a company’s brand which late increases the probability of consume intention to purchase a particular brand (Cote Jr. and Wong, 1985, pp. 374-377)..
Identifying the gaps and/or inconsistencies between attitudes and intentions
The gaps or inconsistencies between attitude and intentions can be understood by determining the presence of cognitive dissonances and by tracking consumer behavior. For example, if the intervening time between intentions and purchase is large then there is inconsistency between attitude and intentions, as well as between the consumer’s intention to buy and the actual buying behavior. Other factors include different levels of specify, unforeseen environmental event, unforeseen situational context, degree of voluntary control, stability of intentions, as well as the influence of new information (Stanforth, 2009, pp. 91–99; Peter & Olson, 1993).
The salient beliefs, normative referents, and extenuating control factors may also cause the gaps between attitude and intentions. Finally, a marketer can identify the gaps between attitudes and intention by analyzing the nature of consumer brand interaction. If the gap between attitude and intention is small, then there is very low inconsistency but if the gap is wide then there is a lot of inconsistencies. A marketer must know how to measure the strength of the normative beliefs.
The causes and measurement of the gap between attitudes and intentions
Attitudes are invoices by beliefs (cognitive components), feelings (affective components) as well as behavioral intention (conative component). The gaps between attitude and intention are caused by beliefs about social values, ego, knowledge as well as subjective or social norm (Fishbein, 1967). In order to identity the gaps between attitude and intentions, the marketers have to identity the salient beliefs that a consumer has about an objects (Bagozzi, 2010).
The gap between attitude and intentions can be explained from the link concept whereby the buyer’s intentions are influenced by specific beliefs. These beliefs can affect the person’s attitude towards specific behaviors such as purchasing intentions. The attitude towards purchasing a product is significantly correlated to the beliefs that govern the formation and performance of the behavior. Therefore, it is healthy to conclude that attitude influences the intentions (Jones, Hill, and Hiller, 2001, pp.358-365).
In conclusion, marketers need to understand the customers and be able to assess their intentions because consumer behaviors are not predictable but their intentions are predictable. If the marketers can understand the consumer’s intention, attitude and behaviors, then they can be in a position to influence or induce brand interaction and purchase. The implication of the above discussion on marketing is that by understanding consumer attitudes and behaviors as well as HW the two changes, marketer can develop and assess theory marketing strategies. They can also measure a beliefs and attitudes to gauge the effectiveness of their marketing strategies in delivering value and solving problems.
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Jones, P., Hill, C., and Hiller, D. (2001). Case study: Retailing organic food products. British Food Journal. Vol.103, No.5, pp.358-365