Marketing Impact of External Influences Term Paper

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The people who have not yet gone in for the Plasma TV are more or less happy viewing the conventional TV, but want to go up in the value chain and aspire one day to buy a Plasma TV and like to be at par with their aspirational group who has already bought one. (the Psychology of Consumers -Consumer Behavior and Marketing)

Associative reference groups comprise of people who more practically represent the individual who are equal as regards their position in the society, income levels like co-workers, neighbors, members of clubs and organizations. As these people considers them near equals, a purchase by one member within the reference group triggers to think about the purchase by the other members of the society. The purchase of a Plasma TV, by a colleague belonging to a particular organization might instill confidence in the other employee to think about buying a similar Plasma TV. The disassociative reference groups comprise people which the individual would not like to be associated with. In our present example the concept of dissociative reference group can be very well cited as those people who have decided to buy only the Plasma TV to show that they are different from the rest. Reference groups also come with several extent of influence. Primary reference groups are there with a considerable amount of influence viz. members of a fraternity etc.

Secondary reference groups possess a lesser extent of influence for example members of a carnival groups that one gets to meet during festive occasion the frequency of which might happen once in a month are likely to have their influence restricted while meeting during that period. Yet another typology categorizes reference group into information category, the influence which is based entirely on the knowledge of the members; normative category whose influence is perceived to be 'correct', 'proper', 'responsible', or 'cool; or identification. The point of difference between the latter two groups involves the individual's motivation for fulfillment. As regards the normative reference group, the person tends to show allegiance largely to utilitarian causes. On the other hand many individuals comply with identification group standards for the sake of belonging. For instance a member of a religious group might wear an insignia even outside the point of worship, as the religion is a part of the person's identity. (the Psychology of Consumers -Consumer Behavior and Marketing) e) Technology: The influence of technology on consumer behavior is best explained in this category of product which is Plasma TV. The dissemination of innovation indicates the tendency of new products, practices, or ideas to circulate among people. Normally, it is seen that while new products or ideas come about, only the early adopters experience it during the initial period. Subsequently, a lot of innovation spreads to other people. A bell shaped curve often shows the rate of adoption of a novel product. Cumulative adoptions are shown by the 'S; shaped curve. The saturation point is the situation when the maximum amounts of consumers are likely to purchase a product. Technological innovation comes in different degrees. A continuous innovation comprises of minor enhancements over time. A dynamically continuous innovation entails some change in technology even though the product is used more or less in the same manner. In our example, Plasma TVs are a dramatic shift from their picture tube television counterparts in terms of picture clarity, color balance and other improvements although the concept to view televised pictures from across the world is virtually identical in both picture tube as well as Plasma TVs.

A discontinuous innovation entails a product which basically transforms the way things are performed and bring about a breakthrough. For example Fax and photocopier machines altered the manner in which documents are transmitted and copies of documents are kept. On the whole discontinuous innovations are not so easy to market since more alterations are necessary in the manner in which things are done, but the rewards are even crucial. A lot of causes impact the speed with which innovation spreads. One question is relative advantage, which is the ratio of cost to benefits. A lot of products like mobile telephones, computers and ATM cards possess a strong relative advantage. Other products like a satellite navigation system involves some advantage, however the cost ratio is high. In the case of Plasma TV, the price being high compared to a conventional picture tube TV, the cost of benefit ratio is high. Lower price products frequently spread more rapidly and the extent to which it can induce trial is more. A small pack of processed food costing a few dollars can induce trial among people due to its low cost, but to explore the features of a high tech digital camera one has to buy it. This influences the speed of diffusion. (the Psychology of Consumers -Consumer Behavior and Marketing)


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