The paper 'Overview of the Banking Industry and Consumer Behaviour" is a great example of a marketing case study. Consumer behaviour has been and continues to be an area of interest for researchers and marketers within business and organizations. Consumer behaviour is best defined in terms of the decisions that consumers make in selecting and purchasing products and services, and the activities that accompany these buying and consumption decisions (Nickels & Wood, 1997). According to Shocker et al (1991), marketers have a desire to act in ways that will be accepted by their potential customers though they will perceive these actions differently.
Consumers generally have to make decisions before they can undertake an actual purchase. This is best referred to as a decision making process and according to Cheryl, Rebekah & Charmine (2005), this process involves the steps that a consumer undertakes when making a choice on what products or services he/she would like to purchase, consume and dispose of. A number of factors influence a consumer’ s decision and they are categorized into internal and external factors. This paper will focus on the influence of the internal factors on consumer behaviour and decision making process with a particular interest in the services provided by financial institutions, with a particular interest in the banking sector.
In this industry and others, consumer behaviour lays the foundation for developing market strategies such that every marketing activity captures major aspects of the consumer’ s behaviour (Mittal & Mittal, 2009). Overview of the banking industry and consumer behaviour Organizational success in today’ s globalized economy may be largely influenced by how decision-makers within the organization understand the behaviour of consumers, and how well they are able to integrate that understanding with their organizations marketing strategies (Cheryl, Rebekah & Charmine, 2005).
In addition, Kumar & Babu, (2011) argue that for service delivery to be effective, it is imperative for the service provider to categorize consumers into segments, and keep in mind what benefits the consumers is looking for. The banking industry is very competitive across the globe and the only way a bank can attain and retain competitive advantage is by ensuring that their service provision is of very high quality. Banking institutions generally trade in products and services.
They offer products such as credit and debit cards, accounts that facilitate savings and borrowing of credit and they also facilitate transactions dealing with the exchange of foreign currencies (Uppal, 2010). However, Uppal further emphasizes that banks have to lay more importance on the provision of quality services because having good products is not enough. Therefore, in the formulation of a marketing plan and strategy, banks should consider consumers needs and aim at meeting them. Due to the competitiveness in this industry, banks offering retail services deign their market strategies to gain customer loyalty by ensuring effective service delivery (Siddiqi, 2011).
However, in targeting this consumer, Delvin (2001), argues that consumers hardly realize any differences in the services offered, and any new service/product by one bank is quickly adopted by the competitors. The consumer's decision-making process and the internal factors that influence this process Making a decision requires one to be equipped with certain bits of information so that the final choice is satisfying the initial desire. To many people decision making takes time and there is a process involved.
This is the case even in making a decision to consume a certain product or service, and there are five stages involved in this process. To begin with, a consumer has to identify a need, a process known as need recognition, which is the first step in the decision-making process. The consumer then proceeds to obtain information about a product/service that can satisfy that need, and this information is either obtained internally or from external sources (Engel, Blackwell & Miniard, 1993). These two processes are then followed by an evaluation of the information collected and a decision to make a purchase is arrived at by the consumer.
The last stage is the post-purchase stage, where a consumer will either be satisfied or dissatisfied with the product/service and this will determine if he/she will consider consuming that product/service in the future. This is a very dynamic and important process to marketing strategists within the banking industry because every bank would like to win and retain customers, therefore the marketing process has to carefully plan on how to approach the consumer.
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