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Social marketing
Social marketing

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3 Understanding consumer behaviour

3.1 Introduction

Andraesen (1995) states that for the social marketer ‘consumer behaviour is the bottom line’ (p. 14). In order to understand how to develop programmes that will bring about behavioural change we need to understand something about the nature of behaviour. The consumer behaviour literature typically borrows from the fields of sociology, psychology and social anthropology amongst others. There is a vast, and growing, body of knowledge on the subject and a few of the main elements will be discussed in this section.

Key elements of consumer behaviour include:

  • analysis of the factors which influence behaviour.

  • the role of motivation and attitudes.

  • consumer behaviour models.

Activity 2

Before we look at these, use the Government and Social Research website to research some of the core theories:

  • stages of change

  • social cognitive theory

  • exchange theory

You will find the information you need from Civil Service [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]