Social marketing
Social marketing

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Social marketing

3.2 The factors which influence consumer behaviour

A large number of factors influence our behaviour. Kotler and Armstrong (2008) classify these as:

  1. Psychological (motivation, perception, learning, beliefs and attitudes)

  2. Personal (age and life-cycle stage, occupation, economic circumstances, lifestyle, personality and self concept)

  3. Social (reference groups, family, roles and status)

  4. Cultural (culture, subculture, social class system).

Below you will see Figure 1, which adapts the above factors to a health behaviour context, providing a model which also explicitly emphasises, together with cultural factors, other features such as the economic environment as an element of the wider social context.

Figure 1
Source: Hastings (2007)
Figure 1 The wider determinants of health behaviour

As you can see, the immediate environment approximates to Kotler's social factors. Many studies of both commercial and social marketing emphasise the influence of family, friends and others on our decisions. Peer group pressure is an important influence and may be negative or positive.

Figure 1 illustrates an approach known as social-cognitive theory which is based on the proposition that our behaviour is determined by both personal and environmental factors.

B324_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371