Social marketing
Social marketing

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3.5 Consumer behaviour models

Many theorists have developed models of consumer behaviour. Some of these focus on the factors which influence behaviour (such as the model in Figure 1). Others emphasise the stages which consumers go through as they make their decisions to engage in a particular behaviour. Many adopt the ‘belief–feeling–behavioural intention’ behaviour model illustrated in Section 3.4.

The ‘stages’ approach has been adapted by social marketers. Theories and models help us to make sense of the world by distilling previous learning, but can never explain it perfectly. All such theories and models have their limitations and these should be recognised.

An understanding of consumer behaviour is essential to the development of social marketing programmes. There are, however, a whole range of individuals and organisations, other than the final consumer, who/which may be target markets, and these are described in the next section.

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