External & Internal Influences Paper

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External & Internal Influences Paper

Learning Team A

Christopher Avery, Kristi Jordan, Matthew Land, Jeffrey Nelson,

Misty Roberts, Karla Rendon

University of Phoenix

MKT/435 – Consumer Behavior

Thomas O’Brien

February 6, 2009


Understanding the mind of a consumer is a puzzling process. It is important to consider that no single factor explains why consumers behave as they do. Rather, there are external and internal factors in addition to environmental factors that contribute to and help solve the puzzle. According to Perner (2008), consumer behavior is "the study of individuals, groups, or organizations and the processes they use to select, secure, use, and dispose of products, services, experiences, or
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This practice was abandoned because of a drop in iPhone sales and has remained consistent because of poor economic conditions worldwide.


The third external influence on consumer behavior and marketing strategy is demographics. Hawkins, Mothersbaugh, & Best (2007), states that, “demographics describe a population in terms of its size, distribution, and structure.” Using demographics allows a company to better segment populations to target smaller groups based on common characteristics such as age, income level, occupation, or other areas. The area of demographics allows marketers to determine purchasing patterns or trends based on these characteristics. For example, Apple may determine that consumers of a given income level range or age range or most likely to purchase the iPhone. This data allows Apple to target those segments in its marketing efforts. As Hawkins, Mothersbaugh, and Best (2007) points out, “marketers frequently segment markets based on a combination of two or more demographic descriptors.” This means the most likely iPhone consumers fall under a given age bracket as well as certain geographic areas. Additionally, the study of demographics may reveal other correlations in consumer behavior that were otherwise not noticed allowing Apple to better understand and target interested consumers. By gathering demographic information and comparing this with other available data, Apple is able to match

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