Consumer Purchasing Responses: The Social Feedback Cycle

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Chapter 3 – Effects of SMM on Consumers’ Purchasing Responses: The Social Feedback Cycle

“Social media allows big companies to act small again.”
— Jay Baer
It has long been a potential consumer’s habit to consider certain prerequisites prior to making any purchases, whether urgent or not. The most common among these necessary pre-purchasing factors are making comparisons with the counterpart brands of competitors and learning more information about each brand, product or service.
As they do so nowadays, consumers usually use and rely on the Internet or the search engines as their primary source of information about the brand. Alternatively, they interact with their family and friends thru social networking sites to collate opinions or recommendations.
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To facilitate your understanding on this regard would be a presentation of the comparative analyses of the ‘traditional purchase funnel theory’ and the ‘contemporary social feedback cycle.’
On one hand, the purchase funnel theory is a consumer-focused marketing model, which describes the theoretical journey of a particular customer towards purchasing a certain product or service. The theory’s funnel analogy implies the systematical narrowing down of the purchasing process by a fully aware customer by weighing options, making decisions, and ultimately purchasing the product (refer to Image-3).
Based on the illustration of Image-3, you can quickly surmise the triumvirate stages of the traditional purchase funnel theory — awareness, consideration, and purchase. You can actually add more stages along the funnel depending upon the nature and substance of your strategic marketing plan, to name a few: familiarity, opinion, intent, advocacy, loyalty, and preference. Nonetheless, those cited and illustrated stages are just the most fundamental
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Therefore, social media directly influences the purchase decisions and behaviors of the consumers since they usually seek nowadays the opinions, comments, reviews, and recommendations of others in social media.
To support further the conclusive statement about social media’s strong impact on consumers, the survey from Ambassador also stated that 71% of global customers have a high likelihood of recommending or referring a particular brand to others on social media, especially when they have a great and positive experience with the brand. This is chiefly because consumers see other consumers as more objective than the companies’ own marketing message. Consumers are undistorted by emotion or personal bias.
In details, once customers have consummated purchasing a brand, product, or service, they will be using it, experiencing its upsides and downsides, and forming their personal opinion of it. Apparently, they will then relate their respective personal experiences with the brand, product, or service through the Internet, more particularly, by accessing the various social media
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