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  1. Attention BA 362 - Fall 2000

  2. What do people pay attention to? • Voluntary vs. involuntary factors • Voluntary - Goals • Involuntary - Change, novelty, departures from expectations, humor, intense cues • Attention is often a combination of voluntary and involuntary aspects - e.g., attention to web sites • Getting attention alone is not enough. Attention must be in the service of building the brand or attaining other strategic marketing goals.

  3. Perception BA 362 - Fall 2000

  4. Why is understanding perception so critical to marketers? • What consumers perceive affects their actions (e.g., clear beverages) • What is perceived is not necessarily "true" • Taste tests • Coffee tests • Perceptions of marketing tactics • Perceptions are often at the heart of marketing issues/problems • Taurus • Volvo • Olay cosmetics • Stereotypes

  5. Hot New Research - can perception automatically affect behavior? (John A. Bargh and Tanya L. Chartrand, “The Unbearable Automaticity of Being,” American Psychologist, 1999, 54, 462-479) • Bargh and Chartrand argue that much of behavior is based upon automatic, unconscious processing. They specifically argue that perception is often automatic and involuntary and then triggers action tendencies without conscious and intentional control. • They test this notion by priming people using a sentence rearrangement task and then putting them in a (seemingly) unrelated situation. • In one experiment, people were primed with words related to either rudeness, politeness, or a control condition. Those primed with rudeness were more likely to interrupt the experimenter’s conversation with a confederate. • In another study, people primed with words related to the elderly walked more slowly from one room to another during the experiment and actually recalled fewer details of the room they had been in!

  6. How can we understand what influences perceptions? • Perception is constructed - stimulus and expectations • There is a large effect of expectations on perception • Especially when quality is hard to judge • Hard to break expectations or deeply held beliefs • There are also effects of other factors • Needs • Stimulus effects - e.g., closure, similarity and contrast (PT Cruiser), figure/ground • Individual differences • Whose perceptions should be the focus can be crucial (e.g., Kraft Hand-Snacks, Lego)

  7. Hot New Research - package shape and perception (Priya Raghubir and Aradhna Krishna, “Vital Dimensions in Volume Perception: Can the Eye Fool the Stomach?,” Journal of Marketing Research, 1999, 36, 313-326) • Raghubir and Krishna investigate the effect of the elongation (height to width ratio of a container) on perceptions of volume, perceived consumption, actual consumption, preference, and satisfaction. • More elongated containers are perceived to have greater volume. • When consumers drink from more elongated containers, they perceive they have consumed less and drink more to compensate. This leads to drinking more from more elongated containers but perceiving one has drunk less. • People choose more elongated containers but are less satisfied with the experience postconsumption because they think they consumed less (even though they actually consumed more!)

  8. How can we try to change perceptions? • Informational strategies • Something important to say, protected, clear and verifiable • Transformational strategies • Repetition, consistency, make experience richer and warmer, must ring true, connect product to the experience • Revitalizing old brands - Apple, Mountain Dew • Concerns in choosing strategy • How deeply held are the beliefs, will consumers try to defend old beliefs, what is there to say?

  9. Do consumers perceive that some decisions are more risky than others? • Risk - can't foresee all consequences, some negative • Two dimensions of risk - uncertainty and consequences • How do consumers try to handle risk? • Reduce uncertainty (e.g., brand loyalty) • Reduce consequences (e.g., warranty) • Marketers can influence perceptions of risk

  10. How do price-quality perceptions work? • A segment believes you get what you pay for • Studies of Consumer Reports price-quality data don't show this relationship • "Illusory correlation" is an explanation • Biases in sampling and judging performance • How do you change such perceptions? • Very hard, can try causal explanations