Marketing Plans and Consumer Behavior

Marketing Plans and Consumer Behavior

Nothing highlights the need for a cogent marketing plan like the doldrums of a slumping economy. That’s when small business owners observe radical changes in consumer behavior such as belt tightening, and the postponement of large purchases.

Among the many marketing plan elements that might be adjusted in reaction to a change in consumer behavior positioning may hold the most potential. Trout and Ries suggest a six-step question framework for successful positioning:

  • 1. What position do you currently own?
  • 2. What position do you want to own?
  • 3. Whom you have to defeat to own the position you want.
  • 4. Do you have the resources to do it?
  • 5. Can you persist until you get there?
  • 6. Are your tactics supporting the positioning objective you set?

Finally, a company’s adaptation to changes in consumer behavior might also be aided by using the following framework:

Psychological Inputs





Purchase Decisions


Location Choice

Brand Choice

Other Choices

A business is in a better position to weather an economic downturn when it is buttressed by a good marketing plan. A firms understanding of consumer behavior is enhanced if its marketing plan includes careful consideration of market segmentation, targeting and positioning.

Segmentation – is essentially the identification of subsets of buyers within a market who share similar needs and demonstrate similar buyer behavior. A company should evaluate each segment with regard to profit potential.

Targeting – Identifying a segment or series of segments of the market to concentrate on, i.e., to target.

Positioning – The term ‘positioning’ refers to your firm’s ability to influence the consumer’s perception of a product or service in relation to its competitors. You need to ask yourself, what is the position of our product in the mind of the consumer?