Understanding Consumer Decision Making: The Means-End Approach to Marketing and Advertising Strategy

Understanding Consumer Decision Making: The Means-End Approach to Marketing and Advertising Strategy

Understanding Consumer Decision Making: The Means-End Approach to Marketing and Advertising Strategy

Understanding Consumer Decision Making: The Means-End Approach to Marketing and Advertising Strategy

Synopsis

The goal of this book is to help business managers and academic researchers understand the means-end perspective and the methods by which it is used, and to demonstrate how to use the means-end approach to develop better marketing and advertising strategy. The authors discuss methodological issues regarding interviewing and coding, present applications of the means-end approach to marketing and advertising problems, and describe the conceptual foundations of the means-end approach. This book is of interest to academic researchers in marketing and related fields, graduate students in business, marketing research professionals, and business managers. It is intended as a reference book containing ideas about the means-end approach and its applications.

Excerpt

Although many marketing researchers and some academic scholars are familiar with the means-end approach to understanding consumers, only a few regularly incorporate the means-end approach into their research programs. Many others are unfamiliar with this useful perspective. Thus, more than 20 years after its introduction, many people do not understand the means-end approach or appreciate its advantages. Our goals in editing this book are to help business managers and academic researchers understand the means-end perspective and the methods by which it is operationalized and to demonstrate how to use the means-end approach to develop better marketing and advertising strategy.

There are several possible reasons for the rather slow growth of interest in means-end theory and its applications, many of which are addressed by the authors of these chapters.

1. Essentially, the means-end approach is a qualitative method, although it is more structured than many qualitative methods. Most market researchers are comfortable with quantitative methods, but fewer researchers feel comfortable using qualitative methods. In particular, some researchers are uncomfortable with the high amounts of subjective interpretation they must perform in using the means-end approach.

2. The means-end approach requires in-depth, one-on-one interviews with consumers, which can last from 1 to 2 hours. Analysis of the interview data requires extensive effort in coding (summarizing and categorizing) . . .

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