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Derrick Daye Market Research

Indirect Influencers And Purchase Decisions

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A company has multiple constituencies when it offers the same product to different market segments. Why is this an important discipline in Marketing? Often times, your direct buyer is not the most important influencer. Children, doctors, relatives and social referential leaders often assume major positions in the purchasing decision.

As a result, it is important to understand these indirect customers and influencers and integrate this understanding into marketing strategy. Multiple Constituency Marketing applies to a wide number of industries including the Pharmaceutical, Hospitality, Consumer Goods, Toys and Entertainment sectors.

Multiple constituencies = Actual buyer + Influencers (doctors, accrediting agencies, children, relatives, referential leaders in society)

One example of Multiple Constituency Marketing is in the Pharmaceutical sector. Take for example Viagra as a drug. Pharmaceutical firms target not only the doctor who is the gate-keeper in the prescription purchasing decision. Pfizer targets customers directly to inquire from their doctors about getting the drug, appealing to their psychological needs of potency and "scoring" (indicated by its communications). Beyond this, it also targets wives via television communications, appealing to their needs of intimacy. It also appeals to referential leaders like Bob Dole.

Companies that manufacture foods also consider how to appeal to not only the adult that will purchase the product, but also the children and significant other that heavily influence purchasing.

A firm that has multiple constituencies should constantly make sure they are catering to every segment’s:

    * Needs
    * Wants
    * Demands
    * Trends
    * Opportunities
    * Drawbacks
    * Loyalty Market Research for Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Key success factors:

    * Adjust product offerings
    * Develop relationships with influencers and buyers at all areas of buying process
    * Ensuring all levels of the organization stay close to the influencers & customers
    * Strategy appeals to all segments involved
    * Multiple forms of communication to reach out to segments

Contributed by: Ruth Stanat, President of  SIS International Research and research partner of The Blake Project.

Sponsored By: The Brand Positioning Workshop

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