Consumer behavior: 5 stages of EBK model

Consumer behavior is the study of how individual consumers, groups or organizations select, buy, use, and dispose ideas, goods, and services to satisfy their needs and wants. Consumer behavior also refers to the actions of the consumers in the marketplace and the underlying motives for those actions. Marketers expect that by understanding what causes the consumers to buy particular goods and services, they will be able to determine which products are needed in the marketplace and how best to present the goods to the consumers.

5 stage consumer behavior model by Engel, Blackwell and Kollat

In 1968, researchers Engel, Blackwell, and Kollat developed a five-step model of the consumer buying decision process. The consumer behavior model is still useful for marketers today especially impulse buyers. The following are the five steps of the EBK model, and how you can use them to stay a step ahead of your buyers:

Step 1: Problem Recognition

The first step of the buying cycle is that the consumer recognizes a problem which needs to be solved, or a need which needs to be satisfied. Basically, the consumer is looking for a solution to fill a gap. The gap could arise from anything ,for example, an inability to access booking a hotel,  travelling issues , or other adventure companies gaining an advantage.


Step 2: Information Search

The second step in the decision making process is to gather all information available about possible solutions. The larger the purchase decision, the longer this process will take. A consumer will want to be very thorough in  their search and seek out info regarding features, pricing, ease of use, etc. In todays era consumers gather  information  through internet which is where marketing comes in. It’s crucial to market your tourism services so  that consumer can access information during their search. There are lots of ways to place yourself in the market . Ranking high in search results is important. You’ll also want a strong content marketing strategy at this point, to help your consumers get educated while they research.

Step 3: Alternative Evaluation

The third step is the evaluation process. Most consumers have a list of criteria that the solution must meet, and as a marketer, you must know exactly what is on that list. What’s a deal-maker, and what’s a deal-breaker to your consumer. As the consumer evaluates, your marketing should match to his needs and interests. There are many ways to make sure your marketing is relevant. For example, you can build buyer personas to understand common criteria, objections, and challenges; you can segment and target your lists to send effective nurture emails; and you can personalize your website  in response to consumers attributes.

Step 4: Purchase

Once the consumer has made up their mind, they already have solution to their problem. Time to to make the actual purchase. Now that you’ve guided someone from problem to solution, you’ll want to replicate that success with other consumers. And to do that, you’ll need robust reporting on how your marketing actually impacts the sale.

Step 5: Post-Purchase

The best marketers know that the process doesn’t end at the purchase step. Once acquisition is out of the way, your new goal is to create long-term relationships between consumer . This is by  ensuring that you get the most value out of your customers, and they get the most value out of your services. Optimize your marketing for every stage of the process, by building brand awareness, upgrading your marketing game, personalizing your marketing efforts, running robust reports, and continuing to market to your current customers.

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