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Tutor profile: Jeremy C.

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Jeremy C.
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Subject: Marketing

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Question:

What are the stages of the consumer buying process?

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Jeremy C.
Answer:

The consumer buying process includes five stages namely; problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision and post purchase behavior (Pride and Ferrell, 2008). Recognition of this stage model enables marketers to assess consumer behavior at every interval and to craft initiatives to induce purchase of the business’s offerings. Problem Recognition This can be prompted through internal or external stimuli and forms the first stage of the model. Peter and Donnelly (2012) advocate that it is essential that marketers be able to expertly pin point these prompts and capitalize on them. Therefore my decision to go to Nihonryori Ryugin restaurant in Roppongi, Tokyo with my friends was both prompted by hunger but more so a need to socialize which would rank as a social need on Maslow’s Hierarchy. Thus in due consideration the external or internal stimuli may prompt any biogenic or psychogenic need which gives the marketer an open window to exploit. Information search Kotler and Keller (2011: 189) informs that “consumers often search for limited amounts of information” at this stage of the buying decision process. Our decision to dine at Nihonryori Ryugin was predicated on a number of information sources. Firstly socializing in Japan especially amongst work colleagues is taken seriously with companies having regular enkais. Therefore with this social need prompting us, the next step was to decide on where to go. Our information search via the internet and newspapers mainly Asahi Shinbun tabloid and the Japan Times, led us to a news item posted several days before which showcased the said restaurant having been ranked number 28 in the top 50 best restaurants in the world. One of my colleagues had dined there before and was able to describe the ambience and setting. His personal experience ultimately sealed our decision to go there. This corroborates with (Peter and Donnelly, 2012) assertions that during the information search stage of the consumer buying decision process, information from personal sources rank as the most potent in influencing consumer decision. We did not spend an inordinately long time searching for information. Our decision was centered on locale- that is the restaurant should be in Tokyo; offerings- it should offer a wide cross-section of food; ambience- it should be up market and serve alcohol. This hierarchy of attributes then filtered several restaurants into our awareness set that fulfilled these criteria. However it was our friend’s personal experience at the restaurant several months ago that moved the selected restaurant from our awareness set to our choice set and ultimately impelled us towards a decision. In retrospect it is interesting to see that price was never featured in our hierarchy of attributes when conducting our information search. In this regard this lack of consideration may partly be cultural as within the Japanese context socials such as these spare little expense and are usually taken very seriously as a form of bonding. Evaluation of Alternatives and Purchase decision At these stages of the decision process, consumers tend to give due regard to the attributes that will realize the benefits sought (Kotler and Keller, 2011). This therefore is steeped in the attitude we display towards brands and products which shapes our affinity for one product over another. Having narrowed our choice to three restaurants in the Tokyo area that fulfilled our criteria the next step was to decide. Decisions are usually group oriented in Japan and more communal than in some other parts of the world. We usually spend some time in coming to decisions even in dining and socializing. Therefore looking back our evaluation of alternatives may have been strongly influenced by peripheral cues as described by the elaboration likelihood model explicated by (Choi and Salmon, 2003). The endorsement by our friend through his positive experience at the restaurant coupled with our curiosity and the positive brand image it now enjoyed having read that this said restaurant is ranked number 28 in the world helped to seal our decision. By ranking our brand beliefs in order of importance along with an assessment of our previously decided criteria we were able to evaluate the alternatives before us and arrive at a decision. Whilst one of the restaurants in our choice set was, in our estimation, more popular in terms of clientele and geographically closer, these were not attributes that were heavily weighted to cause us to make a favourable decision in its regard. The compensatory aspect of the expectancy-value model may have come into play in the evaluation process as although the selected restaurant was the farthest in our choice set, the media buzz it received a few days before coupled with the fact that it enjoys such wide-scale recognition must’ve indicated that the brand is relatively strong and thus negated and compensated for the relatively longer distance we would’ve had to travel. Before going we sought to glean what were popular menu choices. A list of five dishes came up. Our colleague also encouraged us to try a dish that he had when he visited. That was then added to the five as possible trials. Our decision was made when we arrived at the restaurant and received the recommendation from the waiter. We decided to try the menu item suggested by our colleague as we trusted his recommendation and two of the five that were confirmed as good by the waiter who attended to us. Conclusion Therefore our decision process is heavily influenced by what information we can collate about a brand and/or product, what criteria we then use to evaluate this brand and the influence of both mass media and our peers in transferring brands from our awareness set to our choice set. References Choi, S. & Salmon, C. (2003) ‘The elaboration likelihood model of persuasion after two decades: a review of criticism and contribution,’ The Kentucky Journal of Communication, 22(1), pp. 47-77 [Online]. Available from: http://kycommunication.com/kcasample.pdf Kotler, P. & Keller, K. (2011) Marketing management. 14th ed. Essex: Pearson Education Limited. Peter, J. & Donnelly, J. (2012) Marketing management. NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin Publishers. Pride, W. & Ferrell, O. (2008) Marketing. MA: South-Western College Publishing.

Subject: Education

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Question:

What are the benefits and shortcomings of self directed learning?

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Jeremy C.
Answer:

Benefits of Self Directed Learning Manning (2007) points out that Knowle’s identified three benefits of self directed learning which include individuals who take the initiative in learning, learn more things and learn better than do people who sit at the feet of teachers waiting to be taught. Secondly, self-directed learning is more in tune with our natural processes of psychological development and thirdly, many new developments in education put a heavy responsibility on the learners to take a good deal of initiative in their own learning. Hiemstra (1994) highlight that another benefit of self-directed learning is where it gives some learning responsibility back to learners which is more beneficial than other approaches. The personal responsibility given to adult learners cause them to succeed and thrive in ways never thought possible when they learn how to take personal responsibility. Shortcomings of Self Directed Learning Collins (1996) has taken exception with how self directed learning has been defined. He argues for more participatory forms of research in order to engender open dialogue regarding the ethical and political concerns about self directed learning. He propounds that critical theory and interpretive and participatory research should take center stage when investigating self-directed learning. Another shortcoming was highlighted by Brookfield (1993) who asserted that the concept requires learners to exercise more and more control over all educational decisions. He laments that this is hard to accomplish in cultures that are highly controlling and so critique the Westernize underpinnings and lack of applicability of the theory in certain cultures. The concept also fails to consider the political culture of institutions. Merriam et al., (2007) concretize by explaining that learners who have been denied access to resources because of cost or preferential treatment for privileged groups affect the concept of self-directed learning. Brookfield (1988) propounds that identifying with self directed learning is unwise because of its inadequate theoretical base and the research underpinnings which were carried out mainly with middle-class white subjects. Candy (1991) also laments that research on self-directed learning has been stalemated in recent years because of the absence of a consistent theoretical base, continued confusion over the term’s meaning, and the use of inappropriate research paradigms

Subject: Business

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Question:

How can developing countries respond to globalization?

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Jeremy C.
Answer:

In order to minify the effects and seize the opportunities of globalization it is imperative that developing nations institute the necessary globalization infrastructure. This includes multi-lateral agreements, market efficiency and streamlining the flows of commodities labor and information (Shenkar et al., 2018). The Caribbean, seeks to ensure its competitiveness globally through the Caribbean Community providing the region with one voice when negotiating. CARICOM has several multi-lateral agreements on trade and foreign direct investment, one of the most recent being the Korea-Caribbean Partnership entered in on July 31, 2011 (CARICOM, 2012). The Community has COTED (Council for Trade and Economic Development) to monitor and lessen the adverse environmental effects of Globalization. Bigman (2012) explains that it is critical that the correct economic atmosphere be created. Therefore it is imperative that the investment climate of the country is able to attract and retain Foreign Direct Investment. Some countries opt to set up Free Economic Zones wherein government taxes and charges are lower and concessions are quite attractive resulting in lower overhead costs for firms. The Philippines’ Special Economic Zone Act of 1995 made it easier for foreign investors and multinational agencies to set up locations and extend their value chain within the country resulting in increases in the nation GDP (Tiefenbrun, 2012). The Democratic Republic of Congo which to open its first Economic Zone in N’Sele giving special offers for international multinational firms to utilize the nation’s natural resources and to provide employment and revenue to its citizens (China Daily, 2012). It has been suggested that the reason for the negatives of globalization subtends on a failure of governance therefore it is essential that the necessary policy measures and framework rules be instituted to ensure that the global opportunities can be harnessed. References BIGMAN, D. (2012) Globalization and the Developing Countries: Emerging Strategies for Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation. Cambridge, MA: CABI Publishing Caribbean Community Secretariat (2012) Second High Level Forum on Korea-Caribbean Partnership [WWW] Available from: http://www.caricom.org/ Shenkar, O. and Luo, Y. (2018) International Business. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc

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