Consumer

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Consumers buying fruit in Nanjing, China People are buying fruits.jpg
Consumers buying fruit in Nanjing, China

A consumer is a person or organization that uses economic services or commodities. [1]

Service (economics) intangible offering inseparable from its creators labor, which brings utility value to their buyer

In economics, a service is a transaction in which no physical goods are transferred from the seller to the buyer. The benefits of such a service are held to be demonstrated by the buyer's willingness to make the exchange. Public services are those that society as a whole pays for. Using resources, skill, ingenuity, and experience, service providers benefit service consumers. Service is intangible in nature.

Commodity marketable item produced to satisfy wants or needs

In economics, a commodity is an economic good or service that has full or substantial fungibility: that is, the market treats instances of the good as equivalent or nearly so with no regard to who produced them. Most commodities are raw materials, basic resources, agricultural, or mining products, such as iron ore, sugar, or grains like rice and wheat. Commodities can also be mass-produced unspecialized products such as chemicals and computer memory.

Contents

Economics and marketing

A consumer is the one who pays something to consume goods and services produced. As such, consumers play a vital role in the economic system of a nation. Without consumer demand, producers would lack one of the key motivations to produce: to sell to consumers. The consumer also forms part of the chain of distribution.

Goods and services outcome of human efforts to meet the wants and needs of people

Goods are items that are tangible, such as pens, salt, apples, and hats. Services are activities provided by other people, who include doctors, lawn care workers, dentists, barbers, waiters, or online servers. Taken together, it is the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services which underpins all economic activity and trade. According to economic theory, consumption of goods and services is assumed to provide utility (satisfaction) to the consumer or end-user, although businesses also consume goods and services in the course of producing other goods and services.

Economic system system of production and exchange

An economic system is a system of production, resource allocation and distribution of goods and services within a society or a given geographic area. It includes the combination of the various institutions, agencies, entities, decision-making processes and patterns of consumption that comprise the economic structure of a given community. As such, an economic system is a type of social system. The mode of production is a related concept. All economic systems have three basic questions to ask: what to produce, how to produce and in what quantities and who receives the output of production.

A nation is a stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, history, ethnicity, or psychological make-up manifested in a common culture. A nation is distinct from a people, and is more abstract, and more overtly political, than an ethnic group. It is a cultural-political community that has become conscious of its autonomy, unity, and particular interests.

Recently in marketing instead of marketers generating broad demographic profiles and Fisio-graphic profiles of market segments, marketers have started to engage in personalized marketing, permission marketing, and mass customization. [2]

Marketing is the study and management of exchange relationships. Marketing is the business process of creating relationships with and satisfying customers. With its focus on the customer, marketing is one of the premier components of business management.

Demographic profiling is a tool used by marketers so that they may be as efficient as possible with advertising products or services and identifying any possible gaps in their marketing strategy. Demographic profiling can even be referred to as a euphemism for corporate spying. By targeting certain groups who are more likely to be interested in what is being sold, a company can efficiently expend advertising resources so that they may garner the maximum number of sales. This is a more direct tactic than simply advertising on the basis that anyone is a potential consumer of a product; while this may be true, it does not capitalise on the increased returns that more specific marketing will bring. Traditional demographic profiling has been centered around gathering information on large groups of people in order to identify common trends. Trends such as, but not limited to: changes in total population and changes in the composition of the population over a period of time. These trends could promote change in services to a certain portion of the population, in people such as: children, elderly, and the working age population. They can be identified through surveys, in-store purchase information, census data, and so on. New ways are also in the works of collecting and using information for Demographic Profiling. Approaches such as target-sampling, quota-sampling, and even door-to-door screening.

Market segmentation is the activity of dividing a broad consumer or business market, normally consisting of existing and potential customers, into sub-groups of consumers based on some type of shared characteristics. In dividing or segmenting markets, researchers typically look for common characteristics such as shared needs, common interests, similar lifestyles or even similar demographic profiles. The overall aim of segmentation is to identify high yield segments – that is, those segments that are likely to be the most profitable or that have growth potential – so that these can be selected for special attention.

Largely due to the rise of the Internet, consumers are shifting more and more towards becoming "prosumers", consumers who are also producers (often of information and media on the social web), influence the products created (e.g. by customization, crowdfunding or publishing their preferences), actively participate in the production process, or use interactive products. [3] [4] [5]

Internet Global system of connected computer networks

The Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link devices worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries a vast range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web (WWW), electronic mail, telephony, and file sharing.

A prosumer is a person who consumes and produces a product. It is derived from "prosumption", a dot-com era business term meaning "production by consumers". These terms were coined in 1980 by American futurist Alvin Toffler, and were widely used by many technology writers of the time. Today it generally refers to a person using commons-based peer production.

The social web is a set of social relations that link people through the World Wide Web. The social web encompasses how websites and software are designed and developed in order to support and foster social interaction. These online social interactions form the basis of much online activity including online shopping, education, gaming and social networking websites. The social aspect of Web 2.0 communication has been to facilitate interaction between people with similar tastes. These tastes vary depending on who the target audience is, and what they are looking for. For individuals working in the public relation department, the job is consistently changing and the impact is coming from the social web. The influence, held by the social network is large and ever changing.

Law and politics

The law primarily uses a notion of the consumer in relation to consumer protection laws, and the definition of consumer is often restricted to living persons (i.e. not corporations or businesses) and excludes commercial users. [6] A typical legal rationale for protecting the consumer is based on the notion of policing market failures and inefficiencies, such as inequalities of bargaining power between a consumer and a business. [7] As all potential voters are also consumers, consumer protection has a clear political significance.

In regulatory jurisdictions that provide for it, consumer protection is a group of laws and organizations designed to ensure the rights of consumers as well as fair trade, competition and accurate information in the marketplace. The laws are designed to prevent the businesses that engage in fraud or specified unfair practices from gaining an advantage over competitors. They may also provide additional protection for those most vulnerable in society. Consumer protection laws are a form of government regulation that aim to protect the rights of consumers. For example, a government may require businesses to disclose detailed information about products—particularly in areas where safety or public health is an issue, such as food.

Concern over the interests of consumers has spawned consumer activism, where organized activists do research, education and advocacy to improve the offer of products and services. Consumer education has been incorporated into some school curricula.[ citation needed ] There are also various non-profit publications, such as Which? , Consumer Reports and Choice Magazine , dedicated to assist in consumer education and decision making.

Consumer activism

Consumer activism is a process by which activists seek to influence the way in which goods or services are produced or delivered. Kozinets and Handelman attempt to define the broad concept as any social movement that uses society's drive for consumption to the detriment of business interests. Consumer activism includes both activism on behalf of consumers for consumer protection and activism by consumers themselves. Consumerism is made up of the behaviors, institutions, and ideologies created from the interaction between humans and materials and services of which they consume. Consumer activism has several aims:

<i>Which?</i> Brand name of Consumers Association, a UK organisation promoting informed consumer choice

Which? is a brand name used by the Consumers' Association, a registered charity and company limited by guarantee, which is based in the United Kingdom. It exists to promote informed consumer choice in the purchase of goods and services by testing products, highlighting inferior products or services, raising awareness of consumer rights and offering independent advice. The association owns several businesses, including Which? Financial Services Limited, Which? Legal Limited and Which? Limited, which publishes the Which? magazine.

In India, the Consumer Protection Act 1986 differentiates the consummation of a commodity or service for personal use or to earn a livelihood. Only consumers are protected per this act and any person, entity or organization purchasing a commodity for commercial reasons are exempted from any benefits of this act. [8]

See also

Related Research Articles

Distribution is one of the four elements of the marketing mix. Distribution is the process of making a product or service available for the consumer or business user who needs it. This can be done directly by the producer or service provider, or using indirect channels with distributors or intermediaries. The other three elements of the marketing mix are product, pricing, and promotion.

The marketing mix is a foundation model. The marketing mix has been defined as the "set of marketing tools that the firm uses to pursue its marketing objectives in the target". Thus the marketing mix refers to four broad levels of marketing decision, namely: product, price, promotion, and place. Marketing practice has been occurring for millennia, but marketing theory emerged in the early twentieth century. The contemporary marketing mix, or the 4 Ps, which has become the dominant framework for marketing management decisions, was first published in 1960. In services marketing, an extended marketing mix is used, typically comprising 7 Ps, made up of the original 4 Ps extended by process, people, and physical evidence. Occasionally service marketers will refer to 8 Ps, comprising these 7 Ps plus performance.

Database marketing is a form of direct marketing using databases of customers or potential customers to generate personalized communications in order to promote a product or service for marketing purposes. The method of communication can be any addressable medium, as in direct marketing.

Direct marketing type of marketing sending messages directly to consumers

Direct marketing is a form of advertising where organizations communicate directly to customers through a variety of media including cell phone text messaging, email, websites, online adverts, database marketing, fliers, catalog distribution, promotional letters, targeted television, newspapers, magazine advertisements, and outdoor advertising. Among practitioners, it is also known as direct response marketing.

Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It usually involves using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness. Marketing emails can be sent to a purchased lead list or a current customer database. The term usually refers to sending email messages with the purpose of enhancing a merchant's relationship with current or previous customers, encouraging customer loyalty and repeat business, acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately, and sharing third-party ads.

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is an agency within the United States Department of Agriculture, and has programs in five commodity areas: cotton and tobacco; dairy; fruit and vegetable; livestock and seed; and poultry. These programs provide testing, standardization, grading and market news services for those commodities, and oversee marketing agreements and orders, administer research and promotion programs, and purchase commodities for federal food programs. The AMS enforces certain federal laws such as the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and the Federal Seed Act. The AMS budget is $1.2 billion.

Canadian trademark law provides protection to marks by statute under the Trade-marks Act and also at common law. Trademark law provides protection for distinctive marks, certification marks, distinguishing guises, and proposed marks against those who appropriate the goodwill of the mark or create confusion between different vendors' goods or services. A mark can be protected either as a registered trade-mark under the Act or can alternately be protected by a common law action in passing off.

Market (economics) mechanisms whereby supply and demand confront each other and deals are made, involving places, processes and institutions in which exchanges occurs (for physical venues, use Q132510 or Q330284)

A market is one of the many varieties of systems, institutions, procedures, social relations and infrastructures whereby parties engage in exchange. While parties may exchange goods and services by barter, most markets rely on sellers offering their goods or services in exchange for money from buyers. It can be said that a market is the process by which the prices of goods and services are established. Markets facilitate trade and enable the distribution and resource allocation in a society. Markets allow any trade-able item to be evaluated and priced. A market emerges more or less spontaneously or may be constructed deliberately by human interaction in order to enable the exchange of rights of services and goods. Markets generally supplant gift economies and are often held in place through rules and customs, such as a booth fee, competitive pricing, and source of goods for sale.

Business marketing is a marketing practice of individuals or organizations. It allows them to sell products or services to other companies or organizations that resell them, use them in their products or services or use them to support their works.

A target audience is the intended audience or readership of a publication, advertisement, or other message. In marketing and advertising, it is a particular group of consumers within the predetermined target market, identified as the targets or recipients for a particular advertisement or message. Businesses that have a wide target market will focus on a specific target audience for certain messages to send, such as The Body Shops Mother's Day advertisements, which were aimed at the children and spouses of women, rather than the whole market which would have included the women themselves.

Marketing ethics is an area of applied ethics which deals with the moral principles behind the operation and regulation of marketing. Some areas of marketing ethics overlap with media ethics.

Global marketing is “marketing on a worldwide scale reconciling or taking commercial advantage of global operational differences, similarities and opportunities in order to meet global objectives".

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to marketing:

The Data & Marketing Association, also known as the DMA, is a trade organization for marketers. In 2017 their web site stated "Yes, 100 years ago we were the Direct Mail Marketing Association and then the Direct Marketing Association. Now we embrace ..."

The business environment is a marketing term and refers to factors and forces that affect a firm's ability to build and maintain successful customer relationships. The business environment has been defined as "the totality of physical and social factors that are taken directly into consideration in the decision-making behaviour of individuals in the organisation."

The concept of the informed consumer is a fundamental one in the law of the European Union. Since the general Resolution of 1975, one of the primary objectives of the European Community, and then the European Union, has been the provision of information to consumers. The rationale is that market actors who are informed have a greater capacity to understand the importance of their market actions and choices, and are enabled in making better choices.

References

  1. "Consumer - Define Consumer at Dictionary.com". Dictionary.com.
  2. Cross, Robert G. (1997). Revenue management: hard-core tactics for market domination. Broadway Books. pp. 66–71. ISBN   978-0-553-06734-7.
  3. Gunelius, Susan (3 July 2010). "The Shift from CONsumers to PROsumers". Forbes. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  4. Scammell, Margaret. "Citizen Consumers: towards a new marketing of politics?" (PDF). p. 6. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  5. Prosumer Revisited . Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  6. Krohn, Lauren (1995). Consumer protection and the law: a dictionary. ABC-CLIO. ISBN   978-0-87436-749-2.
  7. "An Institutional Analysis of Consumer Law". Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law. Archived from the original on March 2, 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-29.
  8. "Consumer vs Customer". Consumerdaddy.com. Retrieved 2010-03-10. The consumer protection act 1986 of India, is a little more generous with the word 'Consumer'. According to this law, consumer is not only a person who uses the product for domestic personal use, but also one who uses the product to earn his daily livelyhood.