IIMA - Course Catalogue
Prof. Rajat Sharma
Course Description & Objectives
Consumer behavior is a cross-disciplinary area of study. Although the focus of consumer behavior generally falls under marketing, wise marketing professionals know that to best market their product (or service), they must understand how individuals gather information, what motivates their behavior, how attitudes are formed and maintained, and the personality and cultural traits that characterize individuals (e.g., obsessive-compulsive shoppers) and groups (e.g., social class, geographical region) which, in turn, may affect consumption. Students thus in this course, learn to appreciate the application of cultural, social, personal aspects of human psychology to consumer decision making behavior. Thus, the course content include the importance of studying consumer behavior, understanding the influence of internal traits like personality, values, attitude, motivation, lifestyle, lerning, perception and self-concept; and researching how external factors like family, reference groups, culture, subculture, social class, religions and experience motivates particular consumer actions.
The objectives of the course is:
To provide a broad survey of the principles of consumer behavior.
To acquire skills and techniques for implementing these principles in the business, especially marketing context
To identify and explain factors that influence consumer behavior.
To be able to comprehend how a consumer would react to you or your Company and Competitors products/product offerings/promotions etc.
To develop a foresight ultimately about the role and impact of consumer behavior activities in and on society.
Introduce students to consumer theories from various disciplines like psychology, sociology and anthropology and to demonstrate their relationship to consumer behaviour.
After completing this course, you should be able to identify and understand how studying human behavior is THE KEY to successful marketing.
The course will consist of four major components:
1. Class sessions: Classes will be a mixture of lectures, case discussions and exercises. Students are expected to contribute to the class discussions by preparing the readings assigned for a particular session and from their own experience as consumer.
2. Group Research Question: This course will have research questions to work on. The work will be required to be completed in groups.
3. Group Project: There will be a course project where students are supposed to work as a group.
The pedagogy of the course relies predominantly on case discussions and interactive discussions. Every class would require active inputs from each one of you .Those who are active every day are the ones who will survive and learn. Start paying attention to how advertising and marketing approaches are targeted differentially for different groups ofpeople. Start looking at products, services and advertisements with a new perspective. What strategies could the marketer be adopting? What consumer needs is he targeting? What is going on in the consumers mind etc?
The value of the course is greatly enhanced when students are active participants. Each student is a consumer in his/her own right and can add value to our course on Consumer behavior. Therefore, each student is strongly encouraged to contribute to our class discussions. Outside materials, such as articles, advertisements, and personal experiences brought to class for discussion or presentation is welcome.
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