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Let's talk psychology

Continuing our look at the factors of consumer behavior, this month we dive into psychological factors. Remember, while we aren't able to control these factors of behavior, we should always take them into account.

Since this month's topic greatly affects pharmacy customers, we are doing an overview this month and then diving into it more in future newsletters.

Each person has different factors that affect their purchasing behavior - cultural, social, personal, and psychological. There are 4 main psychological factors: motivation, perception, learning, and beliefs and attitudes.

Motivational factors stem from needs such as physiological (hunger, thirst), safety, social, esteem (recognition, status symbols) and self-actualization - with the physiological needs being most pressing and the self-actualization being least.

How a consumer acts is influenced by his or her own perception of the situation. People are exposed to a staggering amount of information every day. It is estimated that customers see between 3,000 and 5,000 ad messages daily. Most people are able to tune out the majority of the messages unless they perceive them to be relevant to themselves or their family. How they perceive your company determines if yours is a message they pay attention to. That's why it's important to be consistently marketing your pharmacy.

Learning refers to changes in a person's behavior arising from experiences they have had. People are driven and motivated to act a certain way if they have had a positive (or negative) learning experience with something/someone (e.g. your pharmacy). Whether they realize it or not, if they learn something from you (good or bad), they have a connection with you that will affect their future behavior.

Beliefs and attitudes are the most difficult psychological factors to change as they are deeply rooted in a person's knowledge, opinions, faith or feelings. When marketing toward a certain belief or attitude it is better to fit the product or service into beliefs and attitudes that are already held, rather than try to change them.

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