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Application of Classical conditioning in Marketing

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Manager
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MIT

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Ydd b.
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  1. Introduction
  2. The classical conditioning theory
  3. Principles of good marketing strategies and application of classical conditioning to the strategies
  4. Limitations of application of classical conditioning in marketing strategies
  5. Synchronization to reduce the effects of the disadvantages
  6. Conclusion

The classical conditioning theory is among the most influential behavioral theories in the field of psychology. Behaviorists believe the environment is the single biggest determinant of human behavior, values and attitudes. Therefore, behavioral theories explain how manipulation of environmental functions can produce specific reactions in humans (Domjan& Burkhard, 2007). Therefore, these theories are of significant relevance to marketing because marketing strategies attempt to create attitudes that direct the purchasing behavior of consumers and sustain these attitudes over long periods.

Ivan Pavlov proposed the classical conditioning theory(Domjan & Burkhard, 2007). Pavlov conditioned a dog to respond a certain way to a particular stimuli by using the principles of association. In time, he was able to establish a specific response in the dog, even in the absence of the stimuli. The process of conditioning has four principles(Domjan & Burkhard, 2007). All the principles are important in understanding the theory and consequently its significance in direction of marketing strategies.

[...] The greatest strength of classical conditioning in marketing is therefore its ability to sustain consumer behavior. The conditioned consumers are sometimes even willing to pay more for a product because of their association of the product with positive response. However, despite all the strengths and abilities of classical conditioning, it has some flaws that make it hard to use in marketing strategies. Limitations of application of classical conditioning in marketing strategies Behaviorists believe that the existing attitudes are insignificant to behavior, choosing to focus on the role of the environment in development of attitudes. [...]


[...] Classical conditioning is reliant on the quality of a product. Since the product has to produce the conditioned response on the consumers, it has to meet their standards(Panda, 2008). Therefore, in using classical conditioning in a marketing strategy, it is important to select the product carefully because unlike other marketing models that rely on brands and perception of the buyers, the classical conditioning model is reliant on the ability of the product to produce a positive reaction from the consumers. [...]


[...] For example, if the desire of a marketing strategy is to generate a good feeling from a product, the process of conditioning consumers must start with a stimulus that produces the desired effect on the consumers. The unconditional response is elicited by the unconditional stimulus(Domjan & Burkhard, 2007). For example, in the example provided above, the unconditional response is hunger after the smell of a favorite dish. The relevance of the unconditional response is in its desirability. For example, in marketing strategies, the desired response from a product must be the same response elicited by the unconditional stimulus. [...]


[...] From the behavior modification ability of classical conditioning, it is possible to condition customers to like a product and therefore direct their behavior in shopping. However, this is dependent on the quality of the product. The better the quality, the better the chance of sustained demand. Classical conditioning is a powerful method of directing behavior(Schiffman, 2011). It employs the principles of learning and therefore produces relatively permanent changes in behavior. Many examples of the effectiveness of classical conditioning are seen business. For example, the issue of franchises and growth of corporations in intimately linked with classical conditioning. [...]


[...] All these factors serve to reduce the relevance of classical conditioning in marketing strategies. The rigorous methods of application of classical condoning is also a disadvantage in ideal application. For example, application conditioning requires a conditional response from a conditional stimulus (Thomas, 2008). These two are dependent on the unconditional stimulus and response. Therefore, they are derived from existing attitudes in a person. The unconditional stimulus vary from person to person. For example, while some people associate sunshine with happiness and brightness, some people do not like it. [...]

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