The exchange process is involving two parties, each having an unsatisfied want or need and something to exchange. Frequently, however, there are more than two parties involved in an exchange. Instead of only one receiving party, as many as six parties, each with a different role, may be involved:
- Initiator—The person who first recognizes an unsatisfied want or need.
- Influencer—The individual who provides information about how the want or need may be satisfied.
- Decider—The person who finally chooses an alternative that will satisfy the want or need.
- Buyer—The purchaser of the product.
- Consumer—The user of the product.
- Evaluator—The individual who provides feedback on the chosen product’s ability to satisfy.
Sometimes all these roles are filled by one person; at other times, different people enter the picture at each stage in the exchange process. Marketers must identify all the important people in any given purchase situation. (By the way, rather than trying to memorize terms such as these, try to use them. For example, think of cases in which you play each of these roles as consumers. You will find you have become familiar with the terms and remember them painlessly as a result. Now if you could only figure out how to create this kind of involvement among readers or viewers of your company’s advertising!)
Understanding that modern-day mothers increasingly are working outside the home rather than in it, General Foods, a subsidiary of Philip Morris Company, is directing more of its marketing of food products toward children. A marketing manager told The Wall Street Journal, because “kids have more and more influence over food purchases, we felt we had to market increasingly toward children. In one year’s time, the proportion of Kool-Aid’s advertising devoted to children jumped 200 percent. In addition to the time-honored roles of initiating, influencing, and evaluating, children are taking an increasing role in buying.
A kid-oriented promotion from H.J. Heinz Co., the ketchup makers, illustrates the incredible power children have gained over household purchases in the last decade. Their research showed that children are now dominating purchase decisions for their products, so they decided to reach out to children and increase their involvement with the company’s Heinz Ketchup brand. Here’s what they did. Heinz sponsored a contest in which children submitted designs for product labels. The contest was announced through print ads in magazines that used the headline, “Hey kids, wanna be famous?” Heinz also sent posters announcing the contest to art instructors at U.S. schools. The response? Approximately 60,000 children sent in submissions, and some now appear on Heinz products.