Edited by Stephane Hess and Andrew Daly
Chapter 26: Deciding how to decide: an agenda for multi-stage choice modelling research in marketing
The need to focus on consumer and organizational choice is at the very core of marketing practice and academia. Ultimately, both the tactical and strategic spheres of marketing revolve around the question of what product and service choices decision makers will exercise: product design, pricing, promotion and distribution decisions by the individual firm must necessarily be guided by market demand, itself the aggregation of myriad choices made in the midst of a specific market context/structure. As the discipline has matured, it is natural that our scope has broadened widely, perhaps to the detriment of maintaining a crisp focus on the issue of consumer (writ large) choice modeling. One of the consequences of this broader focus has been the somewhat less than critical adoption of the microeconomic consumer model1 as an overarching framework for modeling choice behavior. The external affirmation granted by the ubiquitous use of the homo economicus construct in other disciplines (for example, transportation planning, geography, applied economics – health, environmental, labor, urban, transport, inter alia), the simplicity (even elegance) of its representation, and the ease of its implementation in measurement frameworks, have all contributed to legitimizing the widespread use of this account of decision-making. Here, we expound on a specific and, in our view, underexamined aspect of this model of consumer behavior: that it postulates an essentially single-stage view of consumer decision-making. Taking a step back, however, the marketing discipline has contributed.
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