MKT 531: Marketing Theory: Consumer Behavior and Decision Making

Marketing begins and ends with the consumer – from understanding consumer preferences and needs to providing consumer satisfaction. Thus, a clear understanding of consumers is critical in successfully managing the marketing function in any organization. This module examines the nature of consumer behavior and consumer decision process. The effects of psychological influences (such as learning, motives, perception, and beliefs and attitudes) on consumer behavior and decision-making are discussed. Understanding consumers' behavior and the irrationality of the human decision-making process is key to developing winning marketing strategies for advertising, branding, pricing or promotions.

Learning outcomes
Students develop an understanding of important theories in marketing and its relevance within business administration. More precisely, they will be able to critically discuss and apply models and theories of consumer behavior, such as prospect theory and mental accounting. They will further know about the foundations of social psychology, including feeling-as-information theory, attachment theory, attribution theory of motivation, and cognitive dissonance theory. Based on these foundations, they will be able to reflect on consumer perception as well as on concepts of consumer learning, memory, motivation, and attitudes, which altogether imply on consumer decision processes. In addition to their knowledge on marketing theory, they will be able to assess various frameworks and tools in this regard, e.g., marketing mix strategies and market analysis as well as segmentation.

Necessary prerequisites
Not taken MKT 530

Recommended prerequisites
Basic marketing knowledge on Bachelor level / B.Sc. Business Administration

Forms of teaching and learningContact hoursIndependent study time
Lecture2 SWS9 SWS
ECTS credits4
Graded yes
Form of assessmentWritten exam (60 min)
Restricted admissionno
Further information
Performing lecturer
Prof. Dr. Florian Stahl
Prof. Dr. Florian Stahl
Frequency of offeringSpring semester
Duration of module 1 semester
Range of applicationM.Sc. MMM, M.Sc. WiPäd, M.Sc. VWL, M.Sc. Wirt. Inf., LL.M., MAKUWI
Preliminary course work
Program-specific Competency GoalsCG 1
LiteratureRoger D. Blackwell, Paul W. Miniard, and James F. Engel (2005): Consumer Behavior (10 edition), Wiley.
Del I Hawkins and David L Mothersbaugh (2013): Consumer behavior: building marketing strategy (12 Edition), McGraw-Hill.
Course outlinePrinciples of Behavioral Economics & Social Psychology
Foundations of Preferences, Judgment and Choice
Foundations of Consumer Decision Making
Foundations of Social Psychology
The Nature of Consumer Behavior
Social Status and Reference Groups
Consumer Perception
Consumer Learning, Memory and Product Positioning
Consumer Motivation, Personality and Emotion
Consumer Attitudes and Influencing Attitudes
Consumer Decision Process
Pre-Purchase Processes: Need Recognition, Information Search, and Evaluation
Post-Purchase Processes: Consumption and Post-Consumption Evaluations
Consumer Behavior and Marketing Strategy
Creating Marketing Strategies for Customer-Centric Organizations