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Lecture 3


Attention and Comprehension


Copyright © 2008 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

• Understand the concepts of exposure and attention, inference and comprehension • Identify the factors that influence these elements • Relate these concepts to marketing strategy


Exposure to Information
• Critical for consumers’ interpretation processes • Consumers must be exposed first to information in the environment including marketing strategies for them to be able to understand information.


Two Types of Exposure
• Intentional – consumers are exposed to some marketing information because of their own intentional, goal-oriented search behavior • Accidental – random or semi-random events that occur as consumers move through their environments and “accidentally” come into contact with marketing information

Exposure to Information
• Levels of intentional exposure to marketing information are rather low

Selective Exposure to Information
• Increased amount of marketing information in the environment
– Consumers become more adept at avoiding exposure – Selective exposure


Exposure to Information- Marketing implications
• Strategies to enhance consumers exposure to information and products:
– Facilitate intentional exposure
• by training salespeople to provide necessary information to consumers when and where they need it; brochures; websites, etc.

– Maximize accidental exposure
• through locating in high traffic areas such as malls, busy intersections, downtown; selection of appropriate media and using alternative ways to advertise in taxicab, sports stadium, boats, buses, blimps, shopping carts, etc.

Exposure to Information- Marketing implications
• Strategies to enhance consumers exposure to information and products:
– Create appropriate level of exposure – Maintain exposure
• by consistently placing advertisements in TV, print, radio, etc.


Short Video
• Product Placement • Product displacement

Attention Processes
• Attention implies selectivity • Attention connotes awareness and consciousness • Consumers need to be:
– Conscious – Alert – Aroused


Variations in Attention
• Preconscious attention
– Highly automatic, unconscious level

• Focal attention
– Controlled conscious level


Factors Influencing Consumers’ Attention
• Affective states
– Can influence attention processes

• Involvement
– Motivational state guiding stimuli selection for focal attention and comprehension

• Environmental Prominence
– Stimuli must be a prominent feature in the environment to attract attention


Some examples
• Jennifer Aniston on Smart Water

Attention Processes- Marketing implications
• Intrinsic self-relevance
– Why do consumers find a product to be selfrelevant?

• Situational self-relevance
– Generates higher levels of involvement and motivation to attend to marketing information

• Factors affecting environmental prominence
– Vivid pictorial images – Novel or unusual stimuli – Clutter


End of Part 1
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• Interpretation processes by which consumers understand or make sense of their own behavior


Variations in Comprehension


Variations in Comprehension cont.
• Automatic processing
– Unconscious – Automatic

• Level
– Shallow – Deep

• Elaboration
– Less – More

• Memorability

Inferences During Comprehension
• Inferences- interpretations that produce knowledge or beliefs that go beyond the information given
– Large role in the construction of means-end chains – Influenced by consumers’ existing knowledge in memory – Consumers use cues in making inferences – Marketers may try to stimulate consumers to form inferences during comprehension

Inferences about the Good Housekeeping Seal

Let’s see what we can infer from these…

Let’s see what we can infer from these…
• Woman • TVC

Factors Influencing Comprehension
• Knowledge in memory
– Expert consumers – Novice consumers – Need to understand existing knowledge structures of target audience to develop effective marketing strategies

• Involvement
– Has a major influence on consumers’ motivation to comprehend marketing information at the time of exposure


Factors Influencing Comprehension cont.
• Exposure environment
– Can affect consumers’ opportunity to comprehend marketing information – Factors influencing consumer comprehension:
• Time pressure • Consumers’ affective states • Distractions


Comprehension- Marketing implications
• Marketers need to understand consumers comprehension processes to design effective marketing strategies
– Knowledge and involvement – Remembering – Miscomprehension of marketing information – Exposure environment


• Discussed behavioral process of exposure, by which consumers come into contact with marketing information • Emphasized the interrelated cognitive process of attention and comprehension • Learned that exposure to marketing information can occur by accident or as a result of an intentional search for information


Summary cont.
• Noted that once exposure has occurred the interpretation processes of attention and comprehension begin • Considered that attention and comprehension are strongly influenced by two internal factors – the knowledge structures activated in the exposure situation and the level of consumers’ involvement

Summary cont.
• Noted that designing and implementing successful marketing strategies require that marketers consider three issues associated with three processes


End of Lesson 3
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