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Hierarchy of Effects Theory – Definition

Cite this article as:"Hierarchy of Effects Theory – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated February 11, 2020, last accessed August 13, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/hierarchy-of-effects-theory-definition/.


Hierarchy-of-Effects Theory Definition

The hierarchy of effects theory refers to a model that shows how advertising influences the decision to either buy or not purchase a given service or product. The theory was founded by two individuals Gray A Steiner and Robert J Lavidge, in 1961. The hierarchy of effect method suggests that investors should create an advertisement where that will result in customers purchasing the advertised products or services.

A Little More on What is the Hierarchy-of-Effects Theory

When it comes to the hierarchy of effects, there is a need for advertisers to understand and employ influential and persuasion skills in the corporate world for successful advertising. It is a marketing strategy with the aim of explaining the processes that are involved right from the time a consumer views the advertised product to its purchase. So, the advertiser’s job is to ensure that consumers go through the six stages that will result in customers purchasing the product.

Though an immediate purchase may be an appropriate option, many companies prefer using a hierarchy of effects theory to give consumers time to make a decision. The advertisers, therefore, have a duty of ensuring that potential customers go through the process successfully. It is about thinking, feeling, and doing the behavior.

Stages of Hierarchy-of-Effects Theory

Awareness: This is where the customers come to know the existence of a product through advertisement. It is a challenging stage because there is no surety that the customers will become aware of the product brand after it is advertised. Note that consumers come across so many advertisements every day. So, they are likely to remember a very small fraction of the product’s brand.

Knowledge: This is a stage where advertisers expect customers to gain more information about the advertised product. It can be through product packaging, retail advisors, and the internet. It is an important step, especially in this digital era. Consumers are able to gain knowledge about any product by simply clicking a button.

Liking: It is a stage where advertisers have to ensure that the customers like the product. They have to ensure that the features they promote a given product encourage the customer to like it.

Preference: There is a possibility of customers liking not just one but more product brands, and they might end up purchasing any of them. Advertisers need to ensure that customers shift their focus from rival products and instead concentrate on their product. To ensure this, it is necessary that they highlight the benefits of their brand, including their unique selling points. This way, customers are able to differentiate the product from the rest.

Convictions: At this stage, advertisers should be able to arouse customers’ desire to purchase the advertised product. To encourage conviction, they can allow potential buyers to test the product. If the product is food, they can give consumers free samples to go and try them out first. In case of a car, they should invite customers for a car driving test. This way, consumers will confident when they finally decide to purchase the product.

Purchase: This is a stage where advertisers expect consumers to buy their products. The step should be simple and easy to encourage customers to purchase the product. For example, a website that is slow may discourage online purchases. A complicated payment process can also make consumers shy away from buying a product.

References for “Hierarchy-of-Effects Theory

https://www.mbaskool.com › Concepts › Marketing and Strategy





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