Individuals are exposed to tens of thousands of advertisements in a single day.With all these numerous advertisements being bombarded at a single buyer,marketers craftily design their campaigns in consideration to the consumer's processing of these stimuli in order to make a purchase decision. In doing so, they keep in mind what is called consumer perception or "the process by which an individual selects, organizes, and interprets information inputs to create a meaningful picture of the world" (Kotler 2005). It is irrefutable that each individual processes stimuli differently because of personal differences. Thus, perception varies among individuals who perceive the same thing. This is due to three perceptual processes known as selective attention, selective distortion, and selective retention.Selective attention refers to the ability of the consumers to notice and to be attracted only be advertisements which appeal to them. With all massive amount of advertisement each day, customers are only captivated by those which are relevant to them. It is found out that the advertisement which catches customers' attention are those stimuli which represents their current need, those which they anticipate, and those whose deviation are large in relation to the normal size of stimuli (Kotler and Armstrong 2001). For example, an ad which features beauty products which inhibits oil production will irrefutably attract one who is searching for one. Likely, if the ad is placed in a health and beauty specialist, the customers are expected to notice. And lastly, bigger discounts are more likely to be taken note of than smaller ones.
The next process is called selective distortion which refers to "the tendency of customers to twist information into personal meanings" (Kotler 2005) and interpret them according to their needs. It should be noted that the different background of the consumers enables them to interpret advertisements in their individual ways which is influenced by their social class, employment, and others. Lastly, selective retention refers to the customers' remembering of their selected products' good points while forgetting that of the competitors' products advantages (Lynch 2003).
As a marketer, advertisements are usually designed according to their intended market. Companies make advertisements which appeal to a specific target market by using celebrities, colors, and dramatic effects which will likely attract them. Offering huge discounts are also other ways of capturing their attention. However, in selective distortion, there is nothing much that a marketer can do in order to influence buyers. Selective retention is facilitated by repeating the messages that they intend the buyer to learn. The key in advertising still, is the marketers' understanding of customers which will perceive and experience them.
1. A reference group "consists of all groups with a direct (face-to face) or indirect effect on all people's attitudes or behaviors" (Kotler 2005).
2. The four types of reference groups include primary groups, secondary groups, aspirational groups, and disassociative groups. Primary groups which are those which have a direct influence on the person because of his continuous and informal interaction with them including his family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. On the other hand, more formal relations which require less continuous interaction like religious groups, trade associations, and professional are called secondary groups. Aspirational groups are those which the individuals aspires to have membership of while disassociative ones represents those which have values or beliefs that a customer finds unacceptable (Kotler and Armstrong 2005).
3. Customers associate themselves with reference groups because of their want to be acceptable to the people within the group, they