The basis of learning as it pertains to marketing is drive and motivation. Drive is “any strong stimulus that impels action…relying on a cue in the environment to determine the nature of the consumer’s response to a drive” (Boone & Kurtz, 2007, p.173). Learning and the relevancy of environment are large predictors of motivation once a marketer understands the dynamics of their target market, usually psychographic profiles. There is a concept in psychology related to memory and learning known as the social learning theory. Under this concept, individuals have a tendency to model the behaviors of others when they witness reward for these actions. This type of learning only occurs when the individual being observed is both credible and attractive.
Understanding this concept, marketers will develop a marketing strategy utilizing reputable celebrities or individual actors with similar lifestyle preferences as a means to motivate response or model behaviors under social learning theory. Certain psychographic lifestyle groups will gravitate more to modeling behaviors when the actor or celebrity endorser is credible and attractive, thus making an imprint on memory about the substance of product or the relevancy of the campaign. “In personal and non-personal communication, the message’s impact on the target audience is affected by how the audience views the communicator”. Kotler (2009) again identifies that messages have more persuasive value when stemming from a highly credible source of information.
For certain market groups, once these values have been identified, learning about a brand occurs by the credibility and motivational value of the advertising concept or the messages being delivered in an integrated marketing campaign. Under Kolb’s experiential learning theory, adults also learn through reflective observation, a system where an individual learns from experiences and “articulating why and how they occurred whilst reflecting and critically examining their experience from all perspectives” (Akella, 2010, p.103). In this type of learning, a consumer scans the environment and considers the impact of their own needs in relation to the environment and then develops new strategies in the future based on experience. For marketers, this is important in relation to post-purchase evaluation and the systems in place for handling the by-product of this type of learning. For example, a marketer might develop a world-class customer complaint system or survey system so that consumers have a positive experience once the product has been purchased. It was previously discussed about motivational linkages to learning. Under Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, an individual is motivated by establishment of a sense of social affiliation. “