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Volume 17
Issue 2
Online publication date 2017-07-10
Title Consumer behaviour modelling: A myth or heuristic device?
Author Charles Omotoyinbo, Rowland Worlu, Olalere Ogunnaike
Abstract
There is confusion in literature as to whether consumer behavior models are myths or heuristic devices. Myths are symbolic tales (believed as true, usually sacred) of the distant past, connected to belief systems or rituals, and may serve to direct social action and values while heuristic device is a provisional and plausible creation whose purpose is to discover the solution of a particular problem at hand. On the other hand, models are theoretical construction and simplified presentation of phenomenon. Notwithstanding the semantics in the definition and description of CB models in the literature, the crux of the  matter presents two strange bed fellows: myth and heuristic device, and a number of conundrums are raised: Is it really possible to model a complex, dynamic and unpredictable entity like the consumer? Or is it just a scholarly exercise? To what extent, if necessary, can it help marketers achieve precision in understanding and predicting the customer or consumer behavior? This matter has polarized the scholarly community of marketers for decades. This conceptual paper, therefore, seeks to contribute to this discourse by undertaking an archival survey of the extant literature to look at the two sides of the coins, that is, whether CB is a myth or heuristic device. The study concludes that CB models provide a frame of reference for solving consumer problems and helping to point the way for hypothesis needed for CB theory development. This makes it a heuristic device. The implication is that consumer is at the center of all marketing programmes, scholars and practitioners should understand this and apply it successfully incorporating the views, preferences, feelings, motives and innuendoes of the consumer.
Citation
References
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Keywords Consumer, behavior, models, myths, heuristic device
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.15208/pieb.2017.09
Pages 101-119
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