The Consumer Processing Model

The Consumer Processing Model (CPM)
Stage 1: Being exposed to information

Exposure means that consumers come in contact with the marketers message (they see a magazine ad, hear radio commercial etc.)

Stage 2: Paying attention

Attention means to focus cognitive resources on and think about a message to which one has been exposed. Actually, consumers pay attention to just a small fraction of marcom messages. This is because the demands placed on our attention are great, but information processing capacity is limited. Effective marcom are designed to activate consumer interests by appealing to those needs that are most relevant to the target audience.

Stage 3: Comprehension of what is attended

To comprehend is to understand and create meaning out of stimuli and symbols. Communication is effective when the meaning, or positioning, a marketing communicator intends to convey matches what consumers actually extract from a message.

Stage 4: Agreement with what is comprehended

A fourth information-processing stage involves the matter of whether the consumer agrees with a message argument that he or she has comprehended. It is crucial from a marcom perspective that consumers not only comprehended but also that they agree with the message. Comprehension alone does not ensure that the message will change consumers attitudes or influence their behavior. Understanding that an advertisement is attempting to position a brand in a certain way is not tantamount to accepting that message.

Stage 5 & 6: Retention and Search and Retrieval of Stored Information

1. Retention

Elements of memory

Memory consists of long-term memory (LTM) and short term memory (STM). The marketing communicators challenge is to provide positively valued information that consumers will store in LTM and that will be used at some later time to influence the choice of our brand over competition options.

Elements of learning

Two primary types of learning are relevant to marcom efforts. One form is strengthening of linkages between the marketers brand and some feature or benefit of that brand. The objective is to position the brands essence securely in the consumers memory.

Marketing communicators facilitate a second form of learning by establishing entirely new linkages.

2. Search and Retrieval of Information

Information that is learned and stored in memory only impacts consumer choice behavior when it is searched and retrieved.

The hedonic, experiential model (HEM)

Whereas the CPM perspective views consumers as pursuing such objectives as “obtaining the best buy”, and “maximizing utility”, the HEM viewpoint recognizes that people often consume products for the sheer fun of it or in the pursuit of amusement, fantasies, or sensory stimulation.