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The Marketer's Handbook: Reassessing Marketing Techniques for Modern Business by Laurie Young

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cmp04uf001DECISION-MAKING UNIT (DMU)

Application: Sales Planning, Communications Planning, Account Planning, Relationship Marketing

The Concept

The concept of the “decision-making unit” (DMU), sometimes called the “buying centre”, attempts to identify the different roles in a “buying group” (see Figure D.1). They exist in both consumer and organizational buying. Marketers can use this tool to identify the influence that different people wield in the buying process. Different approaches to each one can then be designed according to the role each one plays. The idea is to understand who participates and who has influence on buying decisions. There are various roles that have been suggested.

Figure D.1: A representation of the DMU

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In consumer group buying they are:

(i) “Initiator”: the person who first thinks of an idea.

(ii) “Influencer”: someone whose views influence the purchase (like children on the choice of breakfast cereal).

(iii) “Decider”: the person who actually decides what to buy.

(iv) “Buyer”: this can be different to the decider.

(v) “User”: the person who uses or consumes the purchase.

In business markets:

(i) “Influencers” are people who have a valid opinion on the purchase or a valid contribution (perhaps a junior employee). They might research or contribute to the ...

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