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By Chris Rice; Chartered Institute of Marketing

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It is also likely that a much wider range of criteria will be used to judge ‘good value’. These criteria could include: Price/Discounts Technical advantage and advancement ⎫ Quality ⎟ After-sales service and maintenance ⎬ Reliability and continuity of supply ⎟ Back-up advisory services ⎭ Credit facilities offered Note: the ranking of these factors will vary from situation to situation In addition, the decision could be influenced by other historical relationships between the two organizations – misbilling, difficulty in communication, personal friction or personality clashes in the past can be held in some sort of ‘corporate memory’ and militate against the errant supplier.

Think – What are you going to do? The answer that you give to that question is likely to depend on your decoding of the verb ‘scan’. Many people (certainly most managers and students) decode it to mean ‘have a quick look through’, ‘cast an eye over the main headings’, or ‘get a rough idea of what it is about’. However, the Concise Oxford Dictionary defines the verb ‘to scan’ as: ‘to look intently at all parts successively’ (among other meanings) so if the sender intends the message to mean ‘study carefully’ and the receiver interprets the message as ‘cast a quick eye over’ (or vice versa) we have poor communication in the sense that the perceptions of the sender and the receiver do not coincide.

Another phenomenon is closure – the tendency of people to perceive incomplete objects as complete, to close up or fill in gaps in sensory inputs and to view asymmetric and unbalanced stimuli as symmetric and balanced. Marketers have used the idea of closure in such classic advertising messages as ‘Schh… You know who’, which has worked well for the Schweppes organization for many years. The observer completes the message on behalf of the advertiser, thus involving mental processing or elaboration which, in turn, is likely to imprint the message.

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