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Definition: Initiator

Any consumer decision making process involves a host of people. Initiator is a person who identifies a need and triggers a purchase decision. He is the person who starts the decision making process by recognizing that a particular problem needs to be addressed to satisfy a specific need.

Marketers usually target potential initiators, at times implanting a specific need/want or helping them prioritize one.

For instance, in a nuclear family with a son and a daughter, the son may feel the need for buying a Plasma Television instead of the flat TV the family currently has. This need may have arisen when he might have seen ads of Plasma TV’s or had the experience of TV at friends’ place. Consequently, he would push the actual purchaser (his parents) towards the follow on stages of the decision process. Usually, the initiator is one who would benefit the most from the subsequent purchase and has a vested interest in it. An initiator may or may not be the final consumer or the customer but does play a crucial role in the final purchase of the product.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Initiator along with its overview.


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