Marketing Strategies Based on Information Search Patterns

Marketing strategies should consider the information search that consumers engage with prior to their purchases. There are 2 variables within a search that are essential in understanding the decision making process: the type of decision making which influences the level of the search and the type of evoked set which drives the direction of the search.

Last year Dettol recently released a social marketing video called Dettol’s Happy Hand washing Song that promotes children to wash their hands, featuring the cast of Lah Lah’s Big Live Band (a popular children’s television show). The clip does not tell kids to use Dettol’s products, but the product placement (of Dettol’s hand wash) suggests the promotion of its’ products. (Dettol Australia 2015)

The maintenance strategy was used by Dettol to maintain the current purchase behaviour of Dettol’s target market. Dettol used the reinforcement strategy to remind consumers of the benefits that Dettol’s soap obtains. The brand has been within the evoked set of millions of Australian’s for 80 years, and this strategy was used to confirm that their products are superior, which is reinforced by the high-profile ambassadors whom feature in their video. (2016)

There has always been an open discussion about whether advertising to children is ethical. When I came across the video, I assumed that due to the promotion of heath, that it was ethical, but when I thought about the habitual decision making that FMCG’s obtain, I re-thought about whether it was ethical to use children’s ‘characters’ to promote Dettol products. (Brereton 2016 & Calvet 2008)

Habitual decision-making is the decision making or problem solving that requires only minimal search for, and evaluation of alternatives. Parents have a responsibility to ensure that their children are healthy, which includes buying products that their family needs. Soap is one of these essential products and is one that is purchased habitually. Due to this decision making process, I began to wonder why they were targeting children if they are not purchasing the product.

The debate of whether advertising to children is ethical will always exist, but in this instance, I believe that ethically Dettol has created an effective advertisement, which has worked in part to maintain its’ position in the market. (Rose 1999)


  • Brereton, L 2016, Social and Family Influences on Consumer Behaviour, Lecture Week 10, UOW, viewed 13th May 2016.
  • Calvet, S 2008, Children as Consumers: Advertising and Marketing, Children and Electronic Media, vol.18.
  • Dettol Australia 2015, Dettol Happy Handwashing Song, YouTube, viewed 10th May 2016,
  • Evoked Set Strategies, Information Search, Week 3 Reading, viewed 17th March 2016.
  • Rose, G 1999, Consumer Socialization, Parental Style, and Development Timetables in the United States and Japan, Journal of Marketing, vol.63, pp.105-19.

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