Consumer Behavior

I.     Course Prefix/Number: MKT 230

       Course Name: Consumer Behavior

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Hands-on experience using word processing, the Internet, and e-mail recommended.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course reviews and analyzes areas of consumer and organizational buying behavior that guide marketing management decisions.  Content focus is on recognizing and applying consumer behavior theories to marketing strategies in a diverse marketplace. 

IV.   Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  1. Assess the external influences that shape consumer behavior.
  2. Assess the internal influences that shape consumer behavior.
  3. Determine the sociological and psychological factors that contribute to different patterns
  4. Evaluate the consumer decision process and the factors that contribute to their purchases
  5. Apply the knowledge of what shapes consumer behavior to the development of successful marketing strategies.
  6. Identify specific characteristics and strategies in developing generation marketing.
  7. Identify specific characteristics and strategies in developing ethnic marketing.

Students will accomplish these objectives by developing and presenting market plans for specific target markets using the theories and strategies outlined in the text and readings.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  • Exploring the relationship of Consumer Behavior and development of successful Marketing strategies
  • Investigation of external influences on consumer behavior
  • Investigation of internal influences on consumer behavior
  • Consumer Decision process and problem recognition
  • Doing Information searches
  • Looking at the post purchase process and consumer satisfaction
  • Looking at industry (organizational) buyer behavior
  • Consumerism and Regulatory Issues
  • Target market strategies
  • Marketing to specific generation markets
  • Marketing to diverse markets

VII.  Methods of Instruction

An interactive approach to looking and applying the concepts of consumer behavior while developing marketing strategies. A combination of lectures, small group discussions, case studies and current readings will help students develop an understanding of consumer behavior concepts and the impact of consumer behavior on product success.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students will be expected to come to class prepared to discuss the assigned chapters or periodical readings. Additional assignments of case studies may be assigned as needed to reinforce instructional content.  Students will also be expected to do library research and oral presentations.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

TEXTBOOK: Consumer Behavior, by Hawkins, Best and Coney

Outside Readings:
Periodical readings Journal of Consumer Behavior, Brandweek and Advertising Age

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Midterm Project 30%
Case studies 20%
Ad clips 20%
Final presentation   30%

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.