Big companies like “Apple”, “Nike” invest millions and billions of dollars every year to understand more about Consumer Behavior, they want to know what makes them buy, what influences their decisions, how the consumer feels before, during and after the purchase. Maybe the first thing you are thinking when you are reading this is “I’m not Apple or Nike”, which might be true, but the value that Consumer Behavior has on your Business is not defined by your annual revenue.
What is Consumer Behavior?
Consumer Behavior is the set of actions, decision processes and behavioral patterns that consumers follow before making a purchase. Consumer Behavior starts with the Consumer being aware of a desire or need and then thinking about the purchasing process.
Why is Consumer Behavior important? Why should Businesses study it?
With the way that Online Businesses are developing, Businesses do not only sell locally but they sell online to customers across the world. Nowadays you do not get the chance to meet your customers face to face, whether you are selling a product or service, most of the customers are buying online and it is difficult for Businesses to determine the Behavior of their Clients by not meeting them, that is why research is necessary.
You should study the behavior of your consumers, this way you get a better idea on how to create, market and sell your products or services effectively. Businesses focus in the data that they gather, the more you gather, the better your decisions become and the more you understand on how your customers behave.
Depending on the product or service that you are selling, you should target a specific market and specific targeted group of people. By identifying the market and the potential clients you can start by gathering information, researching and coming up with ideas on how to market your product or service.
What impact does Customer Behavior have on Marketing and what role does it play?
The way that Customers react to the marketing material shown to them is what defines Customer Behavior in Marketing. For example, this particular Blog post that you are reading, how do you react to it? Is it something that informs you? Do you like reading it? Does it benefit you? Do you spend your time properly? Do you share it? Do you even read it till the end? If we can predict your actions, we have done a successful Customer Behavior research.
Running a business requires constant marketing and advertising efforts, but you can market your Business every day and spend a lot of time and effort doing it and it feels like hard work, but that is not going to work or give you the proper results, if you do not target and study your market.
Gathering more knowledge on Customer Behavior, will put you in a better to position to produce better marketing material, better copyrighting, better design, selecting better products and overall connecting with you audience on a higher level.
All in all, you marketing materials should be in line with your customers needs, that is why you need to keep collecting data and adapt.
Studying Customer Behavior, comes down to studying the Customer itself, by knowing how Customers think you can predict their actions and by getting to know more about them, you will ask the right questions and come up with innovative ideas on how to get their attention and hopefully turn that attention into a purchasing process which translates as profit to your Business.
You can not force someone to work you with, buy your products, visit your store, visit your Website, like or share your posts, what you can do, is try and figure out what they like, what interests them and produce content, products, services that get their attention and they would want to get. We believe that the right question to ask is “What drives Customer decisions?”
Consumer’s psychological state is what drives consumer’s actions before, during and after the purchase. Depending on the time and the way that they feel, it influences their buying decision. For example let’s say that you are in a confused state of your life, you are thinking of changing your job, or maybe you are having trouble organizing your day, friendships, personal relationships you stop by a book store and you see a book titled “How to get your life together”, that is going to get your attention for sure.
Or let’s say that you are stressed out by the things going on in your life and you stop by a bakery store and you see these delicious looking cakes, you might buy one, junk food helps sometimes when you are vulnerable and stressed out.
But it can be turned out the other way around, sometimes people in a chaotic state, they discover their hidden passion and they might be inspired to go rock climbing, so the store where rock climbing equipment is going to get the benefit of having them as customers.
We as humans have value systems that we live by and interpret the world by, we have things we are attracted to, things that we dislike and belief systems. Have you ever been automatically attracted to a product? Maybe you liked the packaging? The logo? It transmitted something to you? Or have you ever felt empathy for a brand?
There are brands who have declared that a part of their revenue they donate it to charity, or they support a specific cause that you support as well and they use their business to support the cause. You are attracted by that brand.
There are some brands who can be charismatic, use humor, or share your beliefs or political views. As a customer you are more likely to buy from these brands.
You better your marketing after you understand these aspects of Consumer Behavior. There are people who are going to like your brand there are people who are not going to be connected to it as much, that is perfectly normal, what you need to know is who likes your brand, this way you can make sure that they receive your marketing attention and message.
Customer Behavior is an ongoing process which brands have to pay attention to, the more Behavioral Knowledge you have the more information you possess, the easier it is for you to adapt through the year, run successful marketing campaigns and get results.
How can we collect data?
There are different ways to understand how your audience is reacting to your content, we are going to list you some of the ways you can use to collect data.
Feedback – How customers feel after buying a product or service from your brand is called feedback. Checking in with the customer even after the purchase gives a clear message that you are not only interested in revenue but Customer Satisfaction as well, it makes them feel special and it makes them feel respected.
Surveys – Something that we suggest to a lot of brands we work with is creating and running Surveys. Surveys are documents that ask for the Consumers opinion on the Business activities. You show that they opinion is very important to you and that they matter, that will increase Brand Loyalty, because the Customer knows that the brand that he is choosing is listening to their needs and ideas.
Focused groups – Gathering of some people from different ages, genres, nationalities, religion in a room or in a digital conference call and sharing their thoughts and ideas on your product, services or your brand. That will provide you with a different perspective on your Business.
Google analytics – Your Website analytics are very important, they provide you with detailed information on how your Website is performing, the audience, the locations, the sources, audience groups etc.
Social Media Insights – Social Media provides detailed insights on your Business Profile, more and more people are being active on Social Media every day, Businesses are doing marketing campaigns, everybody is living in a Digital World now and the way that people connect with your content and the actions that they take can give you a good idea on what they like or don’t.