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Study Consumer Buying Behavior to Decide Who to Target

by DJ Team, on April 8, 2020

Closely examine the decision-making process of your current customers to better predict the type of lead most likely to convert into a sale, and how to target those particular consumers along every step of the buying journey. 

You’ve cobbled together a general concept of your ideal customers: Tech-savvy millennials. Parents looking for homeschooling help. Remote employees with a need for digital tools.

While those broad consumer buying process examples mark a good place to start when creating customer profiles to target in your digital marketing strategy, try working backward from the finish line instead. Begin by looking closely at who makes up your existing customer base.

Studying consumer buying behavior

Examine Decision-Making Process of Current Customers

Your company likely already possesses a wealth of consumer data on existing customers. Start  your research there. Study the consumer behavior of the people who’ve already bought from you to figure out what drives your target market to take action. 

As you develop a highly specific buyer persona, begin at the point of purchase and work in reverse to where customers start their research. Ask yourself these important questions as you follow their online buying process:

  • What motivated the customer to make a purchase or take action, like scheduling an appointment or requesting more information? 
  • Where does that kind of customer spend the majority of their time? 
  • What online platforms do they frequently visit and engage with?
  • What challenges or pain points do they look to solve? 
  • What questions do they ask voice-assistant technology to answer? (Siri, Alexa or similar AI-powered virtual assistants)
  • Which search terms did they use to find out more information on your company or the industry? 

Really drill down to get to know their behavior: where do they spend their time (Hint: probably looking at a screen of some sort) and what motivates them to move beyond the research phase? 

Did a specific incentive or Call to Action posted on your website, social network or in a digital ad spur their purchase or move them further down the sales funnel? 

Dig deep in your CRM database and analytics reporting to find current customer buying behavior examples that fit your desired outcome.  

Follow the Data to Attract the Right Customers

Even if you’ve been in business for decades and think you intimately know the detailed demographics of your ideal customer base and already understand consumer behavior in your space, your decisions must be data-driven. The slightest nuances detected by data analysis, like the language people naturally use to search for your kind of business, can make a big difference on how many quality leads your digital marketing attracts and the effectiveness of your campaigns. 

If your store, website or service company relies on fixed customer buying behaviors gathered over the years through experience and observation, it’s time to reevaluate how you collect and utilize real-time consumer data. The way people shop has changed and continues to change as new technologies come along.

“Customer data reigns as the competitive differentiator of market success,” according to the Forbes Insights study Data Versus Goliath: Customer Data Strategies to Disrupt the Disruptors, a global survey of 400 business executives across key industries. “It’s those who are embracing customer data and analytics who are seeing greater returns on investment and are likely to be disruptive leaders within their markets.”

Importance of Data

Overcoming Data Challenges to Decipher Consumer Buying Behaviors

Shoppers almost always visit more than one website or social media platform when looking to make a purchase or hire a service - comparing competitors, researching cost and gathering ideas. Consider consumer behavior along every step of the consumer journey as you develop a plan for reaching your target market.

Most companies fall short when it comes to collecting consumer insights across more than one or two customer touchpoints, or they lack the skill to analyze the data in an accurate and actionable way. 

The Forbes Insights study Data Versus Goliath identified the major pain points companies face when it comes to getting meaningful consumer insights on customers. In addition to needing employees with sharp skills to leverage the customer data (58% of respondents), other major obstacles companies reported include:

  • Lack of access to customer data due to indirect selling to third parties or intermediaries: 77%
  • Outdated or rigid technology: 55%
  • Insufficient resources or support: 53%
  • Scattered or siloed applications: 52%
  • Data that’s scattered or siloed: 51%
  • Access to too much data: 49%
  • Lack of quality data: 35%

Narrow Down Target Audience to Boost Success 

Trying to capture as many eyes as possible with a generic marketing approach wastes valuable resources, because most people who view the digital ads or marketing messages aren’t likely in the market to buy your specific product or service at that moment. Most display advertisers today forget the importance of using placement targeting to improve their programmatic performance. But these placements matter in order to meet your audience in the right place and time, increase CTRs, and improve brand recognition.

Honing in on the exact group of consumers most likely to purchase what you’re selling may mean your overall exposure and traffic dip, but your success rate for capturing quality leads and conversions will undoubtedly increase as you target leads who fit the buyer persona you’ve crafted from data. 

Take a holistic data-analysis approach to studying customer buying behavior and learn more about your target audience. From there, you can plan the most effective marketing messaging and content to reach those customers at the right time and on the right platform. 

At DemandJump, we offer a cross-channel analytics platform that aggregates data from 40 diverse sources to give companies of all sizes clear consumer insights into their customers’ behavior, as well as a close look at what their competitors are doing to beat them in the race to attract new leads. Get a free assessment today to see how our data analytics can give you a head start.

Click here to get free consumer insights around any topic or phrase. See what searches and questions your target audience asks, the websites they visit, and the videos and content they consume along their path to purchase in one glance.

Topics:Consumer Insights
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